My passion for cooking is inspired by the memory of my father, Peter Fricker. He had so many talents but what I missed most when he died in 2013 was his talent in the kitchen.
He always rustled up the most delicious dishes with such attention to detail – the flavour, the presentation, the story behind the recipe. Every family meal felt special.
As a result, many of my favourite memories of Dad are linked to food - from him treating us to a Michelin star restaurant on holiday in France, to teaching me to grill freshly caught mackerel on a camping holiday in Cornwall.
I wanted to keep those memories alive, and share them with others. I started to cook more often – for myself, for my family, and for friends – and I fell in love with it. Three years later, Natalia’s Kitchen was born.
To me, mealtimes are more than just a necessity of life. They are a sacred time of day to connect with those around us – be it family, friends or total strangers. They are a time for reflecting, chatting, learning.
As landlords turn living rooms into bedrooms, spaces for sharing a meal are fast disappearing. With long hours and on-the-go lives, time for cooking and eating together often gets squeezed out. And social media means we communicate online more than in person.
Natalia’s Kitchen is a celebration of the magic of mealtimes – bringing people together through delicious food, and taking the time to share stories with one another, face to face.
Cooking with a Conscience
As well as connecting people around the table, I want to reconnect them to food. With supermarkets lined with ready meals and vegetables packed in plastic we are removed from our food, the earth or sea it came from, and the people who planted, picked or packaged it.
On-demand culture encourages us to ‘Just Eat’ but when we don't think, our planet and fellow humans we share it with pay the price – from plastic choking our oceans to the exploitation of fruit farmers.
We have the power to change things through our purchase power. And what better way than through the food we eat - something we do three times a day.
By making small changes to our shopping and eating habits, we can have a big impact – from buying plastic-free vegetables to buying meat from ethical sources. I try to help by cooking with a conscience and hope I can encourage you to too. :)