From publishing to private chef…

After a career working in production and project management roles for creative agencies in London, I followed my passion for food and retrained as a chef at The Edinburgh School of Food and Wine.

After a stint as a private chef in the wilds of Perthshire, I returned to London and worked as a freelance chef, food stylist and home economist. The variety of different assignments certainly kept me on my toes. I enjoyed cooking and food styling on marketing and editorial photoshoots; working in fast-paced kitchens in cafés, producing stunning food on catering jobs; writing and testing recipes and presenting videos about fish cookery. I became a cookery teacher at Food at 52 and loved sharing my knowledge for cooking on a variety of public and corporate classes.

I eventually swapped city life for the verdant hills of Devon and became a recipe chef at Riverford Organics – creating recipe box meals using their wonderful seasonal and organic produce. I also had fun producing recipe videos for their You Tube channel, running cookery lessons at Nomad festival and providing culinary inspiration at customer promo events.

Val McArthur at a cookery demo for Riverford Organics
Meet Val -

Since Riverford, I was a chef cooking delicious, organic food at The Green Table café and Schumacher College on the stunning Dartington Estate.

I then set up Hearty Food as a way to combine my love of cooking and people – I love meeting and interacting with people. There’s nothing I enjoy more than creating beautiful looking and tasting food, that puts a smile on people’s faces.

Over the last few years, I’ve also developed a keen interest in health and nutrition and I’ve completed a few courses to broaden my knowledge – the most recent being the gut brain connection.