I am delighted to welcome ProgDins’ first international correspondent, Emica, an Australian living in the UK. By way of introduction, you should know that Emica left Australia for London four years ago and suffered a bit of a shock, going from low key Perth to the hustle bustle of Arab-Somali-Cypriot-Turkish north London.
Emica’s first memory is of standing on a stool at her mum’s butcher’s block aged about 3 “helping” make soup with carrot tops and potato peelings in a bowl of water. When she got a proper cubby house a few years later she played cooking with her mum’s out of date spices. So her love of food and cooking started pretty early and, with a few notable disasters (grey, rubbery Swedish meatballs in year 10 home ec, for example), it’s been a creative outlet and source of relaxation ever since.
Living in diverse, chaotic, amazing London has paid huge culinary dividends. She’s discovered Turkish ocakbasi (grill houses), Nigel Slater, Yotam Ottolenghi, pomegranate molasses and jerk chicken, experienced the highs and oh-so-lows of numerous curry houses, can tell a well kept pint from a stale one, eaten at Locanda Locatelli, continued the search for the perfect Vietnamese fresh spring roll and generally gone in search of good food across the UK and Europe.
Emica has never knowingly under-catered and she agrees with Nigella when she says that ‘the kitchen is a place to escape to, not from’.
Her first post is on avoiding the tourist traps around Trafalgar Square. Everyone say hello to Emica!