Who am I?
Hi, I’m Val McArthur and I am a passionate chef who never tires of planning, sourcing, cooking and eating delicious food. I love food so much I decided to give up a career in publishing to re-train as a chef, and have been dipping my fingers into a variety of culinary pots ever since.
The transition to fully-fledged gourmand occurred when I moved to London in my 20s. Being exposed to new and different cuisines ignited my desire to discover and cook new, exciting and interesting dishes. Trying new combinations and cooking with fresh and seasonal ingredients became my passion.
I decided to go back to my roots and re-train as a chef in Scotland and take my skills to the next level. After an intense six months, and cooking with some wonderful Scottish produce, I returned to London. Since then, I have gained a variety of experience ranging from chef roles in corporate and private catering food styling, assisting on editorial and TV commercial photo-shoots, working on TV food programmes and private cooking.
My food influences are far-reaching and, like a lot of cooks, draw on a wealth of different world-wide cuisines and inspirations to produce tasty dishes using as many seasonal British ingredients as possible. I particularly love Thai, Moroccan, Middle-Eastern and Spanish cuisine, but I’m always trying new food and flavour combinations to keep things interesting.
I lean towards healthy and vibrant looking food – but there is no food off limits; that’s where the joy of eating lies. I could never say no to a golden caramelised apple tatin with vanilla icecream. We all need to indulge every now and again. We are blessed with such a rich larder of wonderful ingredients in the UK, it’s easy to create tempting dishes that are nutritious as well as being utterly delicious too. The recipes you will find here are what I love to eat – uncomplicated, packed full with flavour and put a smile on your face.
Let me help to inspire you to get into the kitchen and cook light, healthy and tasty meals.