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Who I am

I am a teacher.

My professional career started working for TeachFirst Charity teaching key stage 1 and subsequently, early years.

I am a sailor.

I left teaching to explore the world on a small cruising yacht and it was only after 3 years and over 30,0000 nautical miles that we sold the boat in Australia. The joy of living an entirely self-sufficient and carbon neutral lifestyle for weeks at a time is something that will forever stay with me. Regrettably the horror of repeatedly discovering uninhabited islands 6 inches deep in plastic waste still haunts me and has forever changed the way I wish to live my life.

I am a chef.

Having gained a Cordon Bleu Cookery Certificate in 2008.  I used this qualification to earn my way whilst travelling around the world. I’ve had the honour to have cooked with small communities within the Pacific Isles and VIP guests aboard luxury private yachts in the Mediterranean. Immersing into a culture and experiencing the unique tastes of local produce hammered home how important the providence of ingredients can be. I learnt how to adapt my cookery to different tastes and dietary requirements. Gluten free vegan with a nut allergy? No problem!

I am a gardener.

Whilst  living on the boat we were carbon neutral, caught our own fish and bought from local markets. Now back on dry land we try to retain some of that self sufficiency and carbon awareness. Growing your own veg is good for the soul as well as the environment. It tastes pretty good too!

I am a wife.

I am happily married to a merchant seafarer, an industry to which I owe the name of my business. Within the merchant navy ‘tabnabs’ refers to any sort of sweet or savoury snack that might emerge from the kitchens around tea time. 

I am a nanny.

With my feet back on dry land I no longer felt mainstream teaching was the right fit for me. However, children are still at the heart of what I wanted to do with my life. So, armed with my full DBS and Paediatric First Aid Certificate I became part of family life for a 22 month old and her 2 month old brother. From day one I noticed how involving these teeny tots in the food preparation process had a profound effect on their attitude to food and their confidence to try new things. From helping me grow in the garden and compost waste they also gained an impressive understanding of the world around them and the changes they observed. These observations were perhaps the final insight i needed to decide on what my next adventure was going to be...


Who am I? I’m Zoë, the founder of Tabnabs.

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