The Team

Palate was co-founded by Cristian Ley and J A Smith – two friends who connected over a shared passion for eating out, wine and a brief history working in hospitality. Before turning to journalism 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 older (but not necessarily wiser), they decided to form their own online magazine dedicated to food and drink: one that is entirely independent and free to read with a curated selection of reviews and articles.   


Regular contributors

J A Smith (editor) is a food writer, photographer, playwright and enthusiastic home cook. He holds a WSET qualification in wine and spirits and has attended various cookery courses. 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. 

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. 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.

Jervan 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.


We also welcome guest writers from time to time.


IT support and design

  • Richard Scott


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

Illustrations and artwork

  • Ashley Donaldson