My name is Kat Summer. I was born in Gdansk in Poland, and grew up between there and Vienna. I’ve lived in England since 2006, when I came here for a holiday and never left. I currently live in Surrey with my life partner, Ben.
Since childhood, I was passionate about food and everything kitchen-related, which sometimes manifested itself in dubious “soups” I was making on countryside holidays with my grandma. The aforementioned concoctions usually consisted of toadstool mushrooms and lake water. Luckily, I never tried to feed that to any of the other kids.
My dishes tend to be focused around Mediterranean cuisine, with particular love for Southern Italian la cucina povera, but I usually improvise a lot. I’m not a fan of fine dining restaurants and Michelin-starred establishments – the simpler the food, the better. Anthony Bourdain once said something along the lines of “I don’t like to waste my time sat at a white tablecloth for 4 hours” and I second that. One of the best meals of my life was in a tiny restaurant in La Maddalena in Sardinia. The place was run by two people, had 5 tables, did two seatings per evening, nobody spoke a word of English, and it was by far the most extraordinary culinary experience I’ve had to date.
As Ben could probably confirm, eating out is planned with military precision. I read the reviews, I ask for recommendations (and still read the reviews), and hardly ever simply walk into a place – unless we’re abroad, and I can see it’s full of locals enjoying their food. When travelling, I usually have the dishes and restaurants picked out before booking accommodation, and try to live (and eat) like a local wherever we go.
I’m a senior recruiter at a Big Corporate by day, hence why I need fail-proof dishes that can be done in less than an hour or don’t need a lot of attention. I avoid fast foods…bar one – a traditional pasty from West Cornwall Pasty Co. I’m a firm believer in baking your own bread, sourdough or yeast.