My name is Matthew and I’m the other half of Mealmen. I’m a complete novice with regards to food-writing but have a photography blog that started about 6 months ago that I post to on a somewhat irregular basis so am not entirely new to blogging. George and I have known each other since art college in the early 90s and since then our main topic of conversation usually revolves around food. What’s been eaten, shopped for, painstakingly and patiently slaved over, hastily thrown together, recipes tried, dishes invented or ripped off and tweaked. Whenever we get together – not often enough, we cook together.
I started cooking and experimenting with ingredients from an early age and I think it was the mr Kipling Bakewell tart that my friend and I shared one day that inspired me to have go at baking. I was 10 or 11 when, both bored during a rainy summer holidays, collected enough of my dad’s returnable beer bottles to take to the local grocer for the 50p that enabled us to purchase the aspirational delights of mr Kipling.
My taste sensations were blown away and I realised that I had no option but to repeat the almond essence experience another time. With the help of my busy and pestered mum I tracked down a Delia Smith recipe and made a second trip to the local Spar for the raw ingredients. On returning home, I carefully followed the instructions and to my utter joyful disbelief created another, surprisingly tastier and altogether more wholesome Bakewell.
The realisation that I could, as an 11 year old boy, make all manner of cakes and not long after, chocolate fudge, rum truffles, brandy snaps and lemon meringue pie was totally empowering.
From those early sugary days I was hooked and swiftly moved on to savoury stuff; mostly of the Anglo-Indian variety that had been the family staple food throughout my childhood. It wasn’t until my late teens that I got interested in cooking curries, rice dishes, parathas and just spicing anything up that I found bland and boring. Chilli ( fresh or powder ) was added to mostly everything on my dinner plate from the Kipling days. I’m pleased to say that I’m still just as addicted to the things now!