Irina Janakievska is a food writer and recipe developer who describes herself as someone with a Balkan heart (and stomach!), a Middle Eastern palette and British curiosity. She was born in what is now North Macedonia (then part of former Yugoslavia), grew up in Kuwait, and studied and now lives and works in London. Irina left a successful career in corporate and finance law to follow her passion for sharing her love of Balkan cuisine, the Balkans and its people with the world. She writes to showcase the region’s unique history and heritage, which are most beautifully preserved in its food. She has contributed to the Guardian, Foodnetwork US and Mediterranean Lifestyle magazine, and her past work includes the Ottolenghi Test Kitchen.