Ten Game-Changing Women
I am lucky that in my life and my work I get to meet some fascinating women.
Here is a list of ten game-changing women who I have taken inspiration from over the last months or years, some of them doing things quietly in their own kitchens, others taking on the system and disrupting the status quo, but all of them doing something, putting their actions behind their words, juggling work, life, hustling and, for many, weaving motherhood in amongst everything they do. I have been lucky enough to know and work with all these women and they inspire me every damn day.
Founder of the incredible The Pool which has now sadly folded, I love Sam’s take on the world, from books to campaigning, her instagram is one of my favourites. Her work is thought-provoking and forward-thinking and I am so excited for what she will do next.
Ana Cuba is a photographer and all round creative force and she shot my latest book, The Modern Cook’s Year. Though food books are not her day to day, she brought such a welcome change of perspective to the pictures coming form more of a fashion background. Her photographs are always impossibly beautiful and challenge lots of norms on sexuality and gender.
Maisie is a great friend and was our doula (a kind of birth wing-woman) when Dylan was born. Maisie has been specialising in women’s health for more than a decade, she is my go to on anything from periods to pregnancy and is just a wise soul. We are lucky enough to be able to share some of the same ideas on parenting too. Maisie’s book Period Power: Harness Your Hormones and Get Your Cycle Working For You is out this May and is going to be a game changer. It is the book I wish someone had handed to me the day I got my period, it shows you how to use your cycle to get the most out of it and in turn your life.
Coppafeel! are an amazing group of people doing everything they can to raise awareness of breast cancer. The charity was founded in 2009 by my amazing pal Kris, following her diagnosis of secondary breast cancer at 23. She made it her mission to ensure other young people don’t find themselves in a similar situation; where they’re told the cancer cannot be cured because it was found late. The word is overused, but she is inspirational. For a good intro to what an amazing person Kris is, listen to her on this podcast with Fearne Cotton.
My sister who works in the world of holistic sexuality and has set up a platform called Her Resonance to share information and offer coaching and events to celebrate and connect with our femininity and sexuality. It’s a really interesting and unique approach of combining science and spirituality so women can feel truly happy in their own bodies. Laura studied with incredible teachers in the sexuality field and I feel super proud of who she’s become and what she’s sharing with the world.
Laura Plane is my friend who sadly passed away last year but she still shines bright in my life. I think of her every day and how she lived impacts how I live and make decisions every day. A kind of ‘what would Laura do?’ situation – the answers always help me, from acting with kindness and compassion to dressing in head to toe glitter and owning the dance floor. We celebrate who Laura was every year at the festival started in her name Laufest in aid of Coppafeel! Anyone can come, tickets here.
Rosie is a friend and neighbour and cooks the kind of food I want to eat. She develops and tests recipes for lots, and has authored her own beautiful book The Recipe Wheel. Rosie also runs the amazing Charcoal Art Club at my Hackney studio once a month. It’s a night of life drawing, dinner and brilliant people and is one of my favourite things this winter. Rosie is also a brilliant painter and artist and all round well of creativity. And a mum of two great little humans.
Anna is an amazing cook and food writer who develops food for conscious brands. Anna worked with me on my last book and is such a joy of a person to be around. She has since moved to Bristol, and Bristol is lucky to have her. She also works on editorial projects and brings a level of enthusiasm to books that is absolutely infectious. She runs supperclubs from her Bristol flat, all vegetarian and based around seasonal produce. I can’t wait to go to one – there are two coming up in March.
Nena is a natural chef and work with me on lots of shoots for my columns and books. Nena is particularly brilliant when it comes to fermentation, kombucha, kefir – she is your woman. I love working with Nena, she has a total can-do attitude and as a busy Mum of two she is pretty much a superwoman when it comes to juggling. Follow Nena on instagram here and see some of her writing here.
Jess has been working with me since my first book came out in 2014. She now helps me with my this website, putting together newsletters, as well as design and marketing, and is a general sounding board for all things that I do. Jess also works for her family’s incredible salt company Halen Môn, who you will have heard me mention. She works freelance for lots of other brands, working on design, marketing and writing. She recently got picked out in the Mavericks and Makers 2018 list and I couldn’t agree more. Jess writes her own monthly newsletter with things she loves – it’s really worth signing up to.
Shout out as ever to Emily and Issy, my Narroway Studio partners which I wrote about here a few months ago.