About Gauri @ Love and Cook
I’m a self-confessed foodie, and have owned and managed various food related businesses in the past 15 years. I currently own and run Bridge Baker in Fulham.
I moved back to London in 2016 from Singapore (where I was Operations Director and Partner at Baker & Cook). I was thrilled to get reacquainted with the food scene in London, looking for my next venture. As a resident in Fulham, it seemed logical that a lovely neighbourhood bakery would be popular in the area. In 2019, there was nothing like that – only chains existed. Bridge Baker was born in June 2019, and continues to be my baby! The tag line is “Born & Bread in SW6” and we are firm believers in keeping it all local. We now employ 30+ staff, a lot of whom are also local.
In the past, I have lived and worked in India, London and Singapore. I’m married to a classmate from business school and have two grown up children. I love to cook and bake, and also enjoy jamming sessions with my musically inclined family. We travel a lot, and every holiday revolves around eating in new and exciting places, and experimenting with new cuisines.
Cooking, and more importantly baking, has come to me naturally since I was nine. At some point in my teens my mother pointed out that I might want to learn to cook some normal food, lest I imagined a life full of cakes and cookies. Having a fabulous cook of a mum helped foster my early interest in food, and what she laid out was always simple, seasonal and hardly ever repeated.
Fast forwarding 25 odd years, and being fortunate enough to have a family who will eat whatever I cook (wonder if it’s a boy thing) has meant that I have been able to continually try out new recipes and cuisines. If the kids wanted chicken nuggets or fish fingers, they would be proper adult versions. I believe children need to be exposed to a variety of flavours early on, although I have struggled with spice as son no. 2 refuses to eat any. As the kids have grown up, they have learnt to appreciate good food.
For the longest time, I have been writing a diary of the meals that I have cooked for the family, to keep track, and to avoid repetition. Whilst it might sound counter intuitive, it’s quite handy to go back and look for ideas, should one be lacking them, and use my past feedback and annotations to improve upon the next time around.
I get asked what I love to cook most. Without a doubt, that’s bread. Something about the process of making bread, watching it rise and the slight uncertainty of not knowing exactly how it will turn out, is exhilarating. At home, we love a dark sourdough with rye, which is great fresh or toasted, and a hearty multigrain, which has 8-10 different whole grains.
Nothing in the recipes on these pages is sacrosanct, except the baking ones. These must be followed to a “T”. However, bread recipes are an aberration, as temperature and humidity in the kitchen can play havoc with the timings. Having baked in Singapore for 7 years, and finessed the bread recipes, I have had to change the proofing times completely in my London kitchen. Depending on your local conditions, you might have to experiment to see what works best for you. Or you can always write to me.
Enjoy browsing through the recipes and revel in gluttony!