Maria Bradford grew up in Freetown and started helping her mother prepare meals from about nine years old. Inspired by her heritage, Maria prepares traditional Sierra Leonean dishes and high-end Afro-fusion cuisine. Maria studied at Leith’s School of Food and Wine and founded Maria Bradford Kitchen in 2017, which became known as Shwen Shwen. Her catering is in high demand for corporate events and private dining throughout the UK and Africa. Maria lives in the south of England with her husband and two children. Sweet Salone is her first book.