What I Do

As I have already said Winning Bake Off has been a life changer. At the time I remember thinking that as this is all very new to me I ought to give each invitation my best shot. I would then decide to concentrate on the things that I enjoyed the most. In actual fact it’s the variety that makes my new job the most interesting.

National TV Awards
Small demonstration Taste of Grampian demonstration
Chocolate Cake

I have demonstrated at huge food shows in front of audiences of hundreds and also taught very small select groups of as few as ten in private houses.

I have been asked to talk with and teach all ages, from small children in primary schools to those leaving secondary school - ready to fend for themselves in the outside world and their own kitchen. Equally I have also had the pleasure of talking to large groups of mature people some of whom have considerable cooking and baking experience such as WIs, U3A and a very large captive elderly audience on board a cruise ship.

Eastenders Cake in the 'Queen Vic' Hull City footballers

I have now written more than 500 recipes but realise there is more to the kitchen than recipes – there are the tips, hints, shortcuts and the ability to know that when something goes wrong, why it has gone wrong and whether it can be put right. With this in mind I decided to challenge myself to share my wealth of knowledge and experience over social media last year. For every day for a whole year I shared a recipe, hint, tip or “how to” video. Hugely successful I have now moved on at a slower pace but in the same mode, renaming my project Kitchen Rescue.

A common thread running through all of my work is the involvement of “people”! I love to interact, chat, laugh, entertain and be amongst people. As well as face to face contact we now have the miracle that is social media. Five years ago I considered it a flippant pastime used only by the very young. I now find myself with a wonderful group of followers on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – sharing, enjoying recipes, problem solving and interacting with people of all ages and from literally “all over the world”. I now take questions from my followers covering a whole range of topics – a sort of Kitchen Agony Aunt!

Wedding Cake
GBBO bakers at the food show Demonstrating at Betty's

Some chefs I feel over complicate and mystify food and cooking almost to the point where it becomes unachievable. Ok to watch on the television but unrealistic when time and money is of the essence and there is a family to feed.

I have been running a home for 50 years – from a very young age due to circumstances beyond my control. Those years have been invaluable as I have learned a no-nonsense approach to food – the growing, preserving, cooking and eating of. I hate waste and despair at the “throw away” culture that sadly prevails.

Thank you for taking the time to read what I am and what I do.

Pinata Cake