The new Beyond Baked Beans team
With James having graduated and Sig taking a sabbatical from academia we’ve recruited two new students to help us this year both of whom have already been busy posting on our Facebook page. Here's what they say about themselves and their passion for cooking:
CLARE LAWRY is 19 and I'm a second year Geology student at the University of Liverpool.
"Today is the two week anniversary of moving into my student house with three good friends after living in catered halls last year. The freedom to cook when and what I want has been such fun, not to mention beneficial to my health. From Easter onwards last year, I was living on microwaved convenience food to avoid the canteen!
Cooking has been part of my life for so long that I couldn’t tell you how it all started. My earliest memory is baking with my mum and thinking what an incomprehensably long time 30 minutes was (baking time!). I’m surprised mum and dad let me keep cooking to be honest, I had such an aversion to following recipes- flat, eggy cakes and messy kitchens were my speciality!
I don’t have any favourite things to cook, reading recipe books, surfing cookery websites and blogs and watching cookery programmes inspire me to make a random assortment of things. I’ll turn my hand to anything if it looks like fun- especially if it’s widely thought to be a bit tricky! At the moment my favourite foods are risottos, partly because I can put all the dying vegetables in my fridge into them. My cookery dreams revolve around being on Come Dine With Me (I know, I know why would anyone subject themselves to Dave Lamb!). I’m part of the food and beverage society at uni and we’re staging our own competition this year so I think I’ll have to satisfy my dream by that means."
GEMMA SUMMONS is a 3rd year medic at Cardiff
"I'm 20 and I live in an all-girl student house with 2 other medics and one of my best friends from home who does History and Philosophy. I hardly ever cooked before university - literally the odd Sunday roast or dessert - but I'd watched Mum cook a lot so I picked up the odd tip here and there. However when I came to uni, I only got as far as putting some butter in my trolley before panicking and ringing Mum up asking what else I needed! Also accidentally put coffee in spag bol so my first week as a culinary genius didn't get off to the best start! But I kept at it, read tons of recipes and followed them all to the letter and learned bit by bit and now I'd say I'm a pretty good cook - my housemates claim I'm like some kind of Delia which isn't true but it's a start :) I always try to learn new recipes, and cook something different every week. I love all sorts of food but the one dish I could just eat and eat and eat has to be spag bol. I love anything with an intense tomatoey flavour so when I make a large batch I always end up eating about half of it in one sitting because I keep going back for more!"
The third regular member of our team is NICOLA MIRAMS (left) 20, a third year history student at Durham. She says she is particularly keen on baking and is often known to make cake for no reason at all, not that her friends and family mind . . . (We’re sure they don’t!) When she's not baking she can be found playing her flute as she is a member of several musical ensembles.
We also appreciate the input we still get from Charlie Edmunds and Verity Orme who were the other contributors who earned maximum reward points last year and one of our three student authors and video king, Guy Millon, who is now doing an MA at Exeter.
Those of you who are fans of Sig and James will be pleased to know that they’ve done brilliantly well on the strength of their involvement with the Beyond Baked Beans project and Ultimate Student Cookbook. Both now have agents and are currently in the process of trying to get a book deal! You can keep track of what they’re up to on their blogs Scandilicious and The Larder Lout.
(Incidentally it's pure coincidence that all our new contributors are female. We'd love to get some more blokes involved - after all it's mainly men who get to be chefs (as you can see from our celebrity recipes) and we know you can cook if you put your mind to it. So don't be shy - let's hear from you!)