After 12 years as a brand strategist for London advertising agencies, the fun had been had and the rat race was taking its toll. So I quit.
Even if you really enjoy your job, there’s always that little voice telling you to just give it all up and move to the countryside. Escape the stress and build a career around your hobby or your passion.
Kathy was one of the few brave enough to take that step to walk away from her career: “When I quit, moved to the countryside and started growing my own food, my obsession hit new heights and it seemed like a really natural thing for me to make my slightly obsessive hobby a job.”
For many people who love food and love cooking, it often starts from a young age. Being around the kitchen as a child, or having a mum or dad who helps you understand more about food rather than throwing turkey dinosaurs on a plate with chips, will set you in good stead. Kathy’s experiences are very similar:
“I’ve always been greedy. My parents are keen cooks and I’d grown up eating anything and everything and being shown that food is exciting, creative and sociable.”
Kathy believes there’s a simple joy in growing your own veg patch:
There’s something magical about growing your own food and cooking it.
And there’s nothing better than seeing the results of your work: “It’s incredible to think that you put a tiny seed in the ground, nurture it and before long you’ve got kilos of, say, tomatoes to make an incredible salad with.”
Her passion is matched by a flair for good food, which led to Kathy becoming a private chef for hire, as well as a cooking tutor. Her talent shines through on her blog, where she posts tips on growing all kinds of vegetables, and shares some amazing recipes.
Her favourite? “I’m a huge fan of slightly whimsical desserts so I’m really pleased with my rhubarb, orange blossom and marzipan strudel.” But it’s the gluts – the huge amount of veg that Kathy grows at once – that inspired the blog. “I always plant too much. I’m hopeless at restraint.”
Hopeless at restraint she may be, but it’s her level-headed attitude and genuine personality which shine through her blog, and in her view it’s important to relax when it comes to cooking:
Don’t be afraid! The worst that could happen is that something doesn’t work – which is not the end of the world! Also, lots of chefs make a big deal about how difficult it is and how skilled you have to be to cook, which is rubbish.
One thing she does think is a big deal is the quality of your oven. “There’s nothing more annoying than an oven that doesn’t heat up enough or has hot spots which burn bits of your dish whilst others remain stubbornly undercooked.”
Her skill as a cook led to a working partnership with AEG. She used their appliances at a cookery school before starting the website, and she was later invited to continue partnering with them for festivals and demonstrations. It’s clear that she values working with AEG ovens when she cooks:
“What’s great about the AEG ovens across the board is that they are so intuitive to use. You don’t need a manual in your hand all the time! Plus, the results are consistently good because they are so well made: you always get an even bake, they are always at the temperature they say they are – a good solid piece of kit.”
Kathy is clear that a good oven is the key to good food. You don’t need to be a trained chef to start following in her footsteps, and her website is a great place to start. Make sure you take a look and find out more about growing your own veg and how to best use it. If you love cooking, or it’s something you want to do more of, then it’s also worth thinking about an upgrade to your oven.
Whether you’re a have-a-go home cook or someone with ambitions to follow in Kathy’s footsteps, an AEG oven will help you to deliver exceptional results.