LUCY – our girl in the curious kitchen
I have just spent a lovely hour with Lucy Simmons, the Curious Kitchen’s teenage cook and recipe tester. As I arrived, Lucy – who is on school holidays, was busy kneading dough for a batch of hot cross buns she is trialling for the Heart kitchen website, but she managed to find time to sit down for a cuppa to chat to me about her passion for cooking, cakes and baking with Nana…….
Lucy’s passion for baking began when she was about 8 years old. Coming from a big extended family, time spent with Nana Margaret was very special, and when Nana singled out Lucy to help her bake the next family birthday cake, Lucy couldn’t believe her luck. It quickly became family tradition for Lucy to sit down with Margaret and plan the theme of the next cake – was it going to be a chocolate and cream cake for Luke, a lemon cake for Dad or a scrumptious strawberry gateau for Grandad? Time spent with Nana was very precious, but Lucy soon realised that there just weren’t enough birthdays to satisfy her love for creating. She began to search the internet for inspiration, sometimes sifting through dozens of recipes until she found one she fancied experimenting with; substituting a bit of this for a bit of that until coming up with something really different and unique. The best bit was to feel the enjoyment of the family as they tucked in to one of her creations!
Lucy has continued to enjoy baking regularly for her family, feeling well within her comfort zone; but now has extended her range to try out savoury dishes for the family dinner, Sunday lunch, supper, teatime etc., getting inspiration from recipes she finds, and adding her own brand of quirkiness. Recently Lucy entered ‘The Bucks Bake-Off’ in the age 12-15 category with her Chocolate Revel Cake (find the recipe on the website) which was much praised by the judges, and which won her an award from her school. She finds that developing recipes and submitting them to the Heart Kitchen website has given her lots of confidence, indeed, she positively shone with enthusiasm as she chatted to me –‘Cooking new dishes really excites me’ she said…..’The only thing that stressed me out was preparing afternoon tea for Mum for Mothers’ Day, I so wanted it to be perfect for her, and I didn’t think I was going to finish on time, I was in the kitchen for 8 hours!’ – well I am sure her Mum appreciated every mouthful and I sincerely hope she continues to bring everyone such pleasure with her cooking!
The Rambler, AKA Celia Dulieu
Celia has been sharing food, wine, recipes and friendship with Simon and Sue Gale for more than 15 years.
In a former life she was a mass caterer, working for large companies such as Selfridges, London; but after moving to the countryside with husband, 2 kids and dog, she resurrected her love of food, - particularly by entertaining her large extended family to lunches ,sharing informal get togethers with friends, and developing her small but productive kitchen garden. She is passionate about all things to do with food and wine; from where it is produced to how it arrived on her doorstep.
Celia’s love of meeting people, visiting places and trying different things has culminated in being invited to get involve with writing up the experiences of the Heart Kitchen and sharing her love of food with you through her ramblings.