Award winning recipe writer, Georgina Hayden, admits to growing up in a very food-driven household. “For a long time, I didn’t realize how much my family influenced my life,” she recently shared in an interview with National Geographic. “I assumed all families were food-driven. Since then I’ve learned it was a pretty special childhood.
Food was, indeed, interwoven to her upbringing. Growing up above her grandparents’ Greek Cypriot taverna in Tufnell Park, London, Hayden soaked up the Greek kitchen from a young age. And with both sets of grandparents having emigrated from Cyprus in the late 1950s—there was a lot to soak up.
But it took her some time to return to her heritage, dedicating a cookbook (titled aptly, Taverna) to the traditional Cypriot kitchen. Her first stop was studying Fine Art at university, after which her passion for food landed her a job as a food writer and stylist on various food magazines.
Hayden then went on to join Jamie Oliver’s food team, where she worked for 12 years. But eventually, she returned to where it all began—the family kitchen. Like most family kitchens, Hayden describes the act of cooking as fairly instinctive. “There are no written recipes, and my mum and yiayias would cook whatever was in season,” she recalls.
You can purchase her cookbook on Amazon and follow her on Instagram for recipes and comfort food.