Hi, I’m Tanya the face behind ‘Menu Mistress’!

Cooking has always been something I have enjoyed, I have an extensive collection of cookbooks, some are well thumbed whilst others collect dust on the shelves; I can’t bear to get rid of any cookbook, just in case one day I might use it for that one obscure recipe; light on a rainy day!

I love eating out, finding new flavours, whether it’s just a local haunt or a ‘dress up’ to dinner restaurant, food is my hobby. In my opinion food is the one of the most important pieces of knowledge you need to know about any culture in order to really understand it, so when we go away, it’s not the local sights that I’m googling but the best places to eat!

I grew up in the seventies, and food in the UK during those years was not particularly inspiring, there wasn’t the endless shelves of cookbooks that are available these days; I think my mum owned only 3 or 4 cookbooks and those tended to have the same traditional recipes. My dad is from Guyana in the West Indies, and although he didn’t cook regularly, when he did, he used flavours which were exciting and very different from what my friends were experiencing at home. I was proud of this, and I think it is probably the reason that I have always enjoyed cooking and looking for new recipes – those few exotic meals that my dad would make showed me that there was a whole new and exciting world of food to be discovered.

I am not one of those natural cooks who can throw something together by looking at the contents of their fridge, I need a plan to work with, then I organise my fridge around the recipe. I am, however, a very organised person, you might even call me a control freak! I love the orderly fashion of a recipe, I find it soothing to have a plan in front of me, so the thought of trawling through my recipe books and trying new recipes is my idea of a perfect afternoon. But I realise that this is not everyones idea of fun, hence the birth of this blog. This blog is essentially for people who love food but don’t have the time, patience or energy to find that winning recipe – that’s my job, the Menu Mistress!

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