Rachel was born in Southampton in 1972. Having studied at the Drama Center London she worked as an actress until, quite suddenly, moving to Rome in 2005. She lives next to a market and above a bread shop in a quarter of Rome called Testaccio, which is shaped like a wedge of cheese. Fitting for a woman who now spends her time writing about cheese and the other things she cooks in her Roman kitchen. As well as writing her blog and working on her first book, Rachel has written for the Guardian and the Spectator.
FIVE QUARTERS was published by Saltyard Books in 2015 and won the André Simon award for food writing. It was also shortlisted for the First Book Award at the Guild of Food Writers Awards 2016.
‘Of course I thought Rome was glorious, but I didn’t want to stay. A month, three at most, then I’d take a train back to Sicily to finish the clockwise journey I’d interrupted, before moving even further southwards…’ Instead, captivated by the exhilarating life of Testaccio, the wedge-shaped quarter of Rome that centres round the old slaughterhouse and the bustling food market, Rachel decided to rent a flat and live there. Thus began an Italian adventure that’s turned into a brand new life. Five Quarters charts a year in Rachel’s small kitchen, shopping, cooking, eating and writing, capturing a uniquely domestic picture of life in this vibrant, charismatic city.