Let’s start at the beginning shall we…


The Allison's

If you are reading this I’ve successfully launched this BLOG and the worlds super computers didn’t explode while doing so (check one for certain death avoided!).

The WHAT is pretty clear (just read the sidebar), the WHY to most might be obtuse.

I’m a Husband and recently became a first time Father and it took my sons arrival to give me a much needed ‘wake up’ call.

I used to clock in 12-16 hours days for WEEKS on end in my role as producer/engineer (it sounds glamorous, it really isn’t), but I didn’t realize how much time it consumed.

My health took a knock and I’d developed terrible eating/sleeping habits, though surprisingly I had envisioned, after the birth of my son, to be right back at it… that changed.

Anyone who thinks having a child doesn’t radically alter your life is either mistaken, or a madman (though those are frequently interchangeable). I just didn’t know how much it would change my life. I’m not just talking about the sleep deprivation, constant nappy changes and other sundries, which are all part and parcel. I’m talking CORE VALUE shifts.

I wasn’t THAT naive, I knew I would be making some lifestyle and career changes, trading in some of my vocational duties for household chores and I’m proud to share I’m adapting well, though don’t ask me to do laundry, my washing machine HATES me.

I’m also the designated cook, I always have been, and I thought I did a decent job. Our menu was small and much of it came out of a cardboard box or frozen veggie packets, none-the-less, I tried…

Somewhere ahead of my son’s arrival I decided to hone these hidden culinary skills by investing in a recipe book, or rather iPhone app and I purchased a copy of Jamie Oliver’s ’20 minute meals’.

Truth be told it could have been ANY celebrity chef’s app, if it had been this blog may well have been called something very different… but it ended up being Jamie’s.

I knew who he was, I’d seen him on TV a couple times as ‘The Naked Chef’ but I didn’t know much about him. It took a visit to Wikipedia to actually read about his early days in his Dad’s pub, his River Cafe experience and that in his spare time he knits plush animals (ok, so I made that up), but you get my point…

I’ve since learned more about him and as a new Father I found his recent TED speech truely uplifting, which you can see below:

So I started cooking a couple of these recipes (which almost NEVER look anywhere near as good as in his photos I might add!), but soon stagnated… I needed a break through…

One night I had an epiphany… why not tell everyone you know (and don’t) that you are going to cook ALL 60 of them over the course of 3 months and then write about it. It seemed easy enough and that way I’m held accountable by the great Interweb (yes, apparently I need his/her validation).

So Interweb, consider yourself informed, and I hope the rest of you will pop in from time to time to check up on me as well.



12 Comments to

“Let’s start at the beginning shall we…”

  1. Avatar August 31st, 2010 at 1:02 AM Kenn Says:

    Nice one Matt, looking forward to the all the culinary insights and adventures!

  2. Avatar August 31st, 2010 at 10:13 AM Kirsty Says:

    Site is looking AWESOME :) Looking forward to being inspired again vicariously through your experience…

  3. Avatar August 31st, 2010 at 1:32 PM Claudz Says:

    This sounds like an amazing challenge!
    Good luck!

  4. Avatar August 31st, 2010 at 1:40 PM Marisa Says:

    First – congrats on becoming a father and all the best with the subsequent lifechanges.

    Look forward to seeing how this mission turns out. Think you’ll enjoy cooking your way through Jamie’s recipes!

  5. Avatar August 31st, 2010 at 4:34 PM Elise Says:

    Matt, I love it! Becoming a parent has changed so much in our lives too. What a wake up call to what is important to you! I’m looking forward to learning as well as laughing with you! I like Jamie’s focus on hearty, something we will need to hold tight to as we move to Hawaii.

  6. Avatar September 1st, 2010 at 8:39 AM Linda Says:

    Matt, well done! This blog looks fantastic and what a great concept! I look forward to seeing all the posts and to trying many of the recipes myself!

  7. Avatar September 1st, 2010 at 5:47 PM Evan Says:

    Congrats on getting the site live! Looking forward to reading about your cooking adventures.

  8. Avatar September 1st, 2010 at 5:51 PM Matt Allison Says:

    Hey Guys,

    Thanks for all the kudos and input. This site really wouldn’t be much without Evan who has made it look as cool as it does. He is the real hero, I just get to cook and type!



  9. Avatar December 13th, 2010 at 5:32 PM Michael Olivier Says:

    Matt – cant find your email address – have a look at this http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/dec/13/new-life-on-veg-patch

  10. Avatar December 13th, 2010 at 11:05 PM Matt Allison Says:

    Thanks Michael! Impressive indeed. I’ve slowly started to grow a couple left field herbs but those yacon sounds fab!

  11. Avatar February 14th, 2011 at 1:29 PM Julie Taylor Says:

    Wow Matt! Every time I’ve seen you (normally in the flesh) you’re changing career! Web designer, music producer, live performer and now website publisher – no flies on you, mate!

    If you’re up for another challenge, log onto http://www.wine-style.co.za and test our food editor, Diane Heierli’s weekly recipes and give us your feedback.

    PS. Congrats on becoming a dad : )

  12. Avatar April 22nd, 2013 at 9:11 AM My Top 5 Tips For Making Cooking More Enjoyable | Small Roar Small Roar Says:

    […] on in my self-imposed culinary challenge (which you can read about here) I started to define a method that would allow me to adequately prepare myself for each […]

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