SOIGNE CONSULTING: Monya Kilian Palmer

SOIGNÉ CONSULTING was established in early 2017 and is the name Monya Kilian Palmer trades under.

Monya spends half her time in Bray, as consultant Content Editor and recipe writer at the Fat Duck Group and the remainder of her time nurturing her creative side by developing original recipes + visuals for clients all over the world. Her experience also lies in supporting busy chefs and aspiring cookbook authors with their cookbook projects, and more recently private cheffing for an international athlete.

To view Monya's portfolio, visit or visit her recipe blog on the Ketogenic Lifestyle at

Read more about Monya Kilian Palmer
It's a familiar story...

Young person finishes high school, refuses to study law despite being accepted into University, chooses art school instead, spends 10 years in website design (while dabbling in oil painting, photography, and cooking to keep inner creative monster nourished), develops a deep interest in food and cooking and realises a major career change is inevitable...

"That was my story. Summarised for your benefit, of course - but the story, nonetheless...

Once the decision was made to switch careers, I closed my little website design business and enrolled in culinary school. I graduated with a Diploma in Culinary Arts (Student of the Year). My desire was never to work in a restaurant kitchen, but my appetite to learn and grow was insatiable and I was determined to carve out a niche for myself in this industry.

I started working as an assistant to the food stylists of South Africa's #1 selling food magazine, FRESH LIVING (John Brown Media), before moving on to the central test kitchen of the Caviar Group of Restaurants in Cape Town where I worked as a Development Chef - exploring the textural agents of molecular cuisine.

After relocating to the UK, I was honored to spend three and a half exhilarating years working with Heston Blumenthal and his extremely talented team at the Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen in Bray in a variety of different roles. There was some recipe development in the early days (I fondly remember having to develop a homemade bubble gum for a TV show - it had to taste like apples and look like spaghetti!), but my role evolved into recipe testing, recipe writing, and project management for the multiple award-winning HISTORIC HESTON (Bloomsbury 2013).

I seized the opportunity to fill the role of Culinary Editor at Le Cordon Bleu International, where my responsibility lay once again in publishing (client-side) - conceptualising cookbook ideas, liaising with potential publishers, and managing cookbook projects.

Variety is exceptionally important to me, professionally, so consulting was a fitting and obvious next step. I work out of my large, sunny (fully-equipped) kitchen-office in Berkshire, and travel as needed."

* I heard the word SOIGNÉ (pronounced SWAN-YAY) for the first time when I was working at the Fat Duck. It was a term the reservations and FOH team used internally when referring to guests of extreme importance (VIP individuals/ celebrities). I always loved the word and what it represented. To me, it symbolised something truly special and I am glad I never forgot it. Years later when researching its actual meaning, I discovered it not only meant attention to detail and elegantly executed, but it also meant to take care of. My philosophy, exactly.

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