So, eighteen months after my jubilant escape from the nine-to-five (and another British winter!), I'm finally back in the kitchen!
And with more than a couple of tales to tell...
From exploring the majesty of Angkor Wat, to surviving the frentic traffic of Saigon; lazing on the beaches of south Thailand, to diving the incredible and fragile Great Barrier Reef; trekking in the mountains of north Vietnam to skydiving over Byron Bay... this was a trip of memories and magic.
And the food! Well, as you may expect, food was my focus. Everything I hoped for (and occasionally a little bit more...) Noodle soup and 'real' pad thai from countless street vendors, equally good as a breakfast, or a late night snack after a night on the Chang. Fiery dried stingray and icy cold beer in a bar in Chaing Mai, crab claw curry in kuala lumpur, where vats of curries steam and bubble and call. Deep-fried tarantulas challenged my idea of roadside eating in Cambodia, while beef intestine soup in Hong Kong proved surprisingly silky.
Watch this space for the first of many recipes from my travels, starting tomorrow with a fabulous authentic Thai curry as taught to me in a Chiang Mai cookery school!