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It all started when...

I delved into my mum's "Women's Weekly Cooking Card" collection back in primary school days. Those dishes looked so exotic and I remember making a Greek pasta bake (basically spaghetti bolognese in a dish and baked - pretty ordinary but I thought it was awesome). I watched my first cooking shows way back in the late nineties. I think the show was called Saturday Kitchen and featured Cindy-someone presenting a few different international cooking shows on a Saturday afternoon. Here I met Rick Stein, Jamie, Nigella and a few more and I couldn't get enough. 
Jamie Oliver's first book was probably my first cookbook. I recall making roasted monkfish which was lovely. Who knows if I did the dish justice, I was just starting out. 

Since then I have accumulated dozens of cookbooks, my trusty favourites are of course Stephanie Alexander's Cook's Companion and Yotam Ottolenghi's Jerusalem. I still occasionally pour over the pages of cookbooks I own (I really am loving George Calombaris's 'Greek') and often when I am in a bookshop, but these days I tend to google an ingredient to see what I can do with it, rather than study my collection. 

My love of cooking hasn't waned over the years and it has certainly improved. I like to think my daughter has such an amazing palette for her age as a result of the variety of food she has been exposed to over the years, all made with love and the aim to please her. My favourite comment of hers (when I cooked something new once) was "Wow! Restaurant quality Mum!" - yes, she's eaten at many a restaurant in her 10 year lifetime.

It's really little wonder then that my love for cooking and food has crossed over to my work life and over the past couple of years I have loved doing food photography for local restaurants on the Peninsula. This pic is one of my favourites taken just before the opening of Greek restaurant Alatonero in McCrae. That succulent octopus and the pretty pink and orange colours on that plate make my mouth water every time. I guess after all these years I still have a thing for Greek...