The Team

Palate was co-founded by Cristian Ley and J A Smith. Ever since they met in London they have shared the same passion for eating out, cooking and wine. As students they organised wine tasting evenings, experimented with their own cooking and explored London’s amazing dining scene (as far as their budgets would allow). Now wiser and more experienced, they felt it was time to form their own magazine dedicated to food and drink: one that is entirely independent and free to read with a curated selection of reviews and articles.    

The writing team

Cristian 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. Mastering the appellation system was a platform for wider learning and 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.

J A Smith is a food writer and enthusiastic home cook. He holds a WSET qualification in wine and spirits and attended a catering school in Bologna. He has a particular interest in French and Italian food inspired by his 18 months living in France and his travels around Italy. He regularly travels to research local cuisine and restaurants. He is also a playwright and has written several short plays and 4 full-length plays, two of which have been produced in London so far.

Jervan Khou is a food writer and our resident cocktail expert. 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. Something of a gastronomic globetrotter, he has travelled widely and continues to go to many of the world’s best restaurants and bars.  

IT support and design

  • Richard Scott


  • Alex Minakov
  • J A Smith
  • Cristian Ley
  • Jervan Khou

Illustrations and artwork

  • Ashley Donaldson