In 2018, when my middle son and youngest had recently been diagnosed with a cow’s milk protein allergy, I was overwhelmed. Being gluten intolerant myself, I was having to think about dairy-free food for my weaning daughter, dairy-free food for my toddler, children’s food for my eldest son who was 5 and quite fussy, gluten-free food for me and ‘normal’ (although high in meat) food for my husband, Jason.
I was working full time and felt exasperated by spending so much time in the kitchen, planning and cooking healthful meals and trying to find the time to do the weekly shop. Even with 20 years as a professional chef, I found it exhausting, draining and relentless and I couldn’t help feeling that if I was struggling, then what must this be like for people with no background in food at all?
My mission for DizzleSky became clear. I wanted to support people in a similar position who felt exasperated by cooking (whether they had intolerances and allergies or not). The more I talked about it, the more people confided in me with how they felt about cooking. ‘Anxious, confused, overwhelmed, drained, like it’s a chore and guilty’ were the main words people used. When cooking and eating is part of our daily lives, I realised it was time to help people to create more positive relationships with food, and ultimately support them to become kitchen confident. As a coach and personality profile facilitator, I had made a clear connection with personality types and cooking. I understood the importance of ‘getting’ how people work best and understanding what’s important to them. I decided to set up the Kitchen Club and my Coaching practise to take the stress out of cooking so that people are able to feel confident and in control in the kitchen.
I’ve always loved food. I’m from a foodie family, I grew up in Belgium surrounded by beautiful flavours, and I find inspiration in fresh seasonal produce. In 1997, I trained at Leith’s School of Food and Wine in London and I’ve cooked in professional and private kitchens for over 20 years. This took me to wild and wonderful locations where I had to be resourceful as there was often no supermarket to be seen.
I see food as fuel, and good food as good fuel – a way to charge our bodies and souls. My recurring themes have always been to cook healthful, seasonal food from a limited number of ingredients, to reduce waste, and to maximise on time-efficiency. I strive for the perfect balance of flavours, colours and textures in every meal to make the plate really sing.
I’m qualified at Practitioner Level as a Professional Coach-Mentor and I’m a trained Clarity4D Facilitator (personality profiling.)
When I’m not in the kitchen, I love spending time outdoors with my young family or pootling about in the vegetable garden.
Having grown up between the coast and the Cotswolds, enjoying the vast amounts of space and beautiful scenery, I’ve always felt connected to nature. Spending lots of time outdoors with a holistic outlook I’ve learnt that in order to be healthy there must be a good balance between diet and exercise, with nature and our ecosystem as the source. For me, reaping the benefits of getting it right results in complete mind and body wellness.
I met Annabel in 2014 when we worked together in the ski industry. We built a great friendship, had a good laugh and took many lunchtime walks with Thula. We often found ourselves discussing the future, what makes us tick, and realising how similarly our values align with one another. Years ago we felt one day we would work together to build something that would educate, support and inspire people. Today what we are building is just that! I’m so pleased to be part of the brilliantly wholesome and organic DizzleSky brand.
My background lies in the travel and leisure industries providing me with many opportunities to explore cultures, enjoy local cuisines and meet new people. I’m now living in the arty and vibrant city of Bristol with my fiancée, Jon, and our pet cocker spaniel, Luna. If we’re not home you’re bound to find us either kayaking, hiking or snowboarding in the Alps.
My energy comes from people and my surroundings, and in a work environment for me it’s important that I’m focusing my efforts in helping others, improving processes and creating a positive and enabling dynamic. I’m your Operations Guru here to support you on your client journey, assist with product design and marketing and strengthen the brand. Oh, and of course, depart sage advice to our Founder, Annabel!