IT ALL STARTED WITH A SIMPLE BOWL OF PASTA, DECORATED WITH TORN BASIL LEAVES AND STRATEGICALLY DOLLOPED PASTA SAUCE

          Hey! I'm Mia, Always Cook on the Bright Side's resident chef. I thought I'd intro myself and tell you a little more about me, and why I started Always Cook.

I’m 25, from London and I hate parsnips more than anything. In January 2021 I went fully vegan after being a (lactose intolerant) pescatarian for about 3 years...surprisingly, Seaspiricy had nothing to do with my transition from flexitarian to full blown vegan. Instead it was a realisation that the vegan food I was making and eating was good enough that it didn't need any fish, meat or dairy thrown in.

I have been obsessed with cooking since I was about 10. I'd watch Masterchef religiously and stick it on in the background while I cooked - the tense music and harsh critiques spurring me on to make a better dish every time I stepped into the kitchen.

World street food has always been a huge inspiration for me. I will always pick my holidays based on the food on offer. It's not an exaggeration to say that I see holidays as a kind of secret missions. Yes, it looks like I'm just enjoying a lot of food, but as I work my way around new street food stalls and restaurants, I store flavours on my tastebuds like a squirrel stores nuts in it's cheeks for the winter. I want to have a full library of flavours, techniques and dishes at my finger tips to whip out when I'm next in the kitchen.

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COOKING IS AN ESCAPE FOR ME. IT'S MINDFUL AND MESSY AND CREATIVE

I'm now watching my 15th series of Masterchef and have poked my finger into many foodie pies since that I first cooked for my family. I've worked with street food vendors, Masterchef finalists, cooked feasts on fire pits and camping stoves, and catered many dinner parties for family and friends.

​I might not be able to solo cook a great roast (yet) but what I can do is cook creatively, without a recipe book - just a teaspoon for tasting, a tea towel chucked over my shoulder and a cupboard full of stellar ingredients.

 

When I cook, I grab fistfuls of salt, pepper and spices, I get my hands dirty and rarely use a timer. For a child who only ever coloured inside the lines, I would say that's pretty good going. 

ABOUT OUR CHEF