For years, Louise Gray lived with a secret. She was a respected food writer, but she’d also struggled with a serious eating disorder since her teens. Here she reveals how she coped
The annual Guild of Food Writers Awards is a bit like the Oscars for foodies. When my name was called, I leapt out of my seat and ran to the stage to receive two awards. I even gave a speech, though I managed to keep it short – and not cry. In the audience of 300 food writers, journalists and chefs packed into a trendy warehouse venue in London, I could see many of my heroes applauding. Previous winners of the awards for food book and investigative food work included Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Jamie Oliver and Heston Blumenthal. It should have been a moment of great triumph. But I felt like a fraud.
What the hell was I doing here? I had become a food writer entirely by accident. I looked around at all these modern-day gurus on how to cook and how to eat and knew I had a very different relationship with food. I had a terrible secret.