I am British but born to a German mother and English father. I am an Essex girl, born just outside Colchester.
I have been a chef for almost 30 years and a vegan for over 2 years.
I became a vegetarian in my late teens. In my early 20’s I invested into a health food business with my parents, which they ran for 20 years. During this time, I was traveling, working abroad, honing my cooking skills and taking a 3-year culinary degree.
I have been passionate about food – the flavour, the texture, the nutrition and the science – since I can remember. Being brought up in a multi-cultural home opened my eyes from an early age to different countries cuisines. During my life I have lived on 4 continents and been fortunate to travel to many places in the world absorbing cooking techniques, different spices/herbs and diet styles. This has all culminated in my decision to open Veast.
Journey to Veast
My parents emigrated to Australia when I was 7, travelling there by ocean liner, starting the sea journey from Genoa, Italy and going via Cape Town finally reaching Sydney. Most of our friends were Italian and that fueled my love for food.
Their passion to make everything homemade was a joy to behold, pickling, preserving and making huge batches of passata in family kitchens filled with laughter, strong opinions and overseen by the all-knowing Nonna. They showed me traditional techniques for making pasta, polenta and Italian breads.
We returned to the UK when I was 12 and by that point, I had gotten the travelling bug. I left home at 17 and went to work in Dubai and Abu Dhabi spending 7 years in the U.A.E. From there I moved to the USA and met my husband, Tom and had our Son, Bodhi.
After 10 amazing years, which saw me become a private chef cooking for some interesting people including the Dalai Lama, a new adventure was to be had. So, we packed up our family, which now also included a black Labrador, Nesqua, and a ginger tabby cat, Duster, and headed to the southern coast of Spain.
Our son grew up enjoying the sunshine, sea, and laid-back family lifestyle… he took longer to like paella. Actually, I don’t think he ever liked it, only ate it out of respect for our Spanish dinner hosts. When our son was diagnosed with dyslexia, we knew we needed to get him into a school that would provide a multi-sensory education, and that meant the bags were packed again – this time only Duster joined as our black Lab had just passed away at the age of 13.
Arriving on the shores of Plymouth from Santander, the next chapter of our lives was to be written. The chapter I call “I said I was never living in England again…oops yes I am”.
I opened my own catering company but was recruited to be head chef for a new venture in Taunton, Somerset and was delighted to accept the challenge. This led to working with an amazing group of people who I call the Dream Team. Since becoming Vegan, I love the challenge of using solely meat free products and want to make that my career. It is with this in mind that I launched Veast.