Kat tells us a little about herself..

I am absolutely, utterly, 110% obsessed with food. From its source, to the process, to the creative minds that bring it to life in the pan and on the plate, to – surprise surprise – the actual eating of it, there’s nothing I love more than immersing myself nostrils deep in the expansive, global, cultural world of food. I’m at my happiest when I’m pouring over the 32-page ramen recipe courtesy of Ivan Ramen that I swear one day I will genuinely do.

Kat Bailey RB

I leave the Food Channel running in the background as I do my job in the hopes that the information will slowly absorb into my brain, and to the absolute delight of my landlord, half my back garden has now been turned into a vegetable patch, just so I can get my hands on the freshest possible product. I’m simply fascinated by anything and everything to do with food, and the more I learn, the more I taste, the more I want to know.

Which is your favourite restaurant in Brighton, Hove or Sussex and why?

Right now, I’d have to say Gingerman. Eating there was almost a religious experience. I’ve never eaten food that’s so emotionally intelligent before. The complexity and clarity of the layers of flavour in each dish was mind blowing, such clever cooking. Add in the fantastic service, friendly staff and a really lovely ambience and by far and away my best meal out to date. However, I’m really going to enjoy myself trying to find better! 🙂

Gingerman Restaurant Brighton
Interior at The Gingerman

Which is your favourite food dish or genre of cuisine and why?

It might sound basic, but I’m absolutely obsessed with eggs!

Soft boiled eggs with gooey, oozing yolks, hard boiled eggs nestling in amongst salad leaves, quivering, wobbly poached eggs that practically beg for you to stick the knife in, fluffy omelettes sprinkled with chives, tumbling towers of delicate scrambled eggs stacked up on pieces of toast, sinfully rich eggs benedict, yolks popped straight into a plate of carbonara, seasoned eggs floating in a dark sea of ramen broth… I could go on, and on, and on! It’s so worth finding a good egg and we’re really lucky in Brighton to have a ridiculous number of great organic shops that are heaving with different types of free range eggs.

Eggs Benedict with bacon at Grow 40
Eggs at Grow 40

What areas are of great importance to you when you visit a restaurant?

I’m looking for great service, where the staff are on hand when you need them and melt into the background when you don’t. Knowledge of the menu is important too – I’m an avid foodie and I love to learn where things have come from, why they’ve been paired, what the staff actually enjoy to eat themselves. Ambience is another big one; whether it’s rushed, chaotic and packed with energy, or chilled out and laid back, every restaurant has its own dynamic that should suit the place’s ethos and style. Ultimately though, it’s the food. A place can have amazing service, look the part, welcome you with open arms, but if their food isn’t up to scratch, I won’t be going back. There are some dishes that the chef could smack me around the face with a frying pan and I’d still go back for more.

Organic Steak at The Sussex Ox
Steak at The Sussex Ox

Which is your favourite well-known chef and why?

Thanks to Netflix and their amazing food programming, there are just too many to mention! My ultimate goal is to try out all the restaurants that have made it onto Chef’s Table. I’m in genuine awe of chefs who can cook at that level; to me tasting a meal like that is every bit as emotional as listening to music or taking in a piece of art, it’s a whole experience where taste is just the first stop on a much more involved journey.

Salt Room Best Restaurant Brighton Restaurant Awards BRAVO
Chefs at The Salt Room

What has inspired you to become a food reviewer – or how did it the opportunity come about?

Two things really. Firstly, the meal at the Gingerman. It opened my eyes to what really great food can be. Secondly, Netflix! I’ve been obsessed with watching so many amazing, in-depth shows like Chef’s Table, Mind Of A Chef, where you really get to understand exactly what goes into food. I’ve always been a writer, my job as a PR involves a lot of copy writing, so I’m looking to combine that with my love of food.

Kat Bailey Food Reviewer
The Lady Herself on the right