When Martine Bailey entered a cookery contest she had no idea it would lead to a life-changing obsession with French cuisine. As an amateur cook, Martine won the Merchant Gourmet Recipe Challenge and was a former UK Dessert Champion, cooking at Le Meurice in Paris.
Inspired by eighteenth-century household books of recipes, An Appetite for Violets invites readers to feast on the past as a sharp-witted young cook is taken on a mysterious trip to Italy. In pursuit of authenticity Martine studied with TV food historian Ivan Day and experienced Georgian food and fashion at firsthand with an historic re-enactment society. She followed the route of the novel, from Chester to Paris, then over the Alps to Tuscany, consulting Thomas Nugent's 18th century Guide to the Grand Tour.
Martine lives in Cheshire, England and Auckland, New Zealand. She is married with one son and has also written The Penny Heart, to be published in 2015.