After working for many years with acclaimed chefs and prestigious, high profile catering companies, I set up Baked Salt in 2000 to combine my professional experience with my twin passions of food and design.
Growing up in London, my parents’ love of food and design had a big influence on me. My dad was an architect whose meticulous attention to detail on everything from designing my rabbit hutch to his quality brogues instilled a strong sense of design in me. I also have clear memories of my mum making the type of meringues that would ooze with sugar and caramelise onto the baking tray, to rippled strawberry sorbet with the odd blackberry in the mix. As a teenager, my closest friend was Iranian and it was her mum’s cooking that introduced me to fresh herbs, marinated meats and rice that was like a cake – all crispy and golden on the outside and fluffy and light on the inside.
Such diverse inspiration led me to Leiths School of Food and Wine where in 1988, I got my Diploma in Food and Wine. I then went on to work at Sonny’s in Barnes before moving on to chef at Rhubarb and Konditor & Cook. Over the years, I assisted with styling for Jamie Oliver, was a listed caterer at The Design Museum and worked at The Clerkenwell Kitchen and Arnold & Henderson.
However, it was at The Modern Pantry in Clerkenwell that I really began to develop my own style of cooking. Anna Hansen introduced me to exciting new ingredients I’d never heard of along with an interesting use of spices and a completely different approach to food, all of which has crept into my cooking.
MY STYLE OF FOOD
My food is heavily influenced by Mediterranean and Iranian cooking and the tradition of sharing. So the dishes I create are rustic, full of flavour and the sort of food where people can dig in and help themselves. Alongside The Modern Pantry, working at The Clerkenwell Kitchen and Arnold & Henderson taught me the importance of ingredients and seasonality which have massively helped shape my professional creativity.
My style is both British modern and classic with a nod to Danish design. No square plates, no drizzles, no silver service and no awkward canapés. I have a big collection of crockery, glassware and cutlery, so from simple statement flower displays to the type of bowls you’d like to use, I will make sure that everything looks good and tastes good in a unique, effortless style.
I love cooking. I love design. And I love making things beautiful.
Janie Fraser, July 2014.