Even though I’ve been working late nights for most of my life, I’m still an early riser. Coffee is essential, then it’s straight out with my dog, Vera. I often think the walk is more for my benefit than for hers. We take a route up Calton Terrace, through London Road park, then home.
I start cooking after breakfast, which is usually porridge or eggs. I work alone much all of the time but with support from my husband, Robin, who does everything from peeling and chopping to my accounts. These days, I work on small project pop-ups, collaborations and food deliveries - anything the guidelines safely allow. I feel very lucky, as so many of my friends in the industry are in complete limbo.
Mise en place is lengthy for me. Before my deliveries go out on Friday I will have done at least four 10 hour days of prep. I work straight through until 6.30pm every day, apart from Sunday. I like my little distractions though, such as the daily pop master quiz that I do with a coffee.
Social media has helped me connect with a direct market. I’ll often record a short video, photograph a dish or demo something for the page. I see it as my food diary. I’ll also answer emails and calls, talk to suppliers and chat to other chefs for advice. I don’t know when the hospitality events industry will be functional again but I feel more certain now that I want to continue to work in areas where I have the most to learn. I don’t know if I will go back to working the way I did before the pandemic.
The biggest change to my life is that I am home for dinner. Luckily Robin is a great cook. We’ll maybe watch a bit of Netflix. I have watched a fair bit of TV this year. I’ll have to wean myself off it a bit.
I take Vera for another short walk, and check on essentials like clean chef whites and last minute orders.
Bedtime. I am currently reading The Pie Room by Calum Franklin. I also quite like doing a crossword, though I usually fall asleep halfway through.