HI! I am Mandy and I was born in Devon, England. I grew up, learning to cook with my mother who, now in her 80s, likes to try out new recipes and find new and interesting dishes to eat! I remember perusing her Margeurite Patten ‘Cookery in Color’ cook book and The Reader’s Digest Cookery Year, admiring the pictures and wanting to re-create the food. Luckily, I had willing parents who would try my culinary creations. My father introduced me to wine and we would always have wine on a Sunday with supper, often salad and Riesling.
However, my dream job was to be a beauty therapist (after the number one choice of fighter pilot). So I went to college and qualified as a therapist and set my heart on working onboard cruise ships.
As soon as I was able to, I got on a plane to Florida and preceded to travel the world, both on cruise ships and independently. I visited many, many countries and one of my favourite pastimes was to go out to eat with friends, trying the local cuisine. On board ships, we generally ate the same food as the passengers and I was introduced to new and exciting flavors, with Italian nights, Norwegian nights and many other themes. Cruise ships were highly competitive with their food, employing the best chefs. They also had extensive wine lists as well as fine wines available in the gift shops at tax free prices, so snuggling up with a movie and a bottle of Chateauneuf Du Pape was just a normal day!
Another passion has been trying coffee around the world, as I visited countries such as Costa Rica, Guatemala and Jamaica!
Much time spent in Greece, meant a whole education in Mediterranean food, hanging out in kitchens, with people who have a national pride in their food and happy to answer the thousands of questions that I had about techniques and recipes! I also had an amazing experience in Italy, staying on a volcanic island where the world’s best capers are produced and the most amazing tomatoes are grown.
I decided on a more settled life, so moved to Nantucket Massachusetts to work. I hit gold, living in a billionaires paradise, with many gourmet restaurants all located in one small town!! Nantucket also had some excellent wine stores with knowledgeable people running them, giving advice on wine to match the food that I was cooking! Eventually, I met my husband there and we would often attend cookery classes with the wonderful chefs of Nantucket and wine classes with highly qualified wine experts. I even attended a tequila class with a tequila connoisseur, but apart from Margaritas, really don’t drink it!
After the crash of 2008, life ground to a halt in Nantucket and we made the decision to move to England. I then qualified as a lecturer teaching beauty therapy. While teaching, I have been gaining my wine qualifications and the past several years keeping a diary of culinary and wine experiences sharing recipes and wine matches. I still explore cuisine from around the world, recreating dishes that I tried in countries around the world, from the former USSR through to China, Japan, Vietnam and Malaysia!!
I have now left teaching and am working in the wine industry. My husband and I are residing in a cosy cottage in the Berkshire countryside.
I enjoy the whole experience of good food paired with a wine that completely enhances the food as well as the food enhancing the flavor of the wine!!! So with nearly every recipe I record, I try to match the wine with it for a sublime experience!!!
I share it so that you can enjoy too!!
We are not chefs by any means, just home cooks and wine lovers. We share recipes that we know are easy to make and have been tested in our home kitchen.