WEDNESDAY, MAY 2: Young chef Ashley Tucker has cooked up a recipe for success — and she’s hoping to create a stir in kitchens across Bermuda.
Ms Tucker, a graduate of the prestigious Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, plans to set up a cooking co-op on the island to promote good eating and sustainable food.
Ms Tucker, who has a B.Sc. in Culinary Nutrition and has already set up her own website last summer, said: “It’s a work in progress.
“What I’m interested in is bringing food awareness, cooking and food culture back into the community.
“The culinary arts can be entertaining and stimulating in a lot of different ways and I want to get that across to as many people as possible.
“My ideal is to set up a workshop here — a co-op where people can come and learn about cooking and where people interested in food can work in a safe, healthy and clean environment and be expressive and productive.”
Ms Tucker, 24, from Warwick and a former Warwick Academy pupil, has cooking in her blood. Her parents Horace and Audrey own Bermy Cuisine in Hamilton and Island Cuisine in Southampton.
She already offers a range of services through her Nourish to endurE company, including diet analysis, menu development and design, a personal chef service and food demonstrations.
Ms Tucker, who has also studied at the New York City Culinary Institute of America, can also offer advice on product development and balanced eating and has worked on product development at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
She said: “A lot of companies are looking to reduce their health insurance claims and reduce the cost of living. This kind of development can help to sustain our country and our people — basically, we are what we eat.
“Our bodies are like machines. If you have a high-performance car, you want to put the highest octane fuel in it so it performs at its best. It’s the same with our bodies. If you put in good stuff, you get the results.
“I like working with kids and people of all ages who are interested in getting to know about food.”
Ms Tucker added that she was keen to see a food bank, where people can pay a fixed sum and get high-quality organic food with the benefits of bulk buying to keep prices to a minimum.
She said: “Food security is a big issue in the world. Bermuda has enough food on the island to feed the population for six weeks, but I wonder what would happen if we were cut off from the outside world.
“It’s difficult in Bermuda sometimes because the quality of food we get is lacking at times. I shop around the different locations to get fresh fruit and vegetables. But the Bermudian diet, for a lot of people, is unbalanced.
“We have some of the highest rates of diabetes and hypertension in the world, per capita. That’s a clear indicator that something needs to change so we can have a healthier population.”
Ms Tucker said she can prepare nutritional assessments, where she analyses food intake and, based on lifestyle, draw up a wholesome eating plan to promote good health.
She added: “People go on diets which are restricting — you get an immediate effect, but the long-term effects might not be as gratifying.”
Ms Tucker can be contacted through her website, www.ashtucker.com, or at 332-1611.