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We here at stationfm.ning.com continue to salute our Home Grown Icons - the UK's finest entertainers, sports and business men and women who came from grass roots to where they are today

Our Home Grown Icon for today is :-  Lorraine Pascale

Lorraine was born in London 1972, is a chef, regularly appearing on TV and radio, and has sold almost one million books

She was born to Caribbean parents in Hackney, at The Mothers' Hospital and was fostered shortly after she was born. She was adopted at 18 months old and brought up in Oxfordshire. When her adoptive parents divorced when she was three years old, Pascale remained with her mother, who subsequently became ill. At this point, at age seven, she was fostered to more than one family. Eventually she returned to her mother. She won a full scholarship given by the Buttle Trust and so was educated at a boarding school in Devon.

Lorraine married Polish musician Count Kaz Balinski-Jundzill in 1995 and the couple had a daughter, actress Ella Balinski in 1996. The couple separated in 2000 and subsequently divorced.

At age 16, Pascale was spotted as a potential model by the agent who had found Naomi Campbell. Based in New York, she achieved recognition as the first black British model to appear on the cover of American Elle. She then recognised the need to ensure her future after modelling and embarked on a series of career "try-outs", including hypnotherapy. She took a diploma cookery course at Leith's School of Food and Wine in 2005 and found that cookery fitted her "like a pair of old jeans". After gaining her diploma, she did a series of 'stages' in some London restaurants but, realising that restaurant hours would not suit her, Pascale established herself as a specialist cakemaker, gaining a contract with Selfridges. Her introduction to Selfridges was at the suggestion of chef Marco Pierre White, and in 2008 and 2010 she supplied the London store with over 1000 Christmas cakes. Pascale has opened her own shop, Ella's Bakehouse, in Covent Garden, and also studied Culinary Arts at Thames Valley University and in March 2012 graduated with a first class degree.

In January 2011, Lorraine presented a television bakery programme, Baking Made Easy, on BBC television, and published a bakery book based upon this series. Later that year, a second series, Home Cooking Made Easy, was broadcast in September and October, with an accompanying book. A Last Minute Christmas programme aired on BBC Two on 22 December 2011. A third book was published in 2012 and a series based upon it, called Fast, Fresh & Easy Food, aired in August and September 2012 on BBC Two.

Since January 2014, she has co-presented and judged the UK version of My Kitchen Rules on Sky Living.. In early 2014, it was announced that Pascale was to host a new six-part television series called Lorraine Pascale: How to be a Better Cook that would air later in the year on BBC Two. In March 2015, she co-hosted The Nation's Favourite Food alongside The Hairy Bikers. The show aired for one episode on BBC Two. Lorraine continues to do shows on television, and also works at various charities, in particular those that deal with fostering and adoption.

Lorraine - we here at Station FM salute you !

Previous Home Grown Icons have included our very own Father Keithley, Jessica Ennis Hill, Smiley Culture, Tim Campbell. Mafia and Fluxy, and many many others

We set the pace for others to follow

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