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As an international itinerant private chef, I have cooked on islands without electricity, ships without kitchens and celebrity homes in New York, Cape Cod, Madrid, London and Paris – which often makes me feel like a posh boutique carrier bag. This peripatetic professional life has gifted me with a pretty down to earth view of food and an unshakeable obsession and sense of value for seasonal and local produce. Not to mention some interesting tales!
As a blogger and author whether in Cambridge or the Eastern Pyrenees as they tip into the Mediterranean, I eat, absorb Catalan culture, write, and cycle to local producers, glorious colourful food markets and occasionally have to chain myself to my office desk to find the written word that will become a 2nd book.
As a teacher, recipe writer and sourdough specialist – I eat a lot of slowly naturally fermented breads, and have the pleasure and honour of teaching at the Borough Market and the Chelsea Bakery Schools in London for Bread Ahead. I have taught for 15 years at Leiths School of Food & Wine and Divertimenti Cookery School.
My first book ‘Sourdough Suppers – A Year in the Life of a Wild Yeast Culture’ reflects a life and passion for real food and the joy of sharing it. It is not just a book about teaching the reader to make naturally fermented bread but about how ‘real’ bread holds together any great meal, it’s about creating simple feasts that celebrate seasonal, local ingredients; following the rhythm of the year and learning to get to know the people who are committed to working hard to bring us amazing produce.
“Experiences” - In the Pyrénées-Orientalis, (aka Roussillon/Occitanie):
For more details, availability, cost and booking of the following just drop me an email (email@example.com)
- I have the pleasure of guiding small parties around the colourful Ceret or Collioure Farmers Market introducing you to the produce of the season and some of the producers of our region. I will show you how to identify the best of the local stalls, the best of the season and talk about how to get the best from it in your kitchens. This 2 hr wandering tour also includes a couple of seasonal recipe for you to take home and try. If there is time we can enjoy a coffee together and talk food and cooking with the odd tale from an itinerant chef. Ceret Market – Saturdays & Collioure Market Wednesday & Sunday
- I also offer, for people living or staying in the Pyrenees Orientalis, a tutored day in their kitchen where we will prepare a 2-4 course seasonal menu for them to share with friends and family later – for more details, availability, cost and booking just contact me via email.
Testimonial: ‘Hilary really knows her stuff and is very knowledgeable about where to source the best produce here and into Spain. I can personally vouch for her teaching day, having benefitted from one myself. We started at Collioure market for the final shop of fresh herbs and veg, then cooked a four-course meal here at my house. I served it to some friends later the next day and it went down a storm. She’s a lively and entertaining lady with a great sense of humour. S R, Collioure