My first memory of food came from visiting my Grandparents house there was always a large pot of something brewing on the stove top whether it was a soup, stew or some other concoction my Grandfather had made, the smells were earthy and rustic.
My Grandparents were poor and my Grandmother had been sick for as long as I could remember, so the cooking was left up to my Grandfather and at times I was concerned at what I was eating.
His garden was full of vegetables and fruit trees and he would take me out to the back yard and we would pick all sorts of freshness, then we would head back into the kitchen where he would slip on his blue and white striped apron and chop furiously at what we had collected throwing it all into the big pot.
As a child I was always surrounded by cooking, I grew up in an age when Mum’s had the time to bake. At least once a week my Mum would pick me up and sit me down on the kitchen bench and I would watch her make cakes, slices, chocolate and pastries.
I would taste everything from raw pastry to soft warm cookies straight off the cooling rack and as I became older I was allowed to mix ingredients and help ice cakes
We had dinner at the dining table where my family would share in the delights of Mums cooking or Dad’s slightly burnt bbq’s. It was a place to share our day our views and many a good argument.
My first job at sixteen years of age was in a kitchen and though at the time the tasks seemed simple and mundane, thirty-five years on I can still smell the freshness of the strawberries, the sweetness of the bananas, the sharpness of the pineapple and the perfume of the passion-fruit that I prepared for the fruit Salad every day.
I think about when I first tasted chocolate chilli ice cream or sugared cured chicken or that fruit salad I chopped up every day and it takes me back to the places and the people where I experienced such delights, it makes me feel happy and content.
I have been very fortunate in my life when it comes to food, I have worked with some fantastic creative people, sampled some of the most amazing food and sat down and shared it with my family and friends.
I know I still have many food memories to experience and create and that in its self keeps me passionate about food.