The story so far…
Naked jam was inspired by my sister, and by the confidence of winning an award at marmalade awards, 2011. I like to use seasonal local fruit and more often than not it’s foraged. ( I have been known to fall out of trees!) I love to develop new taste combinations, combined with traditional cooking methods.
I spent my childhood in Wales, where my mother was a Cook to a retired Colonel. They had an extensive kitchen garden and a hot-house supplying exotic fruits year-round, so that my mom could cater for the royal and overseas guests who sought the Colonel’s wise counsel.
I learned how to forage for flowers and fruits in a way we would now label ‘sustainable’. Whether collecting rosehips, sloes, blackberries, or rowanberries, we harvested only what we could reach easily – everything else was for birds and animals. At Christmas, I made gifts of jams, jellies and chutneys using ingredients from the garden and hedgerows, bottling and labelling as I went and learning that you can only make the best with the best.
My mum is my inspiration, a woman intent to get the best out of food, to give us the delight of her pallet and her cooking. She not only passed down her cook books but a love and passion for food, working with seasons and wild fruit.
It’s these fruit seasons that inspire my taste buds to dance, from oranges in January to autumn raspberry’s that capture the last of the summer sun. As I pick them from the bush I can imagine tasting that fresh burst of sunshine in a layered cake in November.
But ultimately I am inspired by my taste imagination capturing a season in a jar. The fruit changes as the seasons unfold so I channel my imagination and I use them to create unique recipes.