Hello there!

Toothy (the oven glove) and IWelcome to Sharky Oven Gloves, where I share my favourite recipes (and occasional dismal failures), peppered with bits and pieces from my “real” life as a marine science PhD student.

So I’m Mel, a cheese-loving, gin-drinking, mildly sarcastic, French and Scottish* twenty-something currently living in the village of Leigh, north of Auckland, New Zealand.  Our marine lab overlooks a reserve where we go snorkelling during our summer lunch breaks.  We’re utterly spoilt – despite the demands of academia, it’s a ridiculously idyllic lifestyle.  Please don’t hate me.

We're spoilt with sunsets here in Leigh

Whilst my labmates and I are remarkably adept at justifying snorkelling and surfing as “science,” I actually study shark and ray behaviour.  It’s not nearly as glamorous as it sounds – honestly, I spend large amounts of time accidentally getting fish in my hair and raging at a computer screen because Microsoft Office and all stats programs are the spawn of the devil – but overall it’s heaps of fun.  I currently work on completely adorable eagle rays and swell sharks.

Beefeater the Eagle Ray

Super cute or what?  That’ll be Beefeater.  I name all my rays after gins.  And all my sharks after whiskies.  Who said science isn’t fun?!

When I’m not busy being a totally badass (ahem) shark scientist or mucking around in the sea, I can often be found in the kitchen with my shark-shaped oven gloves.  You won’t be surprised to hear that I love food since, you know, I write a food blog (slight giveaway there).

Pottering around in the kitchen provides relaxation and a welcome break from all the procrastinative snorkelling work that a PhD involves.  Most of my baking goes to the lab where it usually disappears with alacrity – my labmates are a wonderful bunch and enthusiastic taste-testers.

I try to eat local and seasonal as much as possible – I’m lucky that this isn’t particularly difficult in rural NZ – and cook and bake from scratch where feasible.  I thoroughly enjoy taking the time to savour the food on the table, preferably with good company and good wine.  Clichés?  What food blogger clichés?

Bashed or not, luckily they taste the same!  (I've tested this out and can confirm it as fact.)

I started blogging in my final year of a Zoology degree at St Andrews University.  This obviously had nothing to do with my considerable talent for procrastination.  Sharky Oven Gloves has carried on throughout my travels since then – leaving St Andrews, my post-Graduation stint in Edinburgh, my move to NZ to start an MSc at Auckland University, my move up to Leigh and subsequent transfer into a PhD – albeit with some periods of neglect whilst I focused on sorting those life transitions out.  Priorities and all that jazz.

So there you have it, a rather long-winded insight into the girl behind Sharky Oven Gloves.

If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you.  Here are your options for getting in touch:
E-mail: sharkyovengloves [at] gmail [dot] com
Twitter: @mel_orr
Facebook: Sharky Oven Gloves


*Apparently this confuses people.  My Dad is Scottish, my mum is French.  Fairly straightforward.  But just to complicate things, I was born in The Netherlands and grew up in various other countries.  Thus I’m a TCK (Third Culture Kid).  Well, TCKA now (TCK Adult).  My accent changes more or less constantly, so I sound weird when I talk.  Apparently.


17 responses to “About

  1. Hi there, really enjoy your blog (and share your fascination with sharks) but just wondered why you don’t seem to offer an RSS feed (unless I’m blind and can’t find it!)? I’m not a fan of email subscriptions as I view all other blogs via RSS and I know I’m not the only one! Just thought I’d mention it…

    Emma, of Souperior
    P.S. I’m not spam! Real human being food blogger!

    • Mel

      Hello, thank you for visiting! I’d sort of always assumed that there was an automatic link to an RSS feed or something, but thanks for pointing out that there doesn’t appear to be one – I think I’ve fixed that now, so you should be able to find the link in the sidebar under the email option.. Let me know if there are any issues with it!!

  2. Hey there! I absolutely love your blog – you’ve got some lovely recipes. And I have a massive sweet tooth. Haha. I have nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger award 🙂

  3. I started following your blog. I’m a big fan of EATING food. I am a big fan of eating food while DRINKING. I enjoy eating and drinking. No surprise there … I’m sure most do, if not … well … they are not human. I see your blog I dig the food AND on your about page is a SHARK. I know you know this, but I happen to have a 10 year old soon obsessed with sharks, through his passion I have become quite the shark connoisseur. I am also French/Scottish … how could I not follow your blog?

    • Mel

      Thank you for following! It’s lovely to hear from a fellow French/Scot. 🙂 My philosophy is that food and drink are there definitely one of life’s pleasures and to be enjoyed! That’s great that your son is enthusiastic about sharks – I hope he follows his passion, there’s plenty about sharks that we still don’t know.

  4. I should learn to eat then read your blog : )

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  6. Just wanted to let you know I have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award. I hope this will be welcome news for you. If you prefer not to accept the award, I certainly understand, but I hope you will visit the other nominees, and they will visit you, just the same. To see more about the award and accepting this nomination, please visit my post at http://wp.me/p2ekZU-E4. All the best!

    • Mel

      Thank you for the award, that’s so very kind of you to nominate me for it! I’ll be writing up my acceptance post at some point soonish.

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  9. Ha! The fact that you name animals after alcohol totally made me laugh! I fully support that type of naming process. Glad I stumbled across your blog — lots of delicious looking stuff, though I am a little torn b/c I also kind of hate you for that gorgeous sunset picture. 😉

    • Mel

      Haha, thanks – glad you’re on board with the uhm, highly scientific naming process… If it makes you feel better, sunsets that spectacular are pretty rare 🙂

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