I’m a freelance journalist, published by the BBC, RTÉ, The Irish Times, The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, Radio Canada, Le Point, La Presse and many others.
In recent times, I’ve covered stories like the aftermath of Islamic State in Iraq, the rise of Hungary’s far-right, war in Cameroon, narco-trafficking in Guinea Bissau and modern slavery in Pakistan. I also write a monthly column and culture features for Die Zeit's English-language magazine, Spotlight.
Currently based in London, I do both print and broadcast – in English and French. Contact me here.
Recent work - UK/world
France: Police killing weighs in the banlieues before run-off vote
Tensions in the deprived suburbs around Paris ahead of a high-stakes election that has seen a new wave of support for the far-right. In Beaudottes, where protests were crushed after the recent police killing of a black man, frustrated residents cut off from mainstream society see no reason to vote.
French election report
Hijacked by the horrors of the war in Ukraine, dragged down by a general post-pandemic weariness, France's presidential election has been a rather humdrum affair. A sense of gloomy inevitability reigns among voters disillusioned by the politics of Emmanuel Macron, who are now being exhorted to "faire barrage", or block Marine Le Pen.
Relatives of family killed in M6 crash thank Irish people
The story of Karzan Sabah Ahmed and Shahen Qasm, who died with their baby in a crash in Galway. People from across Ireland raised funds to send them home to their family in Erbil.
Yazidi women and girls still enslaved
Around 2,800 women and girls enslaved by Islamic State are still missing.
It is thought that many of those who survived may be trapped in the increasingly dangerous Al-Hawl detention camp in northeast Syria.
(Photograph: Lolav Media/Ginestra Film)
Turkish attacks on northern Iraq
Turkey's attack on Sinjar during an official visit by Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi to mark Islamic State's genocide of the Yazidi people sent a clear message. Turkey does not consider Iraq to be a sovereign nation.
Recent work - food
The Supper Club: Interviews with the UK’s top food personalities
Series of articles published in Die Zeit’s Spotlight magazine over 2021
Powerhouse chef, whose restaurant, Core by Clare Smyth, is widely regarded by critics as the best in London. Clare is the first and only British female chef to hold three Michelin stars. Originally from Country Antrim, Northern Ireland, her signature dish is the world’s poshest potato.
Scotland’s hottest food talent. McNee’s Cail Bruich in Glasgow was recently awarded a Michelin star. This teuchter from Dallas in northeast Scotland is creating some of the most exquisite dishes in the British Isles, using the freshest ingredients, from Isle of Skye langoustine to Exmoor caviar.
There’s something truly magical about Rosie Birkett’s writing. Such is her enthusiasm for food that you can actually sense the flavours dancing on your taste buds as you read. Her latest book, East London Food, offers a kaleidoscopic tour of the city, from the Ghanaian supper club run from a flat in Hackney to the Hai Café in Clapton.
This celebrated chef was forced by the pandemic to close down his fashionable London restaurants. Faced with catastrophe, his response was to ditch the city and serve the good people of his native Dorset from a food truck instead, preparing freshly caught fish bought from local fishermen, with veg from his own garden. A year on, he’s running three businesses.
Rising star who trained with the Roux brothers. His doll-sized new restaurant in the heart of Chinatown is all about performance. At Evelyn’s Table, he and his two brothers cook British produce with Japanese techniques in a tiny kitchen, in front of a handful of guests.
Pizazz on a plate, Glipa has brought cinematic verve to celeb hangouts like the Chiltern Firehouse. His new venture in Covent Garden. Louie – named after jazz great Louis Armstrong and ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV - is a very personal project, the culmination of twenty-five years’ in the restaurant world, distilling New Orleans, New York, Paris and London.
Self-styled chef, who reached the pinnacle of London’s culinary scene, only to ditch it all for a stall at Borough Market, where he launched his mission to spread the word about the Caribbean soul food of his childhood. Williams is currently setting up a mentoring scheme for disadvantaged teens in North London.
A self-described ‘pastry deviant’, this London chef has perfected the art of pie-making to the point of obsession, single-handedly reviving an archaic style of cooking that was possibly nearing extinction, given the decline of the city’s pie and mash shops. Sample his fare at The Pie Room, his eccentric Victorian kitchen in Holborn, London.
Recent work - culture
Interview: William Sitwell
Interview with William Sitwell, restaurant critic for The Telegraph, whose book on eating out was published just as every restaurant in the world had closed. But Sitwell, who writes with the wit of the raffish old-school toff, is accustomed to being out of step with the zeitgeist.
The Great Stink of London
Travel feature taking us right back to London in 1858, just as the city's inhabitants are 'isolating' indoors from a hot fog of pestilence rising from the sewage-filled Thames . Highlight is a visit to The Rookery, aka Little Ireland, where residents are dying en masse from cholera.
Selected from archives
Mosul’s new masters
After Isis, came the mafia. In Mosul, a jumbled assortment of Iran-backed militias, known collectively as the Hashd al-Shaabi, compete for their share of the spoils of war.
The vapers of Mosul
Out on the hustle with three buccaneering entrepreneurs, selling vapes in war-torn Mosul. Moslawis are born entrepreneurs. Given half the chance, they can make their city great again.
‘You live with these men as a slave. It’s free for them to do anything’
Naveen Rasho endured five years of hell at the hands of Islamic State. She survived the fall of the caliphate in Baghuz, only to face the fresh horror of detention at Al Hawl camp in Syria with her captor’s three brides.
Global Ear: Dé:Nash
Hungarian rapper Dé:Nash mines his country’s collective consciousness, satirising the Fidesz regime’s use of ancient legend and historical grievances to craft a new national narrative.
’Licence to kill’
Cameroon’s bloody conflict between the regime and separatist rebels has been raging nearly three years. Government forces wield their ‘licence to kill’ liberally, with utter impunity.
Interview: Guinea-Bissau’s president
José Mário Vaz, president of Guinea-Bissau, appeals to world for help in fighting the cocaine cartels that he says are still using the fragile state as a trafficking hub.