Why I gave up a successful cake decorating career and started a food blog
I started Bellissimo Kitchen because I am passionate about food and healthy eating and in particular, getting children to eat healthy food. I know from personal experience that eating well reduces your chances of falling ill and helps promote a healthy body and healthy mind.
To help you understand how I got here I need to rewind a little bit!
A few years ago, I had begun to establish myself as a successful wedding cake designer. I also taught fellow cake makers how to decorate cakes and was beginning to get teaching opportunities around the world. My first book Bellissimo Wedding Cakes was published in 2015. I was one of the contributing authors to the Gourmand Best UK Cookbook for Professionals 2014, The Art of Sugarcraft and I also contributed to Designer Cake Decorating published in 2019. I recorded an online class for Craftsy, and created the Bellissimo Flexi Smoothers and the Bellissimo Pipe and Press in conjunction with Squires Kitchen.
Despite my hours of hard work finally paying off (anyone who makes cakes for a living knows the hours involved in making this a success!) I was beginning to suffer health issues.
In my twenties I had overcome Crohn’s disease through healthy eating but this had started to slip when l had a family. As my life got busy my health started to deteriorate so I got retested for Crohn’s. Fortunately, I was given the all-clear but something wasn’t right, so I started searching for answers.
What I discovered was so shocking, I didn’t quite believe it at first.
According to numerous health experts the reason why I and countless other people were suffering health problems could be explained by the increasing use of weedkiller in growing and harvesting crops.
What do I mean by this?
In recent years it has become common practice to spray conventionally grown crops including wheat, barley, oats and beans with weedkiller to ripen them. They are then harvested and make their way into the food chain. Tests have found traces of glyphosate, the active ingredient in weedkiller in many food products such as breakfast cereal, bread and pasta which are derived from these crops.
In addition to this, conventionally reared animals are being fed genetically modified grains despite them being banned for human consumption in the UK. These grains are also being sprayed with weedkiller having being engineered to resist it. If you buy non-organic meat, eggs and dairy products then the animals that produce them have most likely been fed GM grains.
I found all this very alarming and didn’t want my family to consume these foods. Immediately I stopped buying conventionally grown food and switched to organic. Organic food standards prohibit the use of weedkiller as a desiccant and the feeding of animals GM grains. I also began making all our meals from scratch having previously fallen into the pattern of using convenience foods. As my health and the health of my family improved, I realised there was a direct connection between the type of food we were eating and our wellbeing.
Conventionally grown processed food was making us ill, organically grown food prepared from scratch was making us well.
With this realisation I knew I wanted to help others make this connection and be able to do something about it themselves. Although I loved cake decorating and teaching I gave up my career to become a school cook. My hope was to help improve the health of children and the food choices that they make. I feel very strongly that something needs to be done to change the eating habits of children before they become set for life on a path to poor health.
Since becoming a school cook however, I now realise hoping children will eat healthily is wishful thinking on my part! Many children are not aware of the benefits of eating healthy food and the side effects of junk food. If they don’t know the reasons why highly processed foods are detrimental to their health then why would they not want to eat them? Scientists have formulated these foods to satiate our tastebuds making them difficult to resist.
This is why I have trained as a Culinary Nutrition Expert and set up Bellissimo Kitchen. My aim is to help you and your children understand the benefits of eating well and why it is so important to your wellbeing.
I also want to help you encourage your children to learn how to cook. If they can cook then as they get older they will be able to look after themselves and won’t have to rely on the processed foods that are wreaking havoc on our health.
Don’t worry if you’re not a confident cook yourself, I’m here to support you. I will be going back to basics and sharing videos from how to chop an onion to how to make delicious healthy dishes that you can all enjoy making and eating together.
So with that in mind, let’s get cooking!