I’m Vicky North. I’m a cook with a passion for real food and I write about women making it happen.
I’m compiling a collection of interviews with women making a difference in food, whilst I cook and write my way through the seasons here on the Welsh coast.
I’ve cooked since I was a child and have been menu planning forever. Whilst friends were swooning over Just Seventeen, my thoughts would be on the pages of Prima and newspaper food supplements. Food is about so much more than our daily plate. It’s about the way we live our lives, engage with those around us and how we celebrate the past whilst creating something new.
When the real food movement rolled into town in 2011, high on the heels of a new producers’ market held in the former farmer’s Cardigan co-op, I knew I needed to be a part of it. I set up a stall and from home I built a micro-bakery, based in a back room with an original wood-fired oven nestled in the inglenook. I began producing and selling sourdough bread, cakes inspired by Ottolenghi and gluten-free bakes which were just gathering momentum at the time. I began to really educate myself, turning my hobby into work. I traveled all over the UK, learning from the top bakers and chefs of the time, from the Scottish hearths of Andrew Whitley to the railway arches of E5 bakery in Hackney. I learned how to make croissants with Laura at Harts Bakery and I honed my craft.
Throughout, I wrote. I wrote a food column for a newspaper, compiled recipe articles for magazines and I regularly blogged for my website. I recall the excitement of being profiled in a double page spread for the Guardian and the novelty of being interviewed by BBC radio, whilst my children sat in the car outside the studio, listening to their mum live on air.
In 2015, I opened the doors on a new venture and ran a cafe with an evening service for two years. I learned fast and hard the intricacies of running a small business and a commercial kitchen. I loved it.
Throughout all the adventures, there has been a common theme- my belief in real food and the integral role it has to play in the health and wellbeing of our communities. Keeping it local, keeping it real supports not just our own health through good nutrition, but also that of our communities, by supporting local producers and keeping our spending within our own circles.
I’ve met so many inspiring women on my travels in food that I want to share their stories and celebrate the difference they are making, leading the way for others to step into commercial kitchens and shine.
I hope you enjoy my food notes as much as I enjoy writing them. They are a window on the world as I see it, with good eating and celebration along the way.