la dame de kensington

Today I met up with ellenlindner and Stephen Betts in Kensington to browse the bande desinée collection at the Institut Français. Stephen’s started a fabulous new website, Comix Influx, designed to help people translate comics, mostly from French into English. (Stop by his site if you think you might be interested in giving it a try!)

I’ve been meaning for ages to draw something for Ellen’s ‘Whores of Mensa’ challenge: draw your favourite lady chef. I was going to draw my friend Fiona Wells, who is generally amazing in the kitchen and also makes marvelous cakes for the House Cafe in Camberwell. But at the Institut, Ellen found this luscious book, Elles sont chefs, and assigned me on the spot to draw London-based chef Sally Clarke:

I must confess, I’ve never even once eaten in a London restaurant that had a proper ‘chef’, but from what the book says, I’m sure she could be my favourite. In fact, I’ve eaten lots of good meals, but I think the only time I’ve ever had an acclaimed chef cook for me was in Moscow, and he invited us to come round to his house for a meal. Except we had to bring all our own plates and cutlery because he never actually used his kitchen at home and only owned one plate. His food was brilliant. I felt kind of embarrassed because I’d cooked for him a few weeks before without knowing he was a big chef, and experimented with homemade sushi made from all Russian ingredients. It was a little odd.

And I just bunged an avtoportrait up on a site just set up by Russian illustrator Ilya Kazakov. It’s a bit of a cheat because it wasn’t exactly intended as a self portrait, but it works in a pinch.

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