The Team

Palate has a small team of regular contributors. We also welcome guest writers (some of our guest writers are featured below). If you are interested in contributing a review or article, please get in touch via our Contact page or via direct message on our social channels.


Regular writers

J A Smith (editor) is a writer, journalist and enthusiastic home cook based in London. He holds a WSET qualification in wine and spirits and long before moving into media had a brief spell working front of house in various hotels. He has also written plays, two of which have been performed in London. An inveterate Francophile and fluent French speaker, he’s still plotting his dream wine bar bookshop somewhere in France.

Mike Daw is a London-based writer and hospitality professional. After graduating from catering school and completing a degree in Hospitality – with a stint working at Le Manoir aux’quat Saisons – he moved to London to open The Beaumont in Mayfair and now works for CODE Hospitality.

Amanda David is Deputy Editor of Chatting Food (London) and a freelance writer specialising in London restaurants, bars, exhibitions and events. You can follow her on Instagram @LondonGAT and @a_cooks_bookshelf.

C Ley worked as a DJ within various clubs and bars between 2002 and 2013. Having previously lived in France, hanging up the headphones allowed him to focus on his other passion: French wine. He now specialises in the vineyards/producers of USA, Spain and South Africa, along with France. No stranger to a three-course meal, he dedicates his time to wading through the (ever-expanding) London and provincial dining scenes. In 2020 he stepped down from his co-editorial responsibilities for Palate but remains a sounding board and occasional contributor.

J Khou is a food and travel writer and our resident cocktail expert. A true citizen of the world, Jervan was born in California, raised in Singapore and has lived in London, New York and Tokyo. Whilst in London he worked part time in one of the capital’s top hotel bars. When not making cocktails, he enjoys cooking for friends and dining out. He has travelled widely and continues to go to many of the world’s best restaurants and bars.


Guest writers

Alicia Rose is a wine writer and tastings host with expertise in natural, organic and biodynamic wines. You can follow her on Instagram @naturalwine.girl and through her website

Julian Vallis is a gin expert and self-confessed ‘cocktail nerd’. With gin blogger Sandra Lim (@juniperchick) they run the Martini Club to help people learn more about this important cocktail. More details about the Martini Club can be found here. You can follow Julian’s adventures and impressive recipes on Instagram and Twitter following the handle @julianvallis.

Margaret Wynn works for the Umami Information Center (UIC) in Japan. You can find out more about Umami on Instagram @umami_fun or on Facebook @UmamiInformationCenter.


IT support and design

Richard Scott


Palate logo and artwork

Ashley Donaldson



By the writing team (unless otherwise indicated)



J A Smith



C Ley and J A Smith