The Team

Palate has a small roster of regular contributors. We also welcome guest writers (some of our guest writers are featured below).



J A Smith is a writer and editor based in London and the co-founder of Palate. Before moving into a career in media he worked in hospitality, contributed to food publications and lived in France for a couple of years. When not reviewing restaurants anonymously he cooks, reads, travels and enjoys wine and cocktails. He currently edits Palate and manages its social media accounts.

Mike Daw is a London-based freelance writer. 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. He has worked for Ten Concierge, CODE Hospitality and The Good Food Guide. Mike also writes for The Reveller section of The Evening Standard.

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.

Daniela Toporek likes to wander through London’s food markets, discover new cheeses and hunt down the best Mexican spots in town. A food and travel writer born in the States, but with Mexican roots, Daniela loves how food connects cultures and inspires people to explore the world.

Milton Tomic is a London-based biochemist, PhD researcher and writer. He recently took up the role of food and drink editor of The Strand Magazine, and he is particularly interested in oenology and French cuisine. When he’s not writing about wine, food or science, he plays the piano, sips on a Negroni and frequents galleries and museums.

Vicky Morrison is a London-based freelance food writer. She has written food columns for Cambridge-based university newspapers and an English language newspaper when she lived in Buenos Aires. You can follow her on Instagram @fatvicks. In her free time she volunteers in the Made For Hackney community kitchen and eats/cooks constantly.

Archie Montgomery is an assistant producer in food TV with experience working on shows such as The Great British Bake Off and Masterchef. He is grain-obsessed and spends his free time visiting bakeries in search of the best croissant in existence. He documents his search as well as recipes, bakery news and musings on his Instagram @je_ne_sais_croissant.

Sam Wilson is a London-based freelance food writer and shameless omnivore, with years of experience on both sides of the pass. You can follow him on Instagram @baldflavours.

Rachel Naismith is a former micro-bakery owner and manager of a Glasgow-based food bank. She currently lives in Paris where she writes about the city’s shifting culinary landscape.

Emily O’Brien is a London-based sales co-ordinator working at a luxury sales, marketing and communications agency. Coming from a family of bakers and with a self-professed sweet tooth, she likes to spend her free time developing and baking a plethora of vegan treats.

Siobhan Gunner is a freelance writer, sub-editor and founder of dessert-focused food blog Hotspothunter. Having grown a following in the thousands, she also manages social media accounts of businesses in hospitality. If you have a sweet tooth, follow her on Instagram @hotspothunter.

Rashmi Narayan is a food and drink journalist. She writes features for a wide range of publications and websites including Love Food, Culture Trip, Time Out and Tonic Magazine. She lives in London with an ever-growing collection of books, steam trains and a (usually) well-stocked cabinet of single malt whisky.

Jervan Khou is a food and travel writer. 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.

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.


Emeritus co-editor

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. He co-founded Palate with J A Smith and they shared editorial responsibilities in its early years. In 2020 he stepped down as co-editor but remains a sounding board, dining companion and voracious bon vivant.


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