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WHO IS THE LONDON FOODIE IN NEW YORK?
My name’s Anna Helm Baxter and I’m the writer behind London Foodie in New York- a blog about cooking and eating and a life that’s always getting in the way. I’m 26 years old half-brit/half yank with an addiction food and a particular passion for baking. I’ve spent my life moving back and forth between the UK with the result that I’m a rather confused individual and have adopted quite an unusual accent. I trained at Leiths School of Food and Wine in London where I received a 1st class diploma despite my reluctance to stick to the rules and make my food look perfect. It’s a wonder that I ever got into food styling.
SO WHAT DO I KNOW ABOUT FOOD?
Prior to moving to New York I graduated from the University of East Anglia in 2004 with a degree in Drama and Creative Writing. After a life-altering internship with Jamie Oliver’s Food stylist, Ginny Rolfe I decided to go to cooking school. After finishing I tested and developed recipes and assisted food stylists at magazines such as BBC Good Food magazine and Woman & Home and on cookbooks. I also worked with food stylists on Commercials and TV shows such as Taste, Ready Steady Cook, Jamie at Home and The “F” Word. On moving to New York, with a handful of names jotted in a recipe testing notebook I landed a job at the Today Show on NBC. It was time to move on and in April of 2009 I left NBC for the scary world of freelancing. From then I’ve worked with the Barefoot Contessa, Regis & Kelly and I’m currently working on another exciting project with Jamie Oliver, which will air on ABC in Feburary 2010.
WHY THE NAME?
My food and writing experience comes from life that I have had living between two countries and the frequent traveling that I am fortunate enough to do. Everywhere I go, everyday, it’s always about the food. London Foodie in New York came to me on a whim after spending days trying to create a title when all I really wanted to do was get writing.
This is the question that a foodie gets asked most often. The truth is, I fell into food. Even though many of my memories growing up revolved around food, I was essentially a picky eater until I left home. Finally having to fend for myself I spent hours at Uni making dinner for myself and baking cakes for my friends birthdays. My collection of cookbooks soon outnumbered my number of college texts and it was pretty obvious at the end of three years studying to be an Actor that I was destined for a different career.
WHY WRITE ABOUT FOOD?
There is a generation of young men and women out there who have grown up not learning how to cook but wanting to know how. I write because I believe that it’s possible to become a great cook or just a somebody who can put dinner on the table for friends/family without formal training. People don’t cook because they don’t have time and because they are scared. My recipes are easy, quick and hopefully not too scary! There are recipes perfect for a work night when you want something quick and healthy and there are indulgent deserts to take along to a weekend potluck and impress your friends with. Cooking isn’t half as hard as one might think- and I try to make my recipes flexible allowing for you to alternate ingredients without thinking it might make the recipe fail. And on the note of failure I should add that some of my greatest successes were the result of what I thought might be a failure.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT FUSSY EATERS AT THE DINNER TABLE?
I know a lot of fussy eaters. My family are all them and instead of getting upset about it I’ve learned to embrace them. I’ve learned to cook delicious recipes that are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, wheat free….you name it. Most of my recipes are adaptable or offer suggestions on how to adapt.
WHAT ARE YOUR BAD KITCHEN HABITS?
I am a notoriously messy cook so my policy is to always wear an apron. But if you want to know my food habits well the list is endless but I’ll just let you in on a few….
1/ Sucking on mango seeds- you have to go at it and just hope you don’t loose too many of the juices to your chin.
2/ Eating Marmite with peanut butter- try it, I promise it will change your life.
4/ Scraping the sides of a lasagna dish after the lasagnas been eaten- disgusting, I know but I just can’t resist those crispy burnt edges of cheese.
All recipes , unless mentioned are photographed at home using a Canon SD1000 camera or most recently my Canon Rebel XLS. I test all of my recipes using the metric system and more recently in cups. Please see the notes page for further explanations on how I test my recipes. If you do not recognise an ingredient, it is probably because like my spelling and grammar I try to stick to using ‘English’ English. Although, these days I do sometimes forget what is English and what is American so please see my translations page for further guidance.
Please feel free to get in contact with me and comment on any recipes that you have tried or ones that you would like to see more/less of. I try to respond to all comments.
Please enjoy, critisise and tell me where I can improve.