Valentine Warner

In 1972 I was born to two very good home cooks and my first food memory was my second birthday cake: an iced sponge beehive, swarming with sugar bees. By the age of five, when not terrorising the farm, the kitchen had become my favourite room and me the little hawk standing on a chair staring into the pots and pans. The foundation of where I find myself now was the very act of biting everything and eating everything, attempting to make sense of the world by trying to get it into my mouth. My father animated the country side that surrounded us and here I learnt the important connection between the natural world and the table, finding the lives of the plants and animals as interesting as the dish they provide. A sense of environment and history on a plate. I spent several frenetic years in the hot burrows of London's restaurant kitchens, where my fidgety, inquisitive and speedy nature came in handy. I worked here, there and everywhere and was most happy. A catering company followed and then a strange courtship with television. Fortunately after six years of, 'you're strange' I was delivered to the doorstep of the BBC. Onwards.

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