“I am an aspiring cook, blogger and photographer
simply wanting to make the world a more delicious place…!”
Since October 2013 I have been documenting my edible journey exploring the delicious wonders the South West has to offer.
Currently based in the heart of the Somerset Levels, I am privileged to be living and working in one of the country’s most vibrant and forwarding-thinking food regions. With easy access to an abundance of delicious ingredients, I spend my spare time developing new and innovative recipes, and visiting various West Country watering holes to help broaden my food repertoire.
Combining locally and ethically sourced ingredients with global cuisines and the latest food trends as well as drawing on the change in seasons as inspiration, Hells Belles’ Bites seeks to satisfy your eyes, stomach and soul.
Offering wholesome, tasty, highly-seasonal recipes alongside thought-provoking articles, I attempt to inspire others not only to get in the kitchen, but to get back to basics and think about where our food actually comes from.
I have stood by the ethos of this blog from the start and will continue to write in the same vein; Hells Belles’ Bites aims not to critique or slander, but to celebrate the amazing culinary repertoire our shores has to offer.
SO, WHERE DID IT ALL START?
Through pure frustration at my (what I deemed at the time) lack of ‘success’ in finding work within the food journalism industry, I opted for self publication in the form of a blog.
Once a totally self-indulgent activity, Hells Belles’ Bites has grown into something far more than my edible diary! Now a place that not only explores the rich plethora of ingredients the South West has to offer, but looks at influences from all around the world to arrive at deliciously innovative recipes that I love to share.
WHAT’S MY BACKGROUND?
After completing a degree in English Language and Linguistic in 2012 at Sussex University, I returned to my roots in the West Country and found myself in a situation so many graduates seem find themselves in; a mundane job that simply paid the bills.
My solace was found in the kitchen as I became increasingly frustrated with my day to day circumstances. For 3 years I sought work within the food industry – everything from being behind the pass at a busy gastro pub, to working in publishing, PR and marketing.
Now working as a Freelancer within the food industry, I still work in a variety of areas mainly focusing on; content writing, food photography and styling, recipe development, PR, marketing and social media management.
HOW DID I LEARN TO COOK?
My passion for cooking originally stemmed from my love for baking. Taking tried and tested bygone recipes from my grandmothers’ recipe bibles, I have long found pleasure and comfort in following a step to step guide to baking perfection.
Stained with greasy finger marks, and lightly dusted in generations of flour, I often found myself rigorously sticking to every single notation – I soon prided myself at being second to none at following instructions; but was I really that competent at cooking?
It wasn’t until I found a similar passion for other forms of cooking, that I realised my heavy reliance on recipes.
Rigorously following a step by step guide can often reward us with accurate and satisfying results, however, tends to sap us of any confidence within the four walls of the kitchen. Take the recipe book away, and do we really have a confident understanding of the relationship between food and its flavours?
My true enthusiasm for cooking and appreciation for ingredients engulfed my life the day I decided to throw my recipe books aside. Although taking great courage and causing considerable trepidation, the lack of culinary direction forced me to think exactly about the intricacy of what I was actually doing; the construction and attributes of my ingredients, and how they would pair with others.
At this point I finally felt I was cooking – this freedom to experiment and create my own combinations fuelled a desire to explore, examine and probe the world of flavour. Don’t get me wrong, I have not thrown my recipe books away (that would be crime against humanity!), but they have simply become a form of reference and inspiration.
I am not claiming to be the worlds best cook either as a result of no longer using recipes – that proof is definitely sometimes in the pudding – but it has given me the reign of my kitchen; an environment which I am confident enough to experiment and create my own culinary combinations that change with every season.
So, now you know a little more about the intentions and philosophy behind this blog, tuck in everyone and fill your boots!
I hope you enjoy,
© Helen Upshall and Hells Belles’ Bites, 2016. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Helen Upshall and Hells Belles’ Bites with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.