My Local Food Life….Paola Davies
“I absolutely love being in the kitchen, my passion for cooking runs deep and I am at my happiest when I am feeding people. Cookery class, supper club or pop up, I will never send anyone home hungry!”
Paola Davies runs the Cambridgeshire based Romano’s. Paola was born in Essex but spent her early years in Italy working alongside her chef father at their 150 seater family restaurant. She came back to the UK at 17 and after decades in social work and teaching she returned to her culinary background by setting up a successful cake and food supply business. Her customers included delis, farm shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants across Northamptonshire, Buckinghamshire and Cambridgeshire. All this and catering for private and corporate clients. She is still catering and running Supper Clubs.
Combining her teaching experience and extensive culinary skills Paola ran popular cookery classes at various Northampton and Cambridge schools which has led onto her providing fantastic cooking classes today.
Tell us about what you are working on at the moment?
I have been mainly focusing on supper clubs, which are proving to be incredibly popular but at the same time I cater for corporate & private events and supplying to various food establishments. I am also, slowly, trying to establish a new cookery school and thinking up new courses for all including Cooking for students going to University, with the second class being offered on July 28th to coincide with the start of the academic year and on August 4th I am offering a Paella and Churro Masterclass. I am doing all this with the incredible support of Pina of OneTwoCulinaryStew! Her organisational skills are second to none and I really value her support.
What do you love about living in Cambridgeshire?
The food scene and its diverse population and culture are what makes Cambridge so special. It always makes me feel alive!
When you are not local, where in the world do you love for it’s food?
Of course, it has to be Mediterranean food and not because I am biased but because of its simplicity and the fact that they use seasonal, fresh ingredients to make their food taste so amazing!
If you had friends come to stay where would you take them to eat?
I would cook of course, I think the food we eat at home is probably just that much tastier.
Do you have a favourite place for a drink or coffee?
I like trying different places and there are new cafes and restaurants cropping up all the time. You never know what you’ll find. I really love Bridges, in Cambridge, which has been open for 20+ years and still going strong. I always look for amazing, fresh, tasty food, whether it being a good old sandwich, a piece of cake or a full on meal, customer service is so, important and atmosphere. Without these basics, you are not going to get anywhere, in my opinion.
What’s your favourite locally produced product or shop?
This is an easy one for me. My favourite products are from the BakingJin. He is certainly one amazing baker to look out for in Cambridge. He bakes amazing, delicate Pandan infused cakes and more. They are not just your normal, run of the mill cakes, they are delicate, light and decadent, all at the same time. My favourites from him are the Pandan Chiffon Cake, Hokkaido Strawberry Cupcakes, Kuih and Pandan and Black Sesame Cupcakes. His ability to make fusion happen in his baking, is magic!!!
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