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Marie Mitchell’s debut cookbook – a project almost four years in the making – was published in the U.K. this month. Kin: Caribbean Recipes for the Modern Kitchen, Mitchell tells me over the phone, is a book about “change”. She says it’s much more than a cookbook: “It’s a springboard for having conversations, about how we move on past colonialism and its legacy, where food is the journey,” she says. “Caribbean countries’s greatest export has been its cultures – that’s where we’ve had control and power; people buy into it in many different capacities.” It’s now about how we invest in those countries and those cultures in order to redress a deep-seated and enduring colonial imbalance, she says.

But Kin is a personal as well as professional triumph for Mitchell, who has been cooking since 2015 when she launched pop-up food brand Pop’s Kitchen with the steady help of her parents. “It’s taken me a long time to get to this point,” she says, reflecting on publication last week. “I feel ecstatically proud, because I did think it was not going to be the book I’d always envisaged when I lost mum.” Mitchell’s mum died after a short illness with COVID-19 in early in 2021, just weeks before she was about to give birth to her daughter, Marcie, having only just recovered from a very serious case of the virus herself. Marcie, of course, then arrived in the middle of the pandemic, her mother grieving the loss of her own. Alongside the loss of her brother some years ago, Mitchell says it was the hardest thing she’s ever been through emotionally. “[Mum and my brother’s] energy has galvanised me to make the book what it is,” Mitchell says. She says that working on and writing the book in the years since has been a “massive part of the healing process”.

Marie Mitchell photographed at her home in London, by Michaël Protin for Something Curated, summer 2024.

She’s already started thinking about book two, which will be an evolution of the themes addressed in Kin. It’s a project she’s excited to work on, having navigated her debut work through at times unimaginable difficulty.

Here Mitchell shares with Something Curated the things that matter most to her, things which have kept her centred, grounded, and connected – from her plants, kitchen utensils, and notebooks to her version of home and a headscarf given to her by her mum, which she still wears every day.

At home with Marie Mitchell

Knife roll

Marie: Well, I’m a chef … a cook. I cook!

I bought this myself – it took me years and I only got it when I got the 12-week Leith’s scholarship in 2022 (just after I returned from parental leave) because I was traveling across London with my knives wrapped up in tea towels and thought I needed something more proper.

Through this, I’ve also realised just how much of a game-changer having different knives for different purposes can be. With the roll, too, I was like, ‘right, I’m actually taking this seriously.’


Marie: These are my prized possessions. I’ve always been a scribbler even though my phone notes app is absolutely heaving… I still put it down on paper – recipes, ideas, thoughts. Committing something to paper does something for me and my memory: the tangibility of it makes it so much more real.

When I note something down – actually, like in the case of the next book – it feels like that’s the start of something.


Marie: I always wear a headscarf at night to protect my hair. I’ve never bought one because my mum always gave them to me. And now, wearing this one, it feels like I’m tethered to her every day.

I feel it’s important to keep honouring the dead, especially our dead, through small acts and rituals which tie you to them.

Marcie loves putting it on, which is very cute. It feels like mum and Marcie are connected even though they never met. I often say to her she knew her before I did, as she carried us both at one time. A powerful familial link when you bear children and have a child who may one day bear her own.


Marie: The many that I’m working through at the moment.

I tend to read multiple books at the same time, because I think if you’re engaging with them then different aspects of them will stimulate different parts of you.

When I’m reading books, I can switch off, calm down; they energise and inspire me and I love getting lost in the words and worlds in their pages.

Getting to the end – all the thoughts that come… being in that world for all that time – it’s such a good feeling.

I’m a very tactile person and a kinaesthetic learner, so there’s something about the physical that just means I commit it to memory and for me to connect with it.


Marie: This picture [of daughter Marcie, and husband Danny, taken from the Kin] lends itself to the idea of home.

Home is a physical embodiment of those who bring you to the home. And these two do that for me: they centre me.


Marie: There are particular types of plants I’m always drawn to and they are always waxy. I think it’s because you get them in tropical places and I’m consciously or unconsciously always chasing the Caribbean. At the moment, my heart is in Carriacou, the Grenadian island. We got married and had our honeymoon in Grenada – and my parents came with us! And even though my heritage is Jamaican, I wanted to go back to Grenada to shoot the book, because that’s where I last went with mum.

Roti spatulas

Marie: These hand-carved spatulas were gifted to me from a friend who had this (sadly no more) beautiful sustainable business called Aerende. She thought I’d love them because they’d be the perfect roti spatulas, and they are – I always use them when I’m making roti.

I love [working with] dough, pastry in general: baking is my therapy. Other than when I’m making 100 roti, I relax a bit when I’m baking.

Marie Mitchell’s debut cookbook, Kin: Caribbean Recipes for the Modern Kitchen is out now and can be purchased here. All photography by Michaël Protin. This interview has been edited for clarity.

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