Meet Our New Editors

Words by The Editorial Team

When we started Food&_ last year, we never anticipated it taking off so quickly, nor becoming such a huge part of our daily lives. We have been overwhelmed with the response from both readers and our growing list of contributors and, in mid 2014, we decided to open up the site a step further. Our aim has always been for the site to act as a platform to showcase everyone’s talents by being open, collaborative and allowing everyone involved to feel integral to the site (because they are!).

A few months ago we contacted our existing contributors with a new opportunity to become more involved with Food&_, and it is with great excitement that we’re delighted to announce a new team of editors that will be working alongside us to deliver even more delicious content and take Food&_ into an exciting second year. In true collaborative style, our new editors have worked on a series of thanksgiving recipes and features that we’ll be publishing over the next few days. In the meantime, you can learn a little more about our new team members below.

– Ross & Katy

Alaina Wong

Alaina-Wong1When asked how I came to work in this fabulous food world, I can’t help but think of these words by Julia Child “I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate”.

I have Chinese and American heritage and grew up surrounded by delicious, home cooked meals. I loved eating but I never really thought any further about food other than my stomach. It wasn’t until my late 20s that I stumbled into a career working for a food website that I discovered the wonderful things one can do with food and what joy it brings to others.

By day I am a deputy food editor, and by night and at weekends I run a supper club and canapé venture called A Boy Named Sous. I’ve also written features for The Guardian, Huffington Post and Food&_,

Fiona Symington

Fiona-Symington1I’m a freelance writer and editor, published in both Australia and London with my most recent work appearing in Food&_ and Countlan Magazine. My wanderlust started early with one of my most prized possessions being my British Airways Junior Jet Club badge that I was given at the age of eight. My appetite to discover the world through food has led me to remote villages in Vietnam, to homestays in India and food festivals across Europe – all in search of a good lunch. In addition to Food&_, I’m also the editor of London Food Essentials – a local’s guide to London. I regularly interview London-based food artisans and producers such as Cobble Lane Cured, Shepherds Markets, and Black Isle Bakery. You can frequently find me exploring my adopted city of London with a camera and notebook in hand.


Jette Virdi

Jette-Virdi1My earliest memory of food is picking cherries from the tree with my Mum, the sun shining down on us and feeding one to the chickens one for me, one for the chickens one for me.

In our house there were just 3, but mealtimes were always full of 10-15 people, breaking bread, pouring wine, sharing cheese and Mum and Dad in the kitchen creating. Still to this day, cooking for a table of people and sharing moments over food is one of my favourite things.

We travelled constantly from one country to another, gathering food styles and making new friends, so it’s no wonder that I travelled the world and became a private chef.

Something brought me to Ireland and since then I’ve made the crossover to food styling, working on cookbooks, TV shows and magazines. It just fits me. I still get to cook all the food I style but it’s a different type of pressure, one that I love. It’s given me the scope to be really creative and allowed me to set up food workshops and The Long Table Suppers which have a focus on connecting the community through food.

Being part of the Food&_ community as an editor is a great opportunity to connect people all over the world through their food stories. It’s a privilege to hear and share them, and one that I can’t wait to take part in.

Kate Beard

kate-beard1I’m a born and bred Southerner living in London. Inspired by a love of travel, instilled when I was quite young, I went overseas 6 years ago and never looked back. After a short stint in Germany, I fell for London and decided to go to university there. I’m currently finishing a degree in English and English Language Teaching at the University of Greenwich, and afterwards I hope to move abroad again in search of new experiences.

While working on my degree, I’m also pursuing my twin passions of photography and writing, and have contributed to publications like Barista magazine,, Caffeine magazine, and Coolhunting. I love travel and coffee more than anything else (except guinea pigs) and want to roam the world telling stories of food, people, and places. I also enjoy spending time cooking, reading, drawing, cycling around London and trying out as much delicious street food as I can.

I’m very excited to help out at Food&_, and hope that I’ll be able to collaborate with an excellent team of contributors to bring engaging stories and delicious recipes to Food&_’s readers. Though a word of warning… Southerners use a lot of butter in their cooking. A LOT. Be prepared

Mehrunnisa Yusuf

Mehrunnisa-Yusuf1I often think of myself as a ‘cosmopolite’ as it captures the kind of life I lead. My family is made up of various nationalities and cultures. I grew up in Pakistan and now live in London, one of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities. Living in London has bought new experiences, especially acquainting, savouring and celebrating new cuisines. Food&_’s growing Editorial Team’s opening sequence is on ‘thanksgiving’ and although ‘thanksgiving’ is not part of my heritage, it is a celebration I readily embrace as part of a diverse community. Ultimately, most holidays and celebrations are about the expression of ‘thanks’ and of sharing food.

By day, I work in the School of Advanced Study at the University of London supporting a number of thematic projects on human rights. Evenings and weekends are spent pottering in the kitchen, teaching myself to cook and writing about the foods I have grown up with (most of which cannot be found in recipe books). It is through this that I first found myself on Food&_ with a piece on ‘food memories’. I was delighted when contributors were approached to grow the Editorial Team as the collaborative model of Food&_ is why it appealed to me to start with. I am looking forward to growing the visual and written portfolio of the food journal.

Sophia Real

Sophia-Real1For as long as I can remember I have been obsessing about food and daydreaming about new dishes and flavour combinations. While I work as a lawyer during the day, I spend my evenings and weekends as a budding food writer and recipe developer. I particularly enjoy creating recipes that use familiar ingredients in an unfamiliar way (e.g. poaching pears in chamomile tea or making ras-el hanout spiced mincemeat etc), as well as creating recipes that make the most of my pantry (e.g. by making salted caramels with soy sauce or miso and using garam masala not just to finish a dish but also for granola and enriched doughs etc).

I love how Food&_ has been bringing together creatives from so many different industries to share their love for good food through photos, recipes, short stories and illustrations, and I am really excited about the opportunity to help Food&_ grow – I cannot wait to reach out to others as food-obsessed as I am to share their work here on Food&_!

Join our editorial team

If you’re interested in joining these guys as part of our editorial team, get in touch to find out more.

Meet Our New Editors was created by Food&_ community member: