My name is Yasmin. Currently, I am a student living in the United Kingdom working towards my Doctorate of Philosophy.

I grew up in the Orient, tasting the salty air and smelling the scents of smokey myrrh and frankinscense on the evening breeze. It is there that I find my greatest inspiration and connect to my inner self. Particularly in my fondest memories of childhood, seeing the golden sand dunes, the intensified amaranth & carmine haze of flamingoes in the shallow waters by the bay, remembering my grandmother and her tales of magic and wonder.

Often, I have been told that I have an incurable case of wanderlust. Rather fitting, it seems, considering I was born into a family of artists and travellers who have always found the greatest pleasure in scouring the world in order to quench their thirst for new cultures, beauty of rituals, the imperfect and the arcane. Like my grandmother (fondly known as Tiki) and her mother before her, I too enjoy collecting recipes. I have always seen it, in my mind’s eye, as a means of travelling to unknown, foreign lands, capturing the passions, the energy and the sacred ambience of the spirit of its people. Forever, I shall be grateful for the ability to revisit those travels and to introduce those I love to experiences beyond their imagination.

As my grandmother once said, one only follows a recipe with utter obedience at the beginning. Once affluently experienced in the alchemy of flavours, one gains a greater awareness of how to ensure a dish’s success. In many respects, this mirrors the way I feel and envision the world around me, the way I treasure the structures and advise provided by those before me, and how I understand the rules and play with them as I flow with the current. I have been fortunate to find someone who shares my passion for life and cuisine. This has helped me, not only in my confidence but also in being more spontaneous in my approach to both life and cooking, and to experiment. He has often told me that the only way to find ourselves and articulate who we truly are, is to immerse ourselves in the things we love and to experience our passions. I have never felt more alive than I do in my kitchen.

I’ve come to realise that nothing can bring people together the way food can. Some of the most memorable conversations in my life have taken place at my mother’s kitchen table. And now, at mine.

Sumac & Dutch is a personal journey, one inspired by and dedicated to my paternal grandmother.  It is about sharing precious moments with those I love, especially with my boyfriend, Djamo, who takes a number of the photographs for the blog, and the beauty that our world has to offer, in the here and now.

Thank you for stopping by and I hope you enjoy this blog as much as I do creating it!

Best wishes to you all.

Yasmin x