Hey! I'm Mia, Always Cook on the Bright Side's resident recipe developer and teacher. I thought I'd intro myself and tell you a little more about me, and why I started Always Cook on the Bright Side.
I’m 25 and I grew up North West London with a big family of feeders. I'd eaten meat and fish all my life until in January 2021 when I went fully vegan. I was a (lactose intolerant) pescatarian for about 3 years before then, so I didn't go cold turkey. 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 pretending that the tense music and harsh critiques were made for me, to see if I could cope under the pressure of a 'serious' kitchen. I started by literally forcing my family to sit and eat elaborately decorated bowls of pasta with swirls of tomato sauce, but as I improved they started asking when I'd be cooking again.
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.
Always Cook on the Bright Side is my way of bringing together four of my favourite things. Sharing stories, teaching, cooking and feeding people.
I cook creatively...without a recipe book, just a teaspoon for tasting, a tea towel chucked over my shoulder and a cupboard full of beautiful 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.
I want to give other people the confidence to do the same. I believe there's a little chef in us all.
ABOUT MIA, THE FOUNDER OF ALWAYS COOK ON THE BRIGHT SIDE
World street food has always been a huge inspiration for me. My grandma would make me, my brother and sister salmon teriyaki almost every Tuesday when we got home from school - she's always been a curious cook, trialling dishes other home cooks of her generation might never have heard of.
I've been lucky enough to travel the world, sampling some incredible food from the most amazing places. It's fair to say that I see holidays as secret missions. As I work my way around street food markets and restaurants, I store flavours in my tastebuds like a squirrel stores nuts in it's cheeks. 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.
'COOKING IS AN ESCAPE FOR ME. IT'S MINDFUL AND MESSY AND CREATIVe...'
'i like to store flavours in my tastebuds like a squirrel'