Maria Cross MSc
I was born in London and into the blandest of food cultures. With food serving only as a means to an end, I grew up with no interest in diet and nutrition until relatively late in life. After a misspent early adulthood, where good food played no part and cigarettes, wine and late nights were pivotal, I eventually found myself strangely drawn to the pursuit of a healthier lifestyle.
But first, having originally studied modern languages, I headed off to Italy where I was to (constructively) idle away three fine years, absorbing the culture and way of life. Food played a significant role in my re-education. Not necessarily healthy food – just good, fresh, well cooked food. I even learned to cook it half decently myself. Returning to the UK, I brought with me an appreciation of the value of eating well, which was to evolve into a love of both good food and good health. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the two were joyfully compatible.
After returning to the UK I began to study nutrition. I knew immediately that this was to be my path in life. It also put paid to half a lifetime of intestinal misery, but that’s another story.
All this was in the early 1990s. Since then I have gained an MSc in Public Health Food and Nutrition, been a lecturer at the University of Westminster and written four books.
Being a late starter generally, I met my husband Peter long after everyone else had settled down. An English architect who happens to speaks Italian, it turned out he was restoring a dilapidated water mill in Italy, loves food and is an excellent cook.