I was brought up in a family known as ‘The Foody Shaws’! Needless to say my love of food started at an early age. My Mum, Dad and Nana were all avid and excellent cooks so I got the bug from them. I don’t ever remember being specifically taught to cook anything but I left home for university with the ability and desire to eat proper meals. Fellow students used to find it hysterical that Abi (my twin sister) and I would plan and shop for our weekly menu. £25 a week bought enough ingredients and a few treats to last a week. We made good, standard student grub – tuna and sweet corn pasta, cheese sauce and bacon on jacket potatoes, sausage bolognaise. I suppose the difference being was that we made everything from scratch – no jars of béchamel or bolognaise for us. It was just the way we cooked.
My love of food has developed throughout my life and most of my memories – be they of my travels, past jobs, past events, are based around food. My cooking style is above all practical – simple but yummy food, ideal for family and friends.
I became a primary teacher 10 years ago and have spent the last 5 years as a reception teacher. I have always loved cooking with the children I teach. Apart from teaching them basic cooking skills there is also a huge array of other benefits to getting children cooking: developing maths skills (weighing/measuring/halving etc); literacy skills (reading recipes); team work/negotiation/turn taking; being creative; understanding how to be healthy….. the list goes on and on.
I am lucky to live in Hexham, Northumbria, which is a county full of gorgeous foody places, many of which are great for children. I am a mum of two boys and have started to impart my knowledge of cooking onto them. Having children has also broadened my cooking skills. My baking has definitely improved as there is now a need for birthday cakes and contributions to school cake stalls! My eldest son has various food allergies and intolerances so I have learnt and developed a range of recipes for him encompassing egg, dairy, soya and tomato free diets. I feel really strongly about supporting parents with children with allergies so that they can cook homemade, nutritious and delicious food for their children. No child should have to miss out.
I started ‘Baker Be’ as I am passionate about getting children cooking and interested in food. Having the skills and knowledge to cook a balanced diet is a life skill which every child has the right to be taught. Cooking is also creative, fun and practical and all children can be involved.
- Fully qualified teacher with 10 years experience
- Full DBS Disclosure Certificate held
- Foods Standards Agency – Allergy Training
- Level 2 Food Hygiene for Catering
- HABC Level 3 Award in Paediatric First Aid
My belief is that children learn the best in a fun and relaxed environment. I encourage every child to get stuck in and have a go. I certainly don’t mind a bit of flour on the floor! If your pizza isn’t perfect or your cake collapses it doesn’t matter!! We have been creative and have learnt something.
Promoting a healthy lifestyle
In teaching children to cook their own food from scratch we are providing them with a better understanding of nutrition. In giving children the opportunity to taste and enjoy new and healthy foods we are encouraging them to make good food choices now and throughout their lives.