image by David Steele
My name Kavey. I like to eat!
I live in London, with my husband Pete.
Born in London to Indian immigrant parents, I grew up in a family that loves food from all around the world. During my childhood, mum cooked Indian a couple of times a week, but the rest of the time, we had a really wide range of food. We travelled a lot in our holidays, to places we found wonderfully exotic, and mum would often bring home a recipe or two such as peanut soup from Bolivia, something she still makes today. At home, mum fulfilled our enthusiasm for global cuisine courtesy of a shelf full of cookery books specialising in British, Chinese, Greek, French, Italian and Mexican recipes. And we had many family friends from diverse backgrounds with many more recipes to share.
I met Pete whilst at university. I studied French & History, but from the very beginning, I fell in with the geeks and it must have been prophetic as I’ve become pretty geeky myself over the years. Pete was (and is) my very favourite geek and we married a couple of months after I graduated, moving into our current home in North London.
Socialising is a huge part of our lives. We are fortunate to have lovely – if completely batty – families, and many fine friends from all arenas of our lives – school, university, work, photography and travel groups and now from food and drink blogging. It’s a lot of fun to spend time with them.
Other than people, my three passions in life are travelling, photography and food, which combine fortuitously well. Over the years, I’ve managed to infect Pete with my wanderlust, tempt him into the world of photography and of the two of us, he’s the far better cook!
Although we enjoy travelling for great food and culture, we both particularly love visiting the great wildlife destinations of the world to observe and photograph animals in their natural habitats. Favourite trips so far include Japan, France, Botswana, Namibia, Peru, India, Lebanon, The Falkand Islands and Antarctica. Near the top of my immense wish list are Costa Rica and Madagascar.
For my day job, I’m a self-employed contractor offering business analysis and bespoke IT Training services. What I most love about what I do is that it allows me to combine working closely with people – I like people! – with my geeky love for analysing processes and systems, finding solutions and producing documentation. Yes, I’m that rare weirdo who genuinely enjoys writing it all down, which is no doubt why I like blogging!
I mentioned that I fell in with the geeks at university, which meant I was quickly introduced to the internet and was instantly drawn into the online communities of the time – UseNet newsgroups such as rec.travel and alt.romance and chat relay IRC. (I often had to pretend to be a bloke though – any whiff of a hint that I might be a bona fide female bought out more sleazy offers of cybersex than you could imagine!)
The web as we think of it today was in its infancy, and I watched it develop from a time when most websites were static collections of text, with the occasional slow-loading image, to the vast, almost unthinkable world it is now, with discussion boards, instant chat not just in communal spaces but desktop to desktop, content sharing sites, social media and blogging. I can’t imagine where it will be in another 20 years time!
Long before food, I was heavily involved in hobby websites for travellers and photographers. I often instigated and organised real life get-togethers; the photography meet-ups in particular offered a great chance to indulge in a shared hobby together.
Through the ‘90sand early ‘00s I met thousands of people, including many overseas travellers visiting London or passing through en-route to Europe or Africa. I only met one genuine nutter who scared the hell out of me, so that’s pretty reassuring, right?
These days, I’m happy that meeting people online is considered completely normal and indeed, it’s seen as a hand way to find people with the same esoteric interests and oddities as oneself!
Although I read the occasional food website, it wasn’t until 2001 that me and the online food world finally became better acquainted: When my sister and I left home, we missed mum’s Indian cooking the most and we’d frequently phone home for advice on making keema peas or chicken curry. We begged mum to write her recipes down for us and so began the laborious process of handwriting a family cookbook. It wasn’t long before the idea of a website version surfaced and mum, Pete and I created Mamta’s Kitchen in May 2001. Not long after we launched, someone at the Beeb came across the site and added it to their curated list of recommended food websites. That lead to mum joining the BBC Food Chat board, as it was then known, and I followed her there shortly afterwards.
From there, I started to read more and more food blogs, and began interacting with fellow food lovers as much as I did with travel and photography people.
So… long before I had a blog, I shared my own food thoughts online in chat rooms, on discussion boards, at LiveJournal, via email and even in the comments sections on other peoples’ blogs! I wrote long rambling restaurant reviews, thoughts on favourite ingredients, reports about food festivals I’d attended, notes about kitchen equipment we’d purchased, feedback on recipes we’d tried and enjoyed…
It was on my way home from an evening of tasting chocolate Easter eggs that I came to the sudden realisation that I’d been stealth blogging – all the symptoms of blogging without an actual blog!
That night, I stayed up very late creating my own blog over on blogspot. I gave only a second’s thought to the name, so I’m lucky I picked something I’ve been happy to stick with! Aware that I’d been writing content for quite some time I decided to seek out what I could, and copied it across to the new space.
The blog went live on the 2nd April 2009, with a small archive stretching back to 2006.
In that first month, I wrote 14 posts, prolific by anyone’s standards. I worried I’d burn out or get bored before long but several hundred posts later, I think I’m here for the foreseeable!
These days I blog cookery book and restaurant reviews, our experiences growing and cooking our own fruit and vegetables, recipes, random reflections on food, interviews with food producers and restaurateurs, reports on cookery classes and food festivals and I’m also sharing more of my travel experiences through combined hotel and restaurant reviews.
One of the best things about writing this blog is the opportunities it gives me. Number one remains interacting with and meeting readers, fellow bloggers and inspirational experts in the industry, whether they are chefs, producers or food writers.
Writing Kavey Eats gives me so much pleasure, not least because of that dialogue, and I am very grateful to all of you who take the time to leave me a comment to let me know you’ve enjoyed a post, learned something new, have an idea to share or even disagree with something I’ve said.
Now and again, I write about my childhood and personal life within regular blog posts. Click here to see all posts with my biography tag.