I have run Askay's (initially providing outside catering) since 1994.
My food business is currently registered with East Cambridgeshire Environmental Services 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.
As an outside caterer, my emphasis was on providing tailor-made menus of interesting home-made food, using good quality ingredients, and with a local / seasonal slant where possible. I cooked for a variety of events at a range of venues. I ceased catering in September 2007.
Since 1994, my existing interest in Food History and Traditions has grown. In that time I have also developed 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 and recipes etc. I have carried out research on assorted food topics for a number of TV, film and radio companies.
I have run cookery courses and workshops for a number of organisations including Cambridgeshire Adult Education, WEA, Community Gardens, and Schools. These courses / workshops have covered a wide range of topics, 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 currently write a regular 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.
Currently, I am involved in a culinary project, part of Suffolk Traditional Orchard Group's 3-year HLF-funded project. This involves researching the historical culinary uses of orchard fruits and nuts, including traditional methods of preservation. It also involves writing culinary contributions to the Group's newsletters, and will culminate in publication at the end of the project. I attend Plum Days, Apple Days etc for the project, to provide cookery demonstrations with tastings, and to collect / swap recipes. 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.