I pick up a free food magazine from Waitrose every month; for some reason with magazines, I start at the back and work my way to the front – I have no idea why. The back page in the Waitrose magazine is always an interview with a well-known person, not always a cook or chef or food writer, but sports people, journalists, actors etc. The same sort of questions are asked, but it’s not a rigid list.
This month it is the actor Jack Davenport; if you’re interested in him you can get the magazine, but here I am asking myself most of the same questions – no point in asking me about living in new York because I don’t and have only visited once.
- What’s your earliest food memory? The house being filled with the smell of Seville oranges as my dad made marmalade – called parmalade because pa made it!
- Have you ever had a major kitchen disaster? We were making a Tudor style banquet for a friend who was leaving for a new job; we made marchpains – or at least we tried to. There was no internet to find recipes, and the recipe I had was vague to say the least. I made them in a decorative bun tin, I put all sorts of pretty things on top, almonds, candied peel etc, and put them in the oven… the marzipan welded itself to the bun tin and we had to throw the whole thing out. Ever since this has been known as The Battle of the Marchpains.
- Favourite chef? Such a hard question – Claudia Rodin is my favourite I guess, but also loving recipes from Emma Spicer, Joudie Kalla and Tanya Maher – enjoying their new cookery books, but my go to on-line is Ozlem Warren – her recipes never fail!
- Eat out or eat in? Like most ordinary people, however much we would like to eat out more regularly, it’s nearly always eat in.
- Do you have a favourite restaurant? The Driehoek where we go when we are in the Netherlands with our friends, , Green Olive in Bridgwater, Tidbits in London, Turkish Villa in Brighton – yes I know that’s four – and once in a lifetime The Source, Mona, Hobart, Tasmania
- Which British foods would you find it hardest to give up? I love British food, but I love other cuisines, so not sure on that one… most people say Marmite… well, that’s true! Proper English tea, breakfast tea – I miss that when we’re travelling! – oh and real milk to go in tea!
- Is there anything you won’t eat? Over cooked vegetables
- What’s lunch on a working day? Usually biscuits and cheese – rye crispbread or corn thins at the moment, and any good cheese from anywhere in the world, cow, sheep, goat. At this time of the year it’s home-grown tomatoes, straight from the vine.
- What’s your take on vegetarianism? Love no-meat food, also like lots of vegan food as long as it’s not pretending to be meat. Vegan sausages? No thank you!
- Do you have a guilty food pleasure? Licorice is not safe in this house!! But my really, really, guilty food secret is baklava…
- Pizza or pasta? Not that fussed with either, I eat less than one pizza a year… pasta is ok, but I don’t often eat it.
- What destination is next on your foodie hit list? I would love to sample more from the restaurant at Mona… but that’s not likely… more likely is to travel round Turkey, sampling lots of different regional food.
- What’s the best biscuit for dunking? I DON’T DUNK. The whole idea is disgusting.
- How do you take your tea? Strong, fresh, a little bit of milk. A friend brought me some special rooibus from Namibia, and that is gorgeous!