Founder of Hertfordshire Community Kitchen
I first learnt to cook in my grandmother's tiny kitchen - it never ceased to amaze me that combining simple ingredients could produce something that looked and tasted delicious. However, wartime rationing always stayed with her and she would be horrified if she knew I cook with butter rather than margarine now! From that day to this, I've carried a love for preparing and sharing food with others. I would happily sit down and read a recipe book cover to cover as if it's a novel - and my favourites are always the one which intertwine the food with the stories - and people - behind them. I originally trained (and remain as) a priest in the Church of England and worked in a parish church and as a university chaplain before moving into work in the charity sector, where I worked for a charity supporting women involved in prostitution and in prisons.
Working alongside other charities and NGOs, I was always most inspired by the projects which used food and cooking to have an impact on people's lives, which is why I set up the Hertfordshire Community Kitchen. I love the connections and conversations that happen when people cook and eat together, and that's why all the Hertfordshire Community Kitchen cooking clubs finish by sharing the meal we've made together - though we always make enough to take home as well!