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about me

my personal journey

When I was eight years old, I created my very first cookbook. And by create, I mean using magazine cut-outs, photocopies, library books, and a blue highlighter, but still, it was one of my very first foodie memories. I went to study Home Economics at University and spent a stint of 10 years in London teaching, travelling and learning a lot about food and different cultures and also attending cooking courses at Ashburton cookery school and Leiths school of food and wine.

When I page through a recipe book or food magazine I get inspired and am in awe of the beauty that stylists and chefs create with food. Food in all its forms is my love language, my creative outlet, and my life’s purpose. I also recently fell in love with food photography so all pictures on this blog and my social media accounts are taken by me.

the big A

Although this foodie loves to eat I was also diagnosed in 2003 with a rare auto-immune disease called Achalasia, my lower esophageal sphincter fails to open during swallowing and my food sometimes gets stuck. I have had an operation and have to get a gastroscopy every now and again but otherwise, I am managing it with diet and trying to manage my stress levels and I am living a pretty normal life.

This illness has given me a great awareness of the effect of nutrition on our bodies and I hope to become an integrative nutritionist in the near future to help even more people struggling with their health and autoimmune diseases.

returning to South Africa

Upon returning to South Africa, I decided that I wanted to make a difference by teaching people cooking skills and helping them to turn their lives around through good nutrition in a creative and uncomplicated way. For the last 5 years, I have been teaching children and adults at my home studio, I have enjoyed it so much but having classes at my home also put pressure on our family life so we have made the decision to start using technology to my advantage to reach more people.

Besides running the Wooden Spoon Kitchen blog, I am also a keen food stylist, recipe developer, and a product developer of clever kitchen ideas, to help you be more organised in the kitchen. The meal planner and wholefood pantry labels available on my online shop are the first products of this range and designed by someone who cooks and shops all the time.

This journey is one of living a simpler life committed to eating real food in a complex and artificial world and with Wooden Spoon Kitchen, I want to bring the focus back to what it signifies to me; sturdy, trustworthy, rustic, lasting and homey, versatile cookery that influences our lifestyles for the good. These are the characteristics and authenticity that I want to reflect on my blog.

Thankfully, I married a wonderfully patient and venturesome husband who promised me at the altar (in front of all our witnesses), that he will always eat my experimental dishes – which he has to date! We also have two beautiful children (that are not always impressed with mummy’s cooking) that I get to share this adventure with.

Wooden Spoon Kitchen will be the heart from where I will share recipes, meal plans, trendy eateries, and quirky kitchen must-haves.

I will also keep you up to date with workshops and hope to inspire you along the way to live a more healthy, simple and sustainable lifestyle.  If you want to receive more information regarding my services please get in contact and sign-up for my monthly newsletter full of inspiring foodie news and recipes

I cannot wait to meet you and begin a beautiful cooking journey together because, in my kitchen, anyone can cook! Follow me on social media Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

love, Ankie

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