Denise from Ginger and Lime by Sandy L, photography by Adrian Lazarus

I would be lying if I claimed to be a huge foodie. I have always believed my twin was blessed with the ‘love of cooking’ gene. Denise started the night telling us about herself and how she is not a chef but loves food. She also told us that the kitchen is the heart of the home and that we should feel at home, which we did immediately. I felt like I was walking into my best friends house for dinner among friends.

Denise, What gave you the idea to do this?
I love cooking. I am absolutely passionate about what I do and for me to do this, inviting people into my kitchen is my dream. For me it is not like work, I get so excited about what I prepare and about the people that are going to come into the kitchen and play with me, I really enjoy it so I want to share it with people.

Cooking as a therapy, tell me a bit more about this?
I think bonding over food and the elements it brings out in people is amazing. It is a soul thing, it really is. It is a connection that happens when people cook together and eat together, experience flavours together, have a glass of wine together. It is definitely a soul connection that happens and I think that is what is needed in troubled relationships.

I asked my friends Julia and Adrian to throw in some questions for you. Julia wanted to know what your favourite dish is?
My favourite dish… I have so many.. what do I like the best? Oh my gosh. I think it is seasonal stuff. I absolutely love a mozzarella tomato salad. When you are in Italy there is nothing else like that. A Caprese salad, I could have every day. I like simple things as well. I would probably say tomato and mozzarella are pretty much up there.

Tell me about your team?
Almo is my brother-in-law, he is doing it for the passion and just for the love of it. We just kind of dance in the kitchen together, we always have. So it is fantastic to have that support and have him with me. Peter has been with me for four or five years now and he is learning tremendously day by day. It is lovely to work with someone who is passionate and also interested in food. I am sure he is going to be doing some of the courses soon as well. Charity has just started and Des has been with us forever. She is the au pair so she is with the kids, so by default, she is helping, she just knows the systems so well.

So I asked Adrian what he would ask you, do you know what The Adrian came up with. What would one expect from such a character? He asked how this is affecting your sex life or not? Do not answer, he is clearly on crack.
Listen I want to tell you something, the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach right, well it also works with other parts of the body as well.

Almo, let’s chat…
Almo- I think for us we are a family of people who enjoy cooking and if you look at most of Gavin and Denise’s closest friends, well we are all foodies we all enjoy food. So whenever we are together in a social gathering or a family gathering it is always about the food. Who is going to make what and who is bringing what. What are we going to try this time? What is new and happening, what is the trend. It is always great fun.

Your passion makes me want to cook something, which believe me is equivalent to the splitting of the Red Sea.

Gavin (The husband). What do you think of your wife inviting strangers into your kitchen?
Twenty four years of marriage later and everything has taken on a new lease of life. Allow your wife to pursue her passion and see her reopen and reinvigorated, a new and refreshed love for life. It is absolutely amazing.


Kathy and Lance were also learning a thing or two from Cathy.

Kathy -I am going to live for the salad, the rest of it you can have but this salad I live for.
Lance- Besides learning to become an expert chef in like…

In how many hours did that happen?
Lance- 24 minutes actually.

Expert chef wow, that is going on your Linkedin profile.
Lance- I know how to put coriander on everything. But really it has been incredible, the flavours are unbelievable. I didn’t realize the combinations that would be created here tonight would be so exciting for my palate.

The social side? You met some dicey characters I saw the table next to you.
Kathy- …other than that a perfect evening.
Lance- I know how to wrap fish in paper and put it in the oven.

I heard you weren’t the best, there was someone who was better than you but don’t worry you gave it your all, that is what is important.
Kathy- There was this one girl who ate all the salmon herself, that was a bit surprising to us all.

Only because the salmon was so damn good, along with everything else.




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Photographer – Adrian Lazarus

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