I'm an Irish cookbook author and food writer, born in Belfast and raised in the Co. Antrim countryside. After graduating from Edinburgh University, in 1985 I moved to France, my food paradise. For thirty years I've lived in and around Paris, twenty of those in the foodiest of French families (wine negociants on one side, flour millers on the other), raising four children, working at first in fashion, marketing and PR. And, like most of my French girlfriends of the time, aspiring to the ultimately impossible Superwoman Parisienne norms of the 1990s.
Then, out of the blue, just as I was starting a chocolate business and expecting my fourth child in true Superwoman style (massive eyeroll), I was approached by French publishers Hachette to write my first cookbook, “Petits Plats entre Amis” (Marabout 2001). To my complete shock and delight, it was a hit, and I leapt into my new, unexpected career.
I've now published over thirty, often award-winning, widely translated books in English and French, presented five cookery TV series for the BBC and RTÉ , and in 2009 I was listed as one of French Vogue and GQ’s 40 Women of the decade. Here's a BBC Radio 4 Food Programme where I talk to Sheila Dillon about my this period of my life in France and return (escape!) to Ireland in 2015 after a very French divorce.
I'm also immensely proud to be The Gloss Magazine's food columnist. I've written and continue to write about food, travel and restaurants for ELLE and ELLE à Table, Régal, France Magazine, Wallpaper Guides, The Guardian, The Observer Food Monthly, Libération, The Sunday Times and The Irish Times.
These days, home is the sleepy Sarthoise countryside, on the edge of the green and beautiful Perche region, birthplace of the world's most noble and fragrant heavy horses. I am not quite sure what this next, intensely bucolic chapter will bring. In many ways I've come full circle, living in the country again and launching a new small business. But for now, I'm letting my French home and table bring strength and nourishment of all kinds into my life, and I’d be very happy to share it all with you. XT