‘Food and Buffy the Vampire Slayer helped me to escape school bullies’

My treasured food memory: James Kavanagh

James Kavanagh: Mum’s speciality is Italian food

When I was growing up, I used to get badly bullied in school, and my escape and my solace in life were two things – Buffy The Vampire Slayer and food. I adored both and they helped me to hold onto a glimmer of happiness through miserable days.

I remember one particular day, where my main bully in school gave me a harder-than-usual time, and I left the school gates the same way I would each day – deflated and exhausted.

It was a dark, drizzly, winter’s evening and as I was walking home I passed by a massive pothole in the ground. A bus drove by and flung the water from the hole all over me, my school bag and my itchy school jumper.

It was the last straw. Pure misery. Prior to that, I thought cars driving through puddles and drenching people only happened in movies.


My mum is an indulgent cook, and was always whipping up Nigella Lawson-esque dishes that would comfort even the most beaten soul. So, knowing there was going to be something delicious at home, I marched on through the dreary evening.

When I got home, I got into the shower straight away, and threw on comfy clothes. Mum had made the perfect tonic for what I had just been through, a piping-hot, cheesy and deeply-flavoured lasagne. Italian is her speciality.

I remember grabbing a portion and running upstairs to watch a new episode of Buffy. It was pure bliss and totally healing. Two of my loves combined, to help me beat the blues of the day.

James Kavanagh is a social media entrepreneur and co-founder of Currabinny food company