Food is fundamental not only to our survival but to our evolution as peoples.

Throughout history, across cultures, rites of passage such as births, puberty, weddings and funerals have been intertwined with what we eat. I’ve been in love with the art and science of cooking for over two decades.

Baked my first cake at 12. Designed cheesy menus on our dot-matrix printer for family dinners. Fed hungry university friends on a student budget. Won food trivia competitions (go on, challenge me).

Participated in recipe competitions – Jamie Oliver and Laura Calder, take note! Cooked on community television. Dreamt of – and invited – celebrities to dine with me (none have taken up the offer so far!).

Traveled far and wide in search of a good meal: Cairo, Mumbai, Paris, Marrakesh, Tulum, San Francisco.

I’ve had the privilege of living in some of the world’s finest food cities: Dubai, London, Toronto, and most recently, Seattle.

I love markets and mega-marts equally; the latter more useful as a mother to a toddler. Food has taken on a whole new meaning – imparting culture and history, nutrition and pleasure – and time is short, palates slowly expanding.

I’m watching myself more carefully – don’t offer food as a reward, encourage proper meal times, limit snacking, build a culture around eating well and living well.

I’m exploring feeding my community through online portals, and getting through lunches and dinners with a kid under 2. Join me in this journey as a junkie for gourmet food on a budget!