Born on the borders of Portbury, Bristol, Helen has a love for the rugged Welsh valleys and the Cornish coast. Helen knows what it means to struggle, but don’t let that put you off. Helen is a fighter who lives for each moment. She may be broken in body, but her heart beats true and her spirit is free. A kind heart with an infectious sense of humour and an unshakable stubborn streak, Helen has a passion for psychology, sensual BDSM, Jack Russell Terriers and tropical fish. Loves Asian cuisine, dislikes sushi and peas. Reputable Queen of the pudding scene. Runs reliably on Ribena and tea. Helen manages the editorial side of Two Kinky Cooks.
Raised on a wealthy estate but common as muck, Matt lives, dreams and breathes Newcastle United. Matt knows hardships and works hard to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. Would marry Dave Grohl if Dave would ever have him. Quick-witted and kind with a dark, sadistic side. Longs for Italy, even if he can barely speak two words of the Italian language. Undeniable King of roast potatoes. Runs on coffee, Saturday lie-ins and whiskey. Matt is our social media genius.
Our story begins in an office with broken windows for ventilation and enough health and safety risks to give most managers a heart attack. With unpadded concrete structures in the middle of the training mats, we remember our beginnings with an equal mix of humility and shame. Back then, neither knew the other existed to start with, and it was only by a chance introduction that we ever began talking. Helen was offered a voluntary position in the same office where Matt was studying an apprenticeship and so our knowledge of one another came to be. Almost immediately, we connected in a way that was noticeable to many others and rumour circulated that our romance was meant to be, though a cruel twist of fate left us both in pre-existing relationships. As time went on, old flames fizzled away and the relationship grew stronger and stronger. Friends became best friends, then lovers and then partners. We both knew love is no fairytale and we were both accustomed to hardships and struggles, but what mattered most was that we had one another to lean on. Ours was not a love based on good looks and romantic ideals, it was a love that blossomed from understanding, compassion and solidarity; not a desire for one another but rather an emptiness when we were apart. Before too long, we came to realise that what we had had crossed the thresholds of a relationship and the desire we had for one another was far deeper than outer appearances. We formed a bond that would fight life and limb for one another, and to this day, that much remains true.
Matt asked Helen to be his girlfriend by dancing very drunkenly to Justin Timberlake’s Like I Love You, and Helen, for her part, accepted Matt’s proposal by ripping a thumbnail off and squeaking at him – both on the same wintery February evening. Neither is perfect, but we’re imperfectly perfect for one another and have remained so for almost 15 years. After a three year engagement, we finally tied the knot in May 2013.
What’s the story behind Two Kinky Cooks?
Two Kinky Cooks came about during a snack tasting in the second coronavirus lockdown. Helen was toying with ideas for Matt to have more involvement and casually joked that they were, quite simply, “two kinky cooks”. Suddenly, what started off as a passing comment became a name – our brand name. We do not consider ourselves to be chefs though, we are cooks – we respect the toque blanche enough to know the difference!