It’s OK to not be OK.

Morning lovely people.

As you may or may not be aware, it is mental health awareness week and I felt a very strong urge to write a little bit about my mental health. Sometimes it’s not OK. Sometimes it’s a bloody mess and guess what.. That’s OK.

A smile can hide a thousand thoughts and life gets in the way of happiness or stability sometimes.

Work stress, family stress anything can throw a spanner in your mental health and sometimes you don’t need anything at all to set it off, you just wake up one day and feel like that’s it!

I struggled in kitchens with these feelings because unfortunately I feel that (like many other industries) there is this toxic masculine approach to feelings. It’s not OK to show your stressed or upset. If you cry your done! Have you ever seen a man cry in a professional kitchen? I bet not and if you have I bet no one talked about it again. Have you ever seen a women cry? Was she called a emotional girl? I bet.. I’ve seen it and I’ve had it said to me. The fact of the matter is that.. That is bullshit!

Life is messy. High end, stressful, long hour jobs like being a chef.. Are messy. You are doing amazing.

It’s OK to be OK.

Take some time, breathe some fresh air, talk to people about how you feel, no matter how embarrassed or wierd you think it is and if you have no one to talk to you can send me a message and I will listen!!

Take this opportunity to change an industry with openness and love and compassion.

Take this opportunity to change the way we look at mental health. We wouldn’t expect people to run around with broken legs so why expect it from someone with damaged mental health.

Love to everyone inside the hospitality industry suffering in silence and big love to everyone outside of it feeling the same.

Never suffer alone. Its OK to not be OK.

Big love Jade x

Blogger, Lover of Food.

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What it’s like to be the person with the noisy kid at a restaurant!

Hello.
Yes i’m the person you roll your eyes at when you are in a restaurant or pub. The person who you judged the minute i walked into the room with a child.

Great. Another romantic meal ruined? shouldn’t kids just be banned from these places? urgh.

The thing is.. there is absolutely no reason why i should get this reaction. I have every right to take my brother (who is 5.. and loud) wherever i go.. unless you have excessive booze or sex on your menu. obviously.  But hear me out. life doesn’t stop when the kids are around and so it shouldn’t.

In Europe and many countries abroad, kids are welcomed in to the night life, the restaurants and the culture and why the hell not? why do you have to grow up before you can sit and chat and laugh with your friends and family. Why do you have to sit down and shut up, don’t look at anyone else or make any kind of scene. We went out for a family meal this week. 3 Adults and 2 children at 6.30pm on a Friday night, they dressed nice and we enjoyed a family meal. Yes, we had the kids that jumped around (he was excited, we dont get to go out as a family often) , climbed under the table and didn’t want to eat the dinner he ended up with. We had the child who isnt very good at sitting down and shutting up.  Yes, we got the looks. quickly handed some colouring in the hope that he would calm down. Judged from other tables. Yes, it bothered me, put me on edge and made me feel like i had done something wrong or spoken some unspoken rule.

If we had been loud enough to disturb other tables, i would have understood. But we weren’t. People just assumed that we would because it was evening and there were children… How is it that i dont have to apologise for a loud adult friend drinking and laughing or a group of adults eating and celebrating who as a collective are louder than normal but i constantly have to apologise for a child, who is being completely harmless and being exactly what they are meant to be, a child?! The fact of the matter is that we paid just as much money if not more than some of those people and we have the right to take children to a restaurant to enjoy good food and good company.. so why, in this day and age, should children been seen and not heard when out at dinner?

Kids lives should be broadened and enriched with all sorts of experiences, including going to dinner and trying new places and new foods. I am very unhappy to admit that i select places to eat based on how child friendly they are. It sucks.

Step Up UK. I wanna take children to dinner and it not be an issue!! who’s with me??

Jade
Blogger, Lover of Food.

Cornish Food Festival – Day 2

Monday. 

Back to the real world! 

The foodie blogger weekend is over but I still need to recap on day 2 -Sunday! Great fun. We started off by watching a little gluten free baking with Made Marion! Very interesting considering my recent attemp at being gluten free. Read about that in my previous posts 😘

We then went over to See the legend that is Jack Stein work his magic on the main Theatre stage. He made a beautiful Cod dish with chard and sweet corn, which you can see on my Instagram. 

Next, playing the sample game, which isn’t very fun with a fussy child so I just took it upon myself to eat double the amount of food to compensate (my waist line hates me) I was so inspired by all the incrediable produce around! Cake, cheese, chillis, gin, beer biscuits – you name it, they had it there!! If I had the money, I would have bought one of everything! 

I wondered around the outside farmers market and street food stand and settled on Strawberries and cream and Nutella topped churro – not the most nutritious lunch I know… but damn tasty!! 

We returned to the main stage for my amazing friend and inspirational pastry chef/junior sous chef of Fifteen Cornwall GRANT GOODSON(imagine that name in sparkling lights) he did some interesting and pretty incredible tasting gastronomy – homemade goats whey sorbet and candied fennel and a bunch of other things I didn’t understand but still wanted to eat! 

After being amazed, inspired and genuinely the happiest I have been in ages… my weekend came to an end. I loved it and going back to my normal day job seemed like the worst thing in the world to me this morning (no offence) I realised that I really have to kick my ass into gear and push this blog thing to the next level. Networking, making connections and generally talking to like minded people has been awesome! 
Thanks to all the The Great Cornish Food Festival.

 looking forward to the Christmas markets and Festivals! I’ll be there! Forcing my opinions on you all once more!! 😘💁🏼🔪

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Is Chicken Shasimi the latest in food trends?

In case you haven’t heard (do you live under a rock) there is a new delicacy in town. Chicken Shasimi – Thinly sliced chicken breast blanched or boiled for 10 seconds and served. yes. RAW CHICKEN!

It started in Japan, In the coolest hubs of Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo but has now spread its way around California and New York.. are we next?

Chicken Sashimi
Chicken Shasimi

I can hear it now – “Did people not think the same thing when Sushi appeared

Perhaps, who knows! Im open minded about food and I love trying new things.. BUT.. i like those things to be safe. Is it? Can we actually buy, sell and eat raw chicken? What about Salmonella? and Camplyobacter?

Do we not remember that creepy christmas advert with the turkey that beat everyone up with food poisoning? Pretty sure that applies to all raw poultry…

I wanna know if anyone has tried it? Or would try it?

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GLUTENy is a sin! F**K That!

Im coming to the end of week three Gluten free.. Its been tough but i have held my own, no cheating and no giving in to temptation! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Yeah right!!

I am lying. I have given in to the glory of gluten on 3 separate occasions!

  1. Naan Bread and Poppadoms – Im sorry but i couldn’t handle it any longer. A curry is a treat and i was feeling ill, i needed comfort food! No regrets!
  2. Party food – It’s a Scorching hot, bank holiday Monday, you’re at a 4 yr olds birthday party and the goodies are in full force; cake, sandwiches, pizza, sausage rolls, donuts.. Just thinking about it is making me hungry!!! No regrets.
  3.  A Beef Brisket Burrito.. It was from Craftworks street-food Kitchen in Truro and it was worth it!! Have a look on my Instagram and tell me you would have said no!! ( you would be lying!) NO REGRETS!

The fact is that since i have given up gluten, i have had a healthier gut, less bloating and stomach cramps and i have lost 3 pound. I am happy about that and i continue on my journey. There will be people who tell me that i have ruined it, i should be beating myself up and kicking myself. I haven’t achieved anything and i should give up… because that what we do normally right?

We set ourselves standards, goals which are hard, sometimes unbelievable and then we beat ourselves up and feel worse than we did before we started!!  I could listen to that part of my brain that loves to hate myself. I could give up, get depressed and eat. Gain more weight, hate myself more and feel even more like a failure. But why should I? The fact that i am even trying to make a step toward a healthier lifestyle is a good thing! I am acheiving exactly what i set out to do.

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Stop beating yourselves up. Your beautiful. You got this!

J x

 

Tips and Tricks of ‘Instagramming’ Dinner!

We live in an age where everyone wants to share everything! who they are, what they are doing, who they are doing it with, what they think of something, and most importantly WHAT THEY ARE EATING!

you know the type, you go out for some food and it arrives looking great, and out comes the phone! “oooh hang on, let me take a picture!” “I’ve got to Instagram this!” “that looks awesome, i’m gonna take a picture! Don’t eat it yet!!”  I know this type all too well, because I am this person. Much to the embarrassment of all my friends and family, it there is food, I will probably take a picture of it!!

Of course, now I have this blog, I can justify it in the name of research… kinda.

So I am going to write you a little ‘How To’ Guide to Instagramming (or just generally taking pictures) of your true love.. FOOD!

Tip #1 – Get The right angle

I like a close up, especially if you can get some little detail in there. Birdseye view is always good when you have more than one of something to show off like with this Sushi or a slightly “angled to the side – view”. I’m not sure what the technical term is but it looks great! eg – Gooey Brie Drool..

 

Tip #2 – Background is everything

This is important and may take some time to get used to, but background is everything! try not to take pictures of some amazing food with dirty dishes in the background or someone picking their nose!! NO ONE WANTS THAT!

wood is always lovely to use as a background, or classic white to make colors pop!

I also enjoy the odd clip of a person sharing the experience with you, I HAVE FRIENDS YA KNOW!

Tip #3 Lighting

One way to make your pictures look more professional is to make sure you have good lighting, just like anything, light makes a photo look crisp and clear. Your photos will stand out from a cloud of muggy, filtered, dull photos. It can be the difference between eye grabbing and not!

 

Tip #4 Editing and filters

If you must do it, do it well. i use editing apps on my phone and tablet to make food stand out and the enhance elements of the photo. For me, an app can bring all of the above to a photo after it has been taken, which is great if like me you take pictures of everything even if you are in a rush! I use FOTOR, NOCROP and FACETUNE for my after snap editing but there are loads of great apps and online tools. Of course, there is Photoshop.. I’m just rubbish with that!

 

Anyway, they are my first few tips for photographing your food. Have fun with it, be imaginative and send me your finished pics! The only thing i love more than taking pictures of food is looking at pictures of food!

I’m Hungry now. 

Jx

Street food – A.K.A the reason I will never be skinny!

Friday night marked the end of my ‘so called’ diet. I was doing well, i had been eating soup all week and drinking lemon water to try and cut a couple of inches off my waistline. I was determined. This time I was doing a diet I was gonna stick to, nothing too extreme, no ‘low carb crazy cut out everything you love’ diet.

We left work, got on a boat and had a beer in the sunshine! perfection! Then we had a cheeky pasty, not the healthiest of options but it was a Friday and i had been good so i thought why not. we arrived in Falmouth for the River Fal Festival and it was in full swing (as Falmouth usually is) drinking and music and people being happy and jolly and enjoying the beginning of their bank holiday weekend..

And then I saw it..

Event Square. Filled with a Marque and stand after stand of STREET-FOOD. Naughty, beautiful, aromatic street food.

Nachos, Tacos, Churros, Curries, Indian, Thai, Burritos, Paella, Pancakes. LITERALLY EVERYTHING!

What is it about Street food that makes me lose my mind? Is it fear of missing out on Untitled collageincredible flavors? the joy of eating out of cardboard trays with your fingers? roughing it?

Is it finding people with enough passion to stand in the same spot for hours on end, dealing with drunk people? is it that i just love the diversity?

 

 

 

Maybe its just the thought of standing with a beer in one hand and some massive portion of food in the other, shoving in my face without judgement… yeah, that sounds like it. They are the real heroes of festivals!  They keep fueling us so we can carry on drinking! As any chef will tell you, Chefs wear capes too, they just tie them around the front!!

 

And obviously, i only eat so much, so that i can write about it? right? #inthenameofresearch

I’m gonna get so fat and I don’t even care – because I Bloody love Street food.

 

 

Sunday Lunch – The British Essential.

Easter has come and gone and we have all returned back to work after our long weekends. I have those now.

I did however take a moment to think about all of my chef friends or anyone stuck in hospitality this weekend. Roast after roast, booked up, slammed, tired and testy.

I sat in the sun. with gin.

I did however make everyone sit down  for the obligatory Easter Sunday roast. “ITS TRADITION”,  i shouted at my neighbor as she implied that it was much more bbq weather than roast weather.

i am not religious.. i am not scared of bbqs (well maybe a little bit) but i am a traditionalist and i do believe in having a roast when your meant to!!

It is, as the title suggests, an essential.

The roast for me symbolizes family, togetherness and pure happiness. What do you have at Christmas? A ROAST. what do you have at Easter? A ROAST. What comes to your mind when i say the words comfort food? A ROAST.

Its probably one of the only meals that people don’t chop and change, its perfect.

meat. veg, gravy. potatoes. ALWAYS YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS!

Come rain or shine, i will have a roast dinner everyday.

have a click on on the Instagram feed ——–> to see my roast lamb from Easter Sunday.

Don’t be a stranger on social media! my Facebook and Instagram can be found at the side of the page. FOLLOW ME. LIKE ME. SHARE ME.

 

FYI

Its my death meal.cropped-image.jpeg