cook and food historian

What I can offer..

I have run Askay’s (initially providing outside catering) since 1994.


My food business is currently registered with West Suffolk Environmental Health Department and has been awarded an FSA Food Safety Rating of 5 (the maximum). I hold Basic and Intermediate Food Hygiene Certificates.


Previously I was a teacher ----- KS1 and Special Needs.


I am a Cook and Food Historian interested in British food from prehistoric times to the present day. This has involved cookery demonstrations with tastings, courses and workshops, and food writing. This involves a great deal of research, both academic and practical, into ingredients, cooking methods / equipment and recipes etc. I have carried out research on assorted food topics for a number of TV, film and radio companies as well as commercial companies. I have run cookery courses and workshops for a range of organisations including Cambridgeshire Adult Education, WEA, Community Gardens, Schools, and for orchard and allotment projects. These courses / workshops have covered a wide range of topics and historical periods, and have been aimed at different ages and skill and knowledge levels, including for adults with learning difficulties. I hold CRB certificates for working both with children and with vulnerable adults.

I wrote monthly seasonal orchard fruit recipes and assorted blogs for Orchards East (see below), and recently co-wrote Orchard Recipes from Eastern England landscape, fruit and heritage published in March 2020 by Poppyland. For a period I wrote a weekly Food History column in the East Anglian Daily Times “ealife” weekend supplement. I researched and wrote historical food facts for on-line recipe cards to accompany BBC’s Hairy Bikers Best of British Series 1. I also wrote on food influences and recipes for each decade from 1912 to 2012, for a book published to celebrate the centenary of Belling.


I am interviewed regularly by mainly BBC local radio stations on a variety of food-related topics. I have been involved in filming for a number of television programmes, including most recently for Great British Railway Journeys


Currently, I am involved in a culinary project, part of Orchards East, a 3-year (recently extended but coming to an end at the end of December 2020) HLF-funded project based at the University of East Anglia. This followed on from a previous culinary project which was part of Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group. This involves researching the historical and current culinary uses of orchard fruits and nuts, including traditional and modern methods of preservation. I have attended Plum Days, Apple Days etc for the projects, to provide cookery demonstrations with tastings, and to collect / swap recipes. I also delivered hands on orchard cookery workshops for a range of “harder to reach” groups. I am currently involved in Orchards East legacy body discussions. I have contributed synopses to FruitID, a website currently under development to aid apple (and subsequently other orchard fruit and nut) variety identification. I take part in apple and other tree-fruit identification at Apple Days etc.Previous event venues have included National Trust and English Heritage properties, National Archives, Imperial War Museum Duxford, Borough Market, Museum of Childhood Bethnall Green, and Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse Norfolk.