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About Us

Cheers! Our home is in the village of Cocentaina, next to the much larger town of Alcoy, in an inland area of the Costa Blanca known as 'El Comtat'.

We're devoting ourselves to the pursuit of all things vegan, so we've named our quirky little house 'Casa Green Cuizine'.

 

How we came to be here is a long story: here's a small part of it.

Nicki's Story

 

In January 2015, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer and underwent a radical hysterectomy and lymphaden-ectomy just a few weeks later. Without the lymph nodes, the fat in my diet was not being processed efficiently so I gained weight rapidly. I was already a vegetarian, but the dairy had to go as well.

I’d been acutely aware of where my food comes from since I was a small child growing up in several countries in Africa.  Even as a child I knew that I didn't want animals to suffer to as a result of my eating, but it wasn’t until I started boarding in England that I had the freedom to become properly vegetarian.

 

Cooking was a passion even before I started school, so it became my job to cook my own vegetarian meals during the school holidays, a responsibility that I enthusiastically embraced. Throughout my student days in South Africa, I worked in restaurants and frequently found myself in the kitchens, annoying the chefs with endless questions about cooking techniques and demands for advice on plant-based recipes.

 

I dropped out of university for a couple of years and became a partner in a restaurant in Johannesburg,  focussing on developing the meat free options.  On return to uni I began vegetarian catering and later, when my children were still small, I started to do cooking demonstrations and started study nutrition in earnest.

I moved to the UK in 2002 and after a few years retrained to become a design teacher, with food and nutrition as a specialist subject. I furthered my studies in nutrition, began to undertake cooking masterclasses and became subject leader for food and nutrition in my final years of teaching.

I’ve always been fit and active, pursuing long distance swimming, scuba diving (including deep and cave diving), learning Shotokan karate (2nd Dan) and completing my first triathlon at the age of nearly 50.  In July 2016, 18 months after my cancer surgery, I cycled 400km (with Jon) in less than 24 hours.

In 2014 I met Jon at our local cycling club and we got married in 2018.  In the same year we gave up our jobs, moved to Spain and started up a Bed and Breakfast, which folded in 2020 due to Covid 19. I am now focused on developing vegan and gluten-free recipes and running vegan cookery demonstrations, which have develop into bespoke cookery courses.

So we've called ourselves Casa Green Cuizine.  It's an idea born from my passion for vegan food, and it's also a journey I'd like to share with you. I hope you will take the time to browse the site and all of the unique content I have to offer. Take a look around and enjoy!

Jon's Story

I was an officer in the British Army for 32 years and have little to show for it other than a Kenny Everett style row of medals and a large assortment of hats. In my youth I was a journeyman track athlete and cross-country runner, which evolved into a rather masochistic phase of fell running and orienteering around the hills and forests of Britain.

 

Mountaineering in all its forms has been a life-long adventure, including rock, ice and alpine climbing, but one near-death experience too many (a crevasse, if you must know) persuaded me to bequeath the climbing gear to Watson junior and take up road cycling instead. This has since become my overriding passion, although I still run a bit and do my utmost (so far unsuccessfully) to keep up with Nicki in the water.

It was Nicki who not only opened my eyes to the benefits of a vegan diet but also diagnosed my ever-worsening intolerence to gluten.  So I've been vegan and GF for almost 10 years now and have honestly never felt better.  Truly, it's a game-changer ;-)!

Nowadays I focus on deploying my legendary organisational (not) and gardening (definitely not) skills in support of Nicki's vegan cooking endeavours and keeping our small fleet of bikes on the road, ready for our regular local rides and occasional touring expeditions.

We've already met and hosted some wonderful people during our short time in this lovely area and I very much hope you will join them!