WHO AM I
My knowledge and expertise of ingredients has come from 20 years as a Food Buyer, 16 of those years with premium supermarket Waitrose.
My work has given me an incredible insight into the food world from seeing how the most flavoursome cherry tomatoes are grown in Sardinia, harvesting olives in Seville, baking beautiful cakes in Norfolk, watching pasta dough squeeze through bronze dies to make pasta shapes in the mountains of Abruzzi to spending a year lovingly creating the very best chicken stock in a tiny Dorset factory.
A big part of my Buyer's role was attending cookery schools and building up a fundamental knowledge of cooking. I loved learning more about cooking techniques in Raymond Blanc’s kitchen at Le Manoir aux Quat' Saisons and getting to grips with Aga cooking in Mary Berry’s kitchen.
A cooking trip I will never forget is the week I spent in the South of Italy with the lovely and talented chef Valentina Harris. She and the other chefs on the food tour gave me the ultimate foundation in cooking Italian food.
During my travels I have learnt so much from farmers, growers, food producers, chefs and food lovers. Through them I have developed the knowledge and expertise to find the most flavoursome, good quality ingredients at the right time of year (and at the right price!) from the best countries to create the tastiest meals. When it comes to recommending the most flavoursome ingredients for a recipe, this is my expertise!
My science background, BSc Biology UCL and MSc Science Communication Imperial College, has always inspired me to find out more about food and the effect of the right nutrients on our bodies.
I continue to work closely with the food industry as a retail business consultant (lydiagerrattconsulting.com) advising food manufacturers in the UK and globally how best to work within UK retailing.