- Danielle Wood
Have you ever thought you could turn your hand to professional cake baking, à la Mary Berry, or fry an egg to perfection like Jamie Oliver? Well, no need to quit your day job, just yet, as these grub goddesses have it under control. Not only are they cooking up a storm in their kitchens but they’re also dominating London‘s food scene one recipe at a time.
Vegetarian guru Anna Jones walked away from her office job one gloomy London morning to pursue a career in the food industry. For several years she was part of Jamie Oliver’s behind-the-scenes team: styling, writing and creating. She then took the leap to work independently and has since produced two quirky cook books: A Modern Way To Eat and A Modern Way to Cook. The backbone of Anna’s cooking is the celebration of sitting down to eat, sharing and revelling in nourishing your body with amazing ingredients. Her humane philosophy allows the ‘can’t cook, won’t cook’ people to try their hand at almost any dish while seeking simple joy in peeling an orange or spice hunting.
From pop-up to permanent, Alex Hely-Hutchinson’s 26 Grains has gone from strength to strength. The ‘Queen of Porridge’ started with a simple mission back in December 2014: to serve her wholesome grain-based dishes at resident cafés and across the evolving pop-up scene. Her dishes are based on seasonal produce and flavours, blending sweet and savoury. Alex has since seen her products stocked on the shelves of Ben’s House and Psycle London and successfully achieved a space in June for 26 Grains in Covent Garden’s Neal’s Yard with the aid of a generous Kickstarter movement.
From Scotland to the far off terrain of India, Rosie Birkett has extensively travelled the globe in search of documenting truthful food tales. Her bright career as one of Britain’s most distinguished food writers has seen Rosie interview many of the industry’s leading gastronomic experts, including Raymond Blanc and Heston Blumenthal. Her début book A Lot On Her Plate, which is also the name of her blog, is an insightful look at the food Rosie enjoys eating mixed with cooking skills she has acquired throughout her time in some of the world’s most famous kitchens.
Hemsley and Hemsley
The sister duo known as Hemsley and Hemsley, Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, bring The Art of Eating Well to a trendy new height. A five-year lead up to their current popularity started with food consultancy; Vogue soon snapped them up and the sisters have since become a sought after name in wellness and nutrient-dense cooking. Hemsley and Hemsley takes on the mindset of ‘eat well to feel better’ and being mindful when eating.
Claire Ptak is a relocated American living across the pond. As a Californian girl, it was the notion of tea and cake that Claire loved so dearly. After time at Moro and St. John Bakery, Claire’s sweet tooth following helped to mould her humble beginnings from a stall in Broadway Market to her current East London space, Violet, which opened in 2010. Her cakes are organically made, as are many of the icings and toppings. Claire’s book The Violet Bakery Cookbook has recipes from her electric bakery’s kitchen. As well as owning her own bakery, Claire is a food writer, prop stylist and consultant.