From humble beginnings Kay puts her success down to a ‘life-long love of cooking,’ which sparked when she was a child. ‘My passion for cooking evolved from being surrounded by good wholesome home-cooking and baking. Looking back on my childhood, I remember sitting around the kitchen table enjoying meals cooked with ingredients that had been foraged, picked from our garden or sourced from the gardens and greenhouses of neighbours and relatives. I was the little girl who loved to cook… often watching and helping Mum in the kitchen or sitting for hours flicking through her cookery books,’ she reminisces.
It wasn’t, however, an easy start. ‘I literally started The Quirky Cook from my home kitchen in Borrowash. It was a case of using my own money and a few credit cards!’ Luckily the business quickly grew, and awards followed.
So, is she a chef or a cook? Rather than seeing herself in culinary terms, Kay would describe her work as that of an artist. ‘I see my own set of skills as being somewhat similar to a professional florist who has the instinct, flair and creativity to mix together individual items to produce a thing of great beauty. I transform natural ingredients into something very special and love to experiment with flavours and spices until I know I have achieved the wow factor.’
Above:The Quirky Cook at work