I’ve always cooked. When I was a teenager I started doing re-enactment with my sister (a complete history buff). Here I am with my first kitchen job. For a week each summer, I would work in the kitchen in the Tudor period. I learnt to make sweet shortcrust using my hands as measuring jugs, and I decorated dishes by collecting salad, herbs and flowers from the walled gardens over the moat. What I liked about these events was the sense of time, no watch on your wrist, meant that you weren’t being held to a deadline.
As the years went on, and the kitchens developed, and the spice trade expanded, I learnt new recipes, and different cooking/baking techniques. There is nothing better than freshly baked bread, and a slow boiled ham (things that you’ll still find in the Black Cat Cafe).
Even today, the smell of wood-smoke is like coming home.