Lay The Table.com is run by Becs Kemm. Based in Leeds since April 2010, previously lived in Portsmouth for 6 years and originally a farmer’s daughter from North Norfolk.
For me, there’s nothing better than seeing a person’s face light up when you bring them a batch of freshly baked goods, or you reminisce with old friends over a delicious dinner. Food is something everyone can enjoy, it brings people together and I love introducing new foods to people.
My real food passion is baking cakes – on a wet and rainy Sunday afternoon I’d often make those packet buns, with Tom & Jerry on then promptly eat most of them once I’d stuck all the rice paper pictures on. As I got older, I became more interested in making something of better quality – taste, texture and decoration are all important in the creation of my cakes. I’ve also recently become interested in sugarcraft, having watched my mum making these beautiful, fragile creations as a child, I decided I wanted to have a go myself.
When I went travelling, I tried so many delicious dishes all over the world, but my favourite meals are often Asian. My grandmother grew up in Malaysia and Singapore and my mother lived there as a young girl. She once told me how her father, being english, would try to make her and her sister eat british food, but they didn’t fancy it much and would sit with the amah and eat her noodles instead.
On my father’s side, my family is Norfolk farmer born and bred. My father has lived on the farm his entire life and took over from my grandad when he retired. My dad at one time grew some of the best turnips in the UK. Having perfected it his trade to a fine art, he could tell when it was his produce on the shelves at the supermarket purely by the high quality. Alas, the demise of farming in recent years has led to a halt in almost all our arable persuits. I still find it hard to understand how we support importing grain, massively increasing our carbon footprint and paying subsidies for people like my father to grow wild flowers and see how many insects they can spot. From this side of the family, my grandmother was the archetypal farmer’s wife. My dad always tells us she would make 2 roasts a week and pies to feed an army. Although my grandma died when I was 8, I do remember her fantastic cooking, some of which has been passed on to my mum (they were great friends), and this is why I dedicated my first ever post on here to her.