Helen is an award-winning freelance food, travel and recipe writer with bylines in many major food publications. She has been a live-fire cooking enthusiast for as long as she can remember. The proud owner of five barbecues (two ceramic, one kettle, one mangal, one jerk drum), she loves cats, carbs, crabs, kebabs, and anything she can stuff into bread.
Pit is a magazine with roots in food and fire. While our original intention was to take an in-depth, fresh and fun look at the world of live fire cooking (and we still do), our purpose has evolved, and we now have a much wider remit. Each themed issue uncovers the most interesting and unusual food stories from around the world through people, traditions, techniques and ingredients.
Because we’re an independent publication, we get to do whatever we like. That means we’ve cooked a giant goat shawarma for 30 people in a south London snowstorm, themed whole issues around sausages and MSG, and travelled the world through Sicily, Morocco, Malaysia and Zanzibar in search of dinner.
We are constantly on the hunt for untold stories – the ones where we dive into the world of Turkish barbecue at chef Hasan Semay’s family home or learn about the importance of frozen hash browns to kushiyaki from Japanese food expert Tim Anderson.
Pit publishes a wide range of content. From geeky science features (why does smoke make food taste so good? How does salt affect ingredients?), to fresh recipe angles and in-depth features focusing on everything from a tongue in cheek kebab taxonomy to the link between sex work, opium and illegal liquor production in Madya Pradesh. We are always looking to dodge the obvious angle.
Our stories are told by award-winning writers and our features designed, illustrated and photographed in bold, exciting ways. If you love food, you will love Pit. Come join us!
Press and Awards!
BSME Awards 2021 Shortlist: Helen Graves, Food and Drink Editor of the Year; Holly Catford, Art Director of the Year, Consumer; Hasan Semay, Columnist of the Year
BSME Awards 2020: Winner Helen Graves, Food and Drink Editor of the Year
‘Truly a collector’s piece’ – Nigella Lawson on Issue 09: MSG
‘I love this magazine’ – Tom Parker-Bowles
‘And a big smoky welcome to Pit Magazine, a new title dedicated to the joys of smoking and cooking over fire. The first edition, full of glossy images of hot meat-on-fire action… a joy for anyone interested in the interaction between food and fire’ – Jay Rayner, The Observer
‘It’s excellent! Recommended’ – Marina O’Loughlin, The Sunday Times
‘There is a huge amount of quality packed in here. You can see that right in the beginning with the ads, some really good high quality adverts which is a sign of a magazine getting off to a very confident, healthy start. Lovely fluorescent orange on the cover, big full bleed images, picture captions throughout. Writing throughout is really high quality, I was hungry the whole time.’ – Steve Watson, Stack Magazines
‘ I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited to receive an issue of a magazine. It’s 98 pages of hot sausage action. Bravo @PitmagazineUK’ – Jay Rayner
‘…the imagery is refreshing; gritty, messy and real, a nice step away from the meticulously styled, posed food we’re used to seeing in food magazines.’ – Salonee Gadgil, Creative Review
Pit’s Art Director, Holly Catford talks to Coverage by Subsail about cooking a goat shawarma in the snow subsail.com/blog/cooking-goat-in-the-mud/
Pit’s Editor and Art Director talk to Stack Magazines about food styling, cheese trolleys and why McDonald’s can’t jerk stackmagazines.com/food-drink/beer-barbecue-and-why-mcdonalds-cant-jerk/
‘Unpretentious and scrappy’
– Kitty Drake, Stack Magazines
‘…combining history, recipes, advice and a sense of humour…’
Our Art Director Holly Catford does an Instagram Live with MAGCULTURE about Pit’s redesign for Issue 07
‘The indispensable Pit Magazine’
– Stuart Heritage, The Guardian
Holly’s been an editorial designer at leading design studio Esterson Associates for eight years. She’s currently the art director of History Today and Museums Journal as well as art editor of Eye, the international review of graphic design. She lives in Bristol with her two cats and until last year she couldn’t light a barbecue.
Robert is a London based photographer working mainly in the realms of food and drink. He has worked with leading advertising agencies such as Ogilvy and Mather and Mother London and regularly shoots editorial. When he’s not out taking pictures he’s in the kitchen trying to perfect dishes, current projects include the perfect confit duck, burying a pig over coals and fermented radish pickles.