Food in Fiction

As many people know, fiction can heavily influence and inspire reality, whether people want to admit it or not. We might watch a really cool TV show and think “I want to be like them someday” or “I definitely don’t want to be like them.” We look at world-building and wonder at the tiny details needed to create such an interesting universe. Just little things that that make our universe more exciting. In fiction, food and cooking can be applied in the same way; looking at really good cooking and wanting to try that.

Today, I’m going to talk about some of my favourite fictional shows and movies about food.

Food Wars

Food wars is an anime about the most competitive and prestigious culinary school in Japan. Or in other words, my biggest dream ever. I watch the show, look at the animation, about how these kids dedicate their lives to cooking. I think, this should be me.

A steak rice bowl from the anime food wars

Without spoiling things, a main aspect of the anime is the fact that cooking is brutal. Kids get expelled for the tiniest things, including the smell of their shampoo, or cooking their ingredients a few seconds too long. And this is just a high school, so everyone is between the ages of 15-18. But cooking is their life. Every day is geared to them improving their skills and becoming the best chef they can be, but it is no secret that most of the kids won’t graduate from the school. Only the cream of the crop will be successful in the industry and this is the narrative the show tries to push.

Every time a student makes a dish, they explain it in depth, including the processes and the ingredients used. (It’s obvious this is done for the viewer; as sometimes the students would ask basic questions they would definitely know after years of top notch culinary education.) I like the way they break the methods down, though. Some of the recipe combinations the students cook are interesting, and aren’t something I would have thought to do myself.

A rainbow terrine from the anime food wars

Each character has a different skillset, and I really like how they’re explored in the show. While they’re pitted against each other, the show does a good job of explaining the strengths and weaknesses of each person.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I really like chocolate. This is a very important to know, because I rarely cook with it. I like Willy Wonka’s imaginative mind, as he comes up with interesting ways to revolutionise chocolate. The all edible chocolate room is a stroke of genius, and I often thought of ways to recreate that myself. On a much smaller scale, of course. The chewing gum meal and the lickable wallpaper are both inventions I don’t see myself enjoying but it reminds me to broaden my horizons.

The chocolate room from the movie charlie and the chocolate factory (remake)

It reminds me of my youth, and helps me to remember that interesting food isn’t always about haute cuisine. It’s also not just about being different for the sake of it. It’s about being creative and original, and fun most importantly.

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2

While the first one establishes the cloud that pumps out food, I much prefer the second movie. (Also the end of the first movie for reasons I’ll explain.)


The answer is very simple.

I love the sentience of the food. At the end of the first movie, the gummy bears, the pizza and the chickens all come alive to protect the food machine. It’s very funny but if you dig slightly deeper, it’s a bit scary. What would you do if lifesized gummy bears were trying to kill you? I thought about how scary it could be if it was a life action horror movie and then I regretted thinking that.

In the second movie, one of the main “enemies” is a cheeseburger with fries for leg and a lot of sesame seed eyes. Just your average culinary nightmare fodder, really. On the other hand, there were also really cute food animals. Such as the spring onion giraffes and the marshmallows.

I’m a pun lover so animal names such as “flamango, hippotatomus and mosqitoast” was bound to get me to watch the movie again.

Some of the food animals in the movie cloudy with a chance of meatballs 2

This is another movie that made me appreciate the creativity that goes into food. It’s less blatant than the other two examples but inspiration can really be found anywhere.

I speak more about my process here, with an example of how I apply my creativity to fine tune recipes.

Thanks for reading, have a lovely day.

Walks to Remember

As I type this, I have some burgers sitting out, ready to be cooked up. But I had a flash of inspiration as I remembered some of the really dumb things I’ve done back when I was working.

Not in the kitchen; obviously I try to be professional and give no one a reason to doubt me, but I mean my journeys there and back. While I don’t live in the suburbs, I live in an area of London with below average tube and bus connections for zone 2. I’ve had to change multiple times to get to somewhere considered “close”. As well as this, oyster fares like to slowly build up, and before I know it, I’m paying a lot of money for a relatively simple journey.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m a massive fan of walking. I love to walk everywhere. I’m the annoying friend who considers a 2 hour walk a short journey. I don’t remember the last time I’ve taken the train anywhere north of the river. Granted, I don’t really go out, but given the option to, I’d definitely walk.

The best walk I had was after my first shift at Wembley stadium. I had taken the bus there, at about 6am, and by the time it was done, it was mid to late afternoon, and the weather was sunny, and the heat was more enjoyable to that of the kitchen. So I decided to walk back, using my vague knowledge of the bus route, and the very limited times I had gone there or to the arena next door for concerts. Being the type of person I am, I didn’t want to use my phone to track the route at all, to prove a point, so I called my mum to tell her my plan, put my phone on flight mode with my favourite music playing, and set on my way.

The same thing happened that does happen whenever I walk home from a shift after a while. The adrenaline wears off, and the physical tiredness sets in; carrying all my uniform and knives in an oversized rucksack that sticks to my back weirdly and makes it sweat. The music stops being upbeat, and I start paying attention to the lyrics and questioning my existence. Then coincidentally there’s a tube or a bus station that’s vaguely in my direction and I think, should I give up?

And then I think, there is no way I’m spending £1.50 to go one station. No matter how close it is to my house. And in the case of Wembley, I’d still have to walk at least another 20 minutes to get home. It’s just not worth it. And I walk away, knowing the ancestors would be proud of me.

When I get home though, mum always feels bad that I’ve walked for so long and she always questions me. I’ll say something like “oh it wasn’t that long,” and it turns out it was a 3 hour walk from Twickenham or something and the sun’s already starting to set. (I’ve done that by the way. Not fun. I took a really roundabout route to get to the station I’d use to get home but the line was going through part closures. You can guess what line I’m talking about; it never works correctly.)

For me, walks are a really good way to just reflect on stuff or even just zone out. I like listening to hype playlists and walking and pretending my life is more cool and dramatic than it actually is. A really nice place to walk is surprisingly Oxford street, but starting all the way in Shepherds Bush from Holland Park Avenue and finishing in Aldgate.

I said I’d walk to and from work just to prove a point, and I have to explain that I’m not proving it to anyone. I’m the type of person that likes to challenge themselves, but in a “bet you can’t” kind of way. I still have very childish tendencies, but I think that’s a good thing because my energy is usually 100, and I don’t think that challenges are too much for me.

(That’s something I discovered about myself on a walk home from uni, while listening to Beyoncé’s Homecoming.)

Cookies and a Lesson

Happy July everyone! I hope this month brings you blessings, prosperity and happiness.

A few days ago, I enlisted the help of my little sister to make chocolate chip cookies. She’s been using this quarantine to brush up on her roblox skills and I reckoned she should do some activities that didn’t involve being chased by a spider or an old woman with a hammer. I know she’d been struggling with her maths homework so my solution to that was making her measure out all the ingredients.

She wanted to do the fun stuff like mixing, and taste testing and pouring the chocolate chips but I told her that she had to build up to it and work her way up to anything interested. (Obviously, I relented, but that’s a different story.)

She did a good job working out the different measures, and she even cracked an egg, but there was no way I was about to take my camera out and document that just in case everything went south and the kitchen became an eggy mess.

She asked me lots of intelligent questions such as “what is the difference between baking powder and baking soda?” and “why do you have to preheat an oven?” I enjoyed feeling like a genius as I answered the questions and she lapped up the knowledge like an eager student. I even gave her the baking soda and vinegar demonstration and I explained a little about acids and alkalis. I’m not sure if she fully grasped the concept but she did like watching it fizz.

Thanks to her diligent measuring and and counting skills, the cookies were a success, and we both enjoyed eating them. I’d like to bake more with my sister but as you’ll come to learn, nothing quite captures her attention like the computer.

How to Make the Perfect Recipe (Kinda)

Today, I’ll be discussing how to make a recipe. You might think it’s really easy, just write some steps down and give them to people but in reality there is so much more work that goes into the process before you even write down the list of ingredients.

You have to factor in certain things. You need to think about the colour, the flavour, the texture, the smell. You want to create a dish that’s pleasing to all the senses and is unique, otherwise who is going to to try your recipe? I’ll structure this post in true food blogger format, with a whole load of exposition before I get to the important content. Why? Because it’s 9pm and I think it’s a good idea.

It was a cold, winter’s day in London, and I sat by the window staring pensively outside, a mug of hot chocolate in my hand. Looking down at sweet drink, I thought that it would be well complimented with a chocolate fondant, complete with fruits and a caramel sauce. The word chocolate comes from the Aztec word xocoatl, which refers to a bitter drink made from cacao beans. Cacao is pronounced, ca COW. Ow, I say to myself because I’ve accidentally spilt my hot chocolate on my leg because I was too busy thinking pensively. As the snow falls, I notice how it contrasts with my leg, which is painfully hot. But the pain is not as much as the mental pain I’m going through of really wanting a chocolate fondant. The recipe I have attached is coincidentally not for a chocolate fondant, or for hot chocolate, but for making a recipe, because what are we, if not recipes for living?


  • Time
  • Patience
  • More food ingredients than you think you’ll need
  • A device with internet connection
  • Paper and pen
  • People willing to eat your various drafts


  1. Think about the dish you want to start developing and make the most basic version of it. If you want chocolate chip cookies, find the most generic chocolate chip cookie recipe you can and make it.
  2. Write a review of what you’ve just made on the paper, with everything good on one side, and the content that needs improvement on the other.
  3. Make a note of what you want to change to make the recipe suit your tastes more. If you want the cookie to be softer, make a note of that, and write it on the paper.
  4. Figure out what in the recipe you need to adjust to make the recipe suit your tastes. This is when you experiment and add different ingredients. You’ll have to research what ingredient does what, which is where the internet connection comes in.
  5. After each completed dish, make a note of what went right and what went wrong and keep adjusting until you’re satisfied. This is where the patience comes in. If you’re like me, you’ll measure everything down to the teaspoon until the recipe is perfect and your mum hates you for wasting ingredients.
  6. You’ll probably have a lot of wasted products so be sure to give it away or eat it if you have the appetite for that.

If you follow these steps properly, you’ll be well on your way to developing and cultivating your own recipes. Seriously though, recipe development is fun and the process can be more fun than the eating. (At least for me.) I think spending ages obsessing over minute details is what will give your dishes and meals the refinement and the edge over people. Just ask my family. It took a year (between being busy with work, uni and sleep) to perfect the jerk spiced lamb dish, and I went through maybe 5 different versions of it until I found a combination that I loved.

Thanks for reading, have a lovely day 🙂

The Victoria Sponge Saga: 1

You’d think Victoria sponge cakes are really easy. Vanilla sponge, some jam, some cream and done? Actually, no.

For a cake so simple, you need to perfect everything. The sponge has to be light, fluffy, bouncy and perfectly sweet. This then has to balance out the more tart sweetness of the jam and finally the fresh sweetness of the cream. Mad stuff, I think.

Anyways, me and my mum decided to embark on the journey to make something that showcased all of these things, while still being pretty. She isn’t one to experiment with recipes and flavours, so I really had to beg her. It took two weeks by the way. I wonder how long it’ll take to do more complex things…?

We started with a basic pound cake recipe, but I knew from experience that if you follow the 1 egg for 50g method, the cake won’t be light and will be too eggy. So I decided to sneakily remove an egg and then reveal my secret once we were pouring the batter in. Judging by her reaction, I could tell she thought the cake wouldn’t turn out right, but I had the last laugh.

Not really, actually because the oven was turned on too high and the cakes browned a little faster than usual. It turned out good though, the texture was great and it was melt in the mouth. I don’t want to say it was perfect because of the browning issue, but I believe we were close to it.

Here’s how it turned out.

Lemon curd, cream and blueberries

Also, I just want to mention that living on a windy hill is very hard. The weather is ten times more dramatic for no reason, and meant that I had a very awkward photography session.

Jam, cream and strawberries

This was only the first attempt though, and I’m looking forward to making small changed with the decoration, other factors to make the cake taste and look perfect. Don’t worry, I’ll share the recipe when I’m done!

Thanks for reading, have a lovely day.

Fine Dining in the Future

No, this isn’t another one of those posts about how the future of the industry will change because of the pandemic and social distancing. I’m about to talk about something a lot more important in my opinion.

That’s about black girls in fine dining, and the culinary industry. Because that’s an industry that really needs to change. Within minutes of me posting “A Story on Colour” onto twitter, I was scrolling through my feed and noticed that a few chefs I had followed liking a racist tweet about the Black Lives Matter protests. I’m not sure if I was surprised, I was definitely let down though. To see an exact example of what I was talking about be played out in front of me by one of the few people I follow on twitter was a bitterly ironic moment.

Maybe that was a good thing though, because that was what made me decide what I want to do next, and how I intend to move on. I want to see black girls in the industry feel safe, respected and valued. I want to see black girls decide to cook because they love it and want people to be happy, not because it’s expected of them or because they have something to prove.

While you could argue the Michelin star is obsolete, it’s still one of the most prestigious culinary rankings and it holds a lot of weight in the industry. And guess what? There’s only one black female chef with a star, and she got it in 2019. There’s so much work to be done. If you honestly believe that she is the only black woman deserving of a star, then you need to rethink your belief because it’s not true.

In the future, I see fine dining as a more open welcoming place. No more of the super elite, forced jacket wearing and front of house staff looking at you weirdly because you’re a person of colour and clearly don’t deserve to be in such an institution. I see fine dining as exactly what the phrase is. Good, well prepared food.

I see a whole new generation of black girls who are going to shake up the entire industry and show everyone what it means to be a chef. I see a current generation of black women already in the industry making big waves and showing everyone what it means to be a chef. I reckon I fit into the second category because I’ve been in the industry two years but at the same time, I just turned 20 and don’t feel that “grown” yet. I’m sure reality will hit once I finish uni.

To the black girls reading this, keep cooking. It’s your time and we’re so excited to see what you can do.

A Story on Colour

I talk about racism and harassment in this post, please read at your own discretion.

In the two years I’ve been working as a chef, I’ve seen the most amazing venues and kitchens, worked with food I’d never have the opportunity to make at home but on the flip side, I’ve experienced levels of racism, discrimination and harassment that would be shocking to a lot of people. I’ve come home from shifts, absolutely broken but I didn’t tell anyone what happened. There wasn’t any point, because that’s the reality of a black person in fine dining. My mum would see me look absolutely dead inside after a shift, and I’d tell her I’m just tired because I don’t want her to worry.

I used to write about the issues I faced at work in a joking manner, making light of the situations and really emphasising the fact that I worked long hours but skirting around what actually went on. The fact is, for most of my professional cooking career (before Covid hit and I wasn’t able to work), I was a black teenage girl in a kitchen full of much older white men. I think that sums it up quite well.

I’ve had my capabilities questioned, my suggestions ignored and I had one chef threaten to cut my braids off because he didn’t like the way they looked. It was maybe more than a threat, because I was approached with scissors and I said “If you touch my hair, you’re paying the £100 I spent on it.”

Working in the industry is hard and draining. Don’t listen to the cynical, washed out chefs who tell you it’s supposed to be like that, you’re supposed to be angry and depressed every shift because you aren’t. I’ve come out of shifts so excited, so inspired, no matter how tired I am and how long I’ve been working. I’ve done shifts that remind me why I love cooking so much and why I’m in the industry. The reason I’m drained and sad isn’t because I’m cooking all day it’s because the people I work with literally treat me like I’m subhuman and I can’t do anything about it.

The reason I’m drained and sad is because certain chefs feel so entitled to my space and my life that they can say the most disgusting things and get away with it.

No matter how long I’ve been working somewhere, no matter how long I’ve known these people, they’ll always act like I’m a new hire, desperate to prove myself and willing to do anything to show I have the skills. When in reality I know some of these menus and kitchens a lot better than my coworkers but I still have to fight to be respected.

There isn’t really an appropriate way to end this. I’m not sure exactly how to sign off because at the moment I’m upset thinking about what I, and so many young black women in the industry have gone through and will continue to go through.

I went to a predominately white school, I’ve always worked with mostly white people, and it was always uncomfortable to talk about race. I’d mention something and they’d get all awkward and angry with me for bringing it up. Even now, I feel weird bringing up race and my experiences in a professional environment if I know white people will be reading because I don’t want to look angry or ungrateful.

But fuck that.

I’m done skirting around the issue, I’m done hiding the fact that I’m uncomfortable just to keep people happy. Maybe finally discussing what I’ve gone through will inspire other people to do the same. And if people lose respect for me, I don’t really care because I don’t want your respect and you certainly don’t deserve mine.

An Evening Outside

My siblings were really restless, so dad took us out to one of their favourite parks in London, Richmond Park. I don’t make it a habit to go to that area of London, but I figured the fresh air would be good. Besides, we hadn’t been outside in a good three months.

When we arrived, we were greeted by a massive hill, which my two youngest siblings immediately decided to race up. My remaining sister and I walked up slowly, talking about whatever it is sisters talk about while walking up a hill. It was apparently much quieter than normal but I couldn’t imagine people running around playing in an area like this, even without the restrictions.

Maybe we felt a little out of place, running around loudly and not really speaking like everyone else in the area. Maybe I’m compensating for that now by writing more formally than I’m used to. It didn’t matter though, because we were having fun, and the kids could run around.

At one point, we all settled down to chill and talk about birds, and I figured this was the best time to whip out my camera and take some aesthetic photos.

If there’s something you have to know about my dad, it’s that he’s always trying to take pictures of you. It doesn’t matter the situation, he’ll always be holding his phone saying something about “family selfie” and then posting it to his whatsapp story. He says I’m the one obsessed with social media but I haven’t seen him without his phone in his hand, typing away.

Think about that.

After visiting the park, we took the long route home, via Twickenham Stadium. Unfortunately, the nature of my job has seen me work many unforgiving shifts there, on both prep and match days. Getting back home on a match day after a tense 13 hour shift usually involves a walk to Hounslow East because the buses are full and traffic refuses to go. The walk is definitely worse than the shift. But I won’t go into that today; I would be here forever.

But I’ll sign off with a simple question. What is it about Whitton that is so unnerving at 8pm on a match day?

Wholegrain Roti and a Lot More

So as I write this, I’m staring at my phone looking at the badly taken photos on Indian takeaway I ordered. I don’t actually eat that much Indian food, but my sister suggested I try something different to review. We looked up the best rated places in the area, Lahori Tikka Masala.

I didn’t bother taking out my camera and doing a photoshoot, because I was insanely hungry. But I was excited to talk about the food and review so here we go.

We ordered two types of of vegetable samosa; normal and Punjabi (which was considerably bigger and was seasoned differently.)

Both me and my sister preferred the normal style; the seasoning on that was top notch and the potato was cooked really well. We ordered two types of lamb, vindaloo and grilled chops. Both of them were seasoned amazingly too, and the spice level of vindaloo was perfect. (I love spicy food so I was happy they didn’t skimp out on the pepper.)

Finally, we ordered two types of roti. One plain, and one aloo paratha. Honestly, when I ripped into the tinfoil, I was surprised to see brown flour was used. Not for some weird culinary reason, but simply because I hadn’t tried wholegrain roti.

It was actually really good, albeit a little chewy. Again, the potato seasoning was top notch (I’m noticing a pattern here, are you?) and the balance of potato to other vegetables was really good.

All in all, it was a great meal and it was worth the money.

Bread, Bath, and Beyond

Due to circumstances, we’ve all found ourselves sitting inside without much to do. I’m cooking a lot to pass the time, for example I’ve just spent the day experimenting with macaron recipes and doing everything humanly possible to ignore uni work.
(It didn’t work, I’m going to study so hard tomorrow.)

A lot of people are taking the time to make sourdough bread, or banana bread, or any kind of bread really. Which seems fun, but I didn’t realise we as a nation liked bread so much. Hopefully this means we can move on from pre sliced bread because that stuff just isn’t the wave. Though this trend where everyone is cooking might put me out of business.

That’s all right though, we’re all doing what we need to survive. Stay strong everyone, and stay safe.