I was born and raised in Lithuania in a small village. My parents and little sister still live there and our home stands in a forest, surrounded by nature.

My parents have a greenhouse and grow vegetables, so food was a family affair, prepared from scratch. Growing up, my mum was always making bread at home – her poppy seed bread was my favourite. One day I decided that I was going to make it by myself, so I did.

I came to Scotland to study economics, but it wasn’t for me. I found a job as a kitchen porter because food has always been my passion. I found I had a natural flair for cookery and that’s how I became a chef.

My style of cooking is seasonal, wholesome, homely and simple yet refined. As a chef, I’m constantly learning new things, new flavours, dishes, cultures and ideas. I love the freedom to be creative and the positive reaction when people try your food for the very first time.

When I am not working, I like to relax and unwind by travelling to scenic places with my photographer partner Tom. I run my own cookery blog and make cakes for birthdays and weddings. I also enjoy walking Coco, my pet rabbit.

I dream of opening my own restaurant one day and I like the idea of writing a book so that I can publish my own recipes and establish myself as a well-known and versatile chef.

thecraftsmancompany.com

EVELINA STRIPEIKYTES TOMATO & PINEAPPLE SOUP WITH SMOKED DUCK

INGREDIENTS (Serves 5)

  • 6 beef tomatoes
  • 1 Spanish onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)
  • 400g fresh pineapple
  • Thyme leaves from 2 springs
  • 1l vegetable stock
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 5 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 smoked duck breast
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste

METHOD

Put the tomatoes in a bowl and add boiling water to cover. After 3 minutes remove tomatoes from the boiling water, with a spoon, place them in ice cold water and then remove the skin.

Chop the tomatoes and pineapple, place them on a baking tray, add salt, 3 tbsp. olive oil and thyme; roast it for 12 mins at 170C.

Cook the onion and garlic in 2tbsp oil until softened, then add stock, stir in roasted tomatoes and pineapple and simmer for 15 minutes.

Pour the soup into a food processor, add seasoning and blend until smooth. Serve with a couple of slices of pan-fried smoked duck.

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