Here’s a bit about me, Rosanna Stevens, creator of Rosanna ETC.
I’m passionate about creating a personal environment in the full-colour spectrum and making every day an event. Making it more. As a trained chef who is passionate about style in all areas of my life, I naturally think about what food to eat, and the way to present it beautifully. How to host a party and give your guests (and yourself) the best time. What to wear, where to travel to, or how to design your home. What to read, what to drink, what to watch and what to hang on the wall.
I come from a family of foodies, we were always the hosts (and still are) and for us, food is an event. We take time to create a menu, pair the right wines, design the décor (always my job), and have tried and tested formulas to make everything run like clockwork. We are pros, and it shows. Come around on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday night and an aperitif will be served at 7.30 pm sharp before dinner at 8 pm. The aperitif will usually be a sparkling wine, but often something more unusual than your traditional champagne. Perhaps a Cremant D’Alsace or a sparkling wine from New Zealand, and it might be served with some home-made canapes; favourites are freshly made liver pate or smoked eel and horseradish on crostini. We grow our own fruit and veg so your plate will often be piled high with whatever is in season, and if you happen to come on ‘compulsory cucumber’ or ‘too many tomatoes’ week you’ll be sent away with a basket of produce to enjoy at home.
Travel and food go hand in hand for me and exploring the world and trying different cuisine formed a huge part of my childhood. We travelled extensively, mainly keeping to Europe whilst my sister and I were small and then venturing further afield. I remember so many hot summers abroad, weekend city breaks, and time spent roaming the English countryside. Weeks spent in the south of France enjoying all the freshly caught fish we could physically manage.
I remember a chilled garlic and almond soup in a restaurant in an olive grove in Spain on a hot August night and being bribed with endless chocolate ice creams in Italy. I remember being served bread flavour ice cream in Barcelona at a restaurant so fancy that they put our handbags on their own chairs next to us. Driving up the Pacific Highway in California from San Diego to San Francisco and eating my first ever burger. Watching whales and eating fresh seafood in a restaurant on the edge of a cliff in Hermanus, South Africa. Enjoying endless mugs of hot chocolate whilst skiing in Beaver Creek, scooping up melted cheese fondue with crusty bread in the Alpes, and dancing in clubs before running around in the snow.
I have my skipper licence and I’ve sailed around the Mediterranean, Aegean and Adriatic seas, stopping in small marinas and eating simply cooked food followed by a locally made digestif that made your throat feel like it was on fire. I lived on a beach in Belize for two months eating my body weight in fish tacos, hiking in the jungle every weekend and jumping into waterfalls. All these experiences helped shape me as a woman as well as a chef and I love the fact that I now write about travel and beautiful destinations for various publications around the world.
My previous career(s)
Before launching Rosanna ETC I worked in non-profit events for charities and arts organisations with the best in the business. I spent several years with a consultancy whose clients included Louis Vuitton and The Evening Standard Theatre Awards, followed by a stint at English National Opera, and then spent some time at two major UK cancer charities helping them forge and manage relationships with high-profile celebrities and influencers. I kept track of how much all this activity raised, and it’s a sum I remain very proud of. The total is around £12,000,000.
One time I remember having to run out to buy sandwiches for the royal family when they came to the opera and didn’t tell us they needed dinner. I once had to arrange for music to be played to baboons at London Zoo every day for a week to avoid upsetting them during the world premiere of a newly commissioned piece of music happening next to their enclosure. I had to close a busy London road for an event hosted by Anna Wintour, and once met the Dalai Lama in an underground car park in Manchester. Sometimes I look back and wonder if it was all real! I attended tastings all the time which meant I got to try the most incredible food and learned how to put together a banqueting experience. How to create the wow factor, what to spend money on and where to save.
I left that part of my career behind to launch Rosanna ETC but it has formed the best possible foundations for me to launch my own platform curating all the aspects of life that I have a passion for. I see the world and its offering as a foreign exchange of the four currencies: money, time, energy and joy. You’re always spending one of them, and some have more value to one person than another.
In my new role as a tastemaker I want to help you find your own personal value system when it comes to the currencies of money, time, energy and joy and spend them wisely in way that makes everything ‘more’.
More about Rosanna and the blog
Because it’s me, my style, my tastes, my food, my travel, my passions. It’s me as a tastemaker, making it more. And so on.
I trained at Ashburton Chef’s Academy. I had the best time at culinary school, with a group of 15 like-minded students all with a passion for food, learning from some of the best in the business. Now that I am qualified I have found my appetite for recipe development has grown even stronger, using the skills I learned at chef school to create bolder dishes that will push and challenge someone whilst still being achievable for an elevated home cook. Complete with plating suggestions, side dishes and a wine pairing, of course!
There is a range of recipes on my blog from easy to more challenging but in general, my recipes are aimed at a passionate home cook who’s been there and cooked that. Someone who knows their way around a kitchen, enjoys entertaining and challenging themselves and who has their own style and flair they want to build on.
I have been a member of a wine club since I was old enough, and wine has always been a big deal in my family so I grew up learning about it too. My father is an avid collector and enthusiast, and you won’t get through dinner at home without a quiz on what he has served, the grape, the region, the year. He will hide the bottle and you have to critique it, all other conversation stops until the riddle has been solved and he takes great joy in buying more unusual grapes from lesser-known regions to make it harder. We attend tastings together as a family once a month, it’s something we all look forward to so much and I love continuing to learn more and grow my appreciation for wine each time. I love matching wine to food, and finding something that really draws a dish together and elevates it. I am always pondering doing a wine qualification in addition to my chef qualification...so watch this space.
I will always love Belize as I lived there for a short period of time and worked remotely on my blog from a beach! Cyprus is also a long-time favourite and I’ve been going there since I was 13, as is Croatia and Portugal which I have visited several times. There are so many places I still want to go - Australia, Norway, Egypt, China, Vietnam, Brazil and Guatemala being just a few. You can check out my travel writing portfolio here.
I’ve been reading Vogue from the age of 12 and following fashion obsessively, plus working as a personal style assistant in a boutique and working at London Fashion Week and other fashion shows gave me added insight and the chance to learn from experienced editors, stylists and designers. Collaborating with world-class event production companies and florists to develop the decorative elements for an event was one of my favourite parts of my former job, and my Instagram ‘saved’ section is a mixture of beautiful tablescapes, and delicious food, stunning clothing, interiors and travel destinations. I have a great time on Pinterest curating collections – it’s such a visual platform that way and I love it.
Want to style up your food photos? I have written Stop The Scroll, a guide to food styling and photography that will take your snaps of cooking creations from zero to hero.
My experience as a chef, writer and stylist means I can add real value to brands or campaigns showcasing products, developing recipes or writing reviews, so get in touch to chat more about how I might be able to help. I’d love to talk to you about how we can work together.
I am also available for limited special events as a private chef in the UK and abroad.
You can email me on [email protected] or follow me on social media where I’ll always respond to DMs!