I've just submitted my 30th illustrated recipe for They Draw and Cook, so they can consider publishing them in a book. It's been a true labour of love and far trickier than I anticipated. The trade off is I've received much work from clients seeing my ideas, and I hope they continue to check in on the TDAC site. Here are the last two recipes, for easy baguettes and Christmas gingerbread....
I think this is also a good opportunity to explore the background of my food mania. A while back Wendy Brightbill asked what was the story behind my food illustrations, why am I attracted food more than anything else? I'm no psychologist, although this is the most probable reason and still valid even 35 years later.
If you read the 'about me' section of my website I mention immigrating from Burma to the UK when I was 5. I'd like to put Burma or Myanmar in context as its important to understand. This is a overview from World Vision's website ( I used to sponsor a young Burmese boy via their charity)
Whichever way you look at it, Burma is very, very, poor country and that's why my parents decided to leave. My father immigrated to the UK to work as a junior doctor half a year before my sister, my mother and myself. I believe there was a period when money was extremely tight during the intervening months. I distinctly remember my mum's mum (my grandmother) turning up at the gates of our house quite unexpectedly one day and her and my mum just hugged and cried for the longest time. It turns out my mum had pretty much run out of money and all we had was a bag of rice. My grandmother had traveled 3 days from northern Burma by ferry, train and bus to feed us and hand over some of her savings. We were incredibly lucky.
So for me food is a way of showing love, kindness, support and accepting it with much gratitude. I really love to cook, sometimes simple suppers or elaborate biryani's and invite friends to share in this. And I do feel this great fondness for food on the plate and food illustration stems from that day watching my grandmother and mum at the gates. As a family we were so fortunate that my father had skills needed in the UK, so we could grew up never going hungry, with good healthcare and education. But I am always mindful of the millions of children in Burma who are not so lucky.
On November 8th, Burma goes to the polls in an election...of sorts (I will not get into politics here) but I wish for a good outcome overall for the country of my birth. Although I expect it may take many more decades to bring Burma up to the sort of democracy we may understand. Ultimately in 10-20 years time I would like to be in a position where I can help feed, nurture and educate just some of the children in Burma, so they have brighter futures. I have no idea at this present time how this will happen but it's a goal I'd like to aim for anyhow.