The Short Version
My name is Ed Smith. I am a food writer, doodler, eater and trained chef. I write regularly for Borough Market’s online and print magazines, and occasionally for the likes of The Independent on Sunday, the Guardian, The Financial Times Weekend Magazine, and The Telegraph. I was named ‘Best Online Restaurant Writer’ and shortlisted for ‘Best Cookery Writer’ at the 2015 Fortnum and Mason Food and Drink Awards. Which was nice.
I’m currently writing my first recipe book, On The Side, which was shortlisted for the inaugural Jane Grigson Trust Award. That was nice too. (It’ll be published by Bloomsbury in Spring 2017 – start saving those pennies.)
Writing and recipe development takes up much of my life, but I’m also Creative Director of Cannon and Cannon, the retailers and distributers of British cured meat.
This blog, Rocket & Squash, is a journal of food related experiences that I think are worth sharing. It covers the restaurants I go to, the meals I cook, food related travel and other items of note. Every Monday I publish a digest of the recipes in the weekend papers.
The Longer Yarn
I started the blog in May 2010 for a whole host of reasons, though I don’t really remember now what most of those were.
Perhaps it was to motivate me to tick off the restaurants on my ever-growing list of places to go, and to regularly cook new things. It might also have been because I thought that writing a blog would provide me with a creative outlet; an escape from my job as a City lawyer, based around the things I liked doing the most.
Whatever the spark, I thoroughly enjoyed doing it.
In December 2011 I decided to leave that well paid job as I finally realised that I wanted at least to try and earn a living in the food industry.
- I achieved distinction grade for the Level 3 Professional Chef Diploma at Westminster Kingsway college, do occasional stints in high-end restaurant kitchens, sporadically host occasional supper clubs and help other chefs with their events;
- I was the Assistant Producer and Food Consultant on Raymond Blanc’s ‘How to Cook Well’;
- I consult for corporates, speak at events and menu develop for new restaurant/takeaway concepts;
- I also offer my services for private cooking tuition and catering. See the links in the left hand margins; and
- For half my week, I am the Creative Director of Cannon and Cannon.
But mostly I write:
- I contribute each month to Borough Market online, Borough Market Life, and various online food magazines;
- My written work and recipes have appeared in (among others) The Guardian, The Independent on Sunday (RIP), The Financial Times Weekend Magazine, The Telegraph Weekend, The Sunday Times, Sainsbury’s Magazine, The Covent Garden and Marylebone Journals, The Foodie Bugle, Cereal Magazine, and Toast Magazine; and
- I was delighted to be named ‘Best Online Restaurant Writer’ as well as (somewhat unbelievably) being shortlisted alongside Diana Henry and Yotam Ottolenghi as ‘Best Cookery Writer’ at the 2015 Fortnum and Mason Food Awards.
- Other trumpet blowing includes being shortlisted for ‘Best Online Food Writer’ in the 2013 Fortnum and Mason Food Awards, ‘Best Online Restaurant Writer’ in the 2014 awards, numerous ‘Best Blog’ and Instagrammer line-ups, and also being a finalist at the 2014 Pink Lady Food Photographer of the Year Awards.
Rocket & Squash will continue to evolve over time – no doubt it will chart or at least reflect my descent from the comfort of salaried lawyer, to enthusiastic chef student and wannabe food writer, to abject failure, poverty and then the inevitable creep back to my former profession.
At the time of writing, I am 33 and a bit years old and still have most of my hair. I’m rarely happier than when I’m sat with a slice of well toasted sourdough, good butter, great anchovies and an overpriced filter coffee.
London, March 2015
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