When did you first get in to cooking and do you remember the first recipe you tried?
The first recipe I ever cooked by myself was my Dad’s scrambled eggs, I still make them the same way to this day. But there was a few years gap before I got properly into cooking. Jamie Oliver’s TV show was the inspiration. He seems to get a lot of unfair stick these days, but for my generation, coming of age at the turn of the century, he made things look accessible, and fun, and I think we owe a lot to him. And let’s not forget his school dinner campaigns, which did great work raising awareness on an issue that was shamefully being ignored in the UK.
What's your kitchen like and how do you keep organized when cooking?
Very organised, with the things I use the most closest to me. Chaos is your enemy.
What tips would you give to someone wanting to become a better cook?
Firstly, counter space, you want as much of it as you can get. Countertop items, decorations and clutter need to be removed. Keep out only what gets used every time you cook, else pack it away or get rid of it. Secondly, prepare everything ahead of time, with everything out the fridge/cupboard and all veg chopped and food items prepared as you’ll need them in your recipe, before you even turn think about cooking. The last thing you need is a panic when things are burning and you realise you forgot to chop an onion. Thirdly, taste everything, season well, and it always needs more garlic.
Who would you invite to your dream dinner party and what would you cook for them?
My wife and a few close friends and family members. There are plenty of other people I’d like to meet, but no one else I’d rather cook for. For dinner, ideally, it’d be something I can prepare ahead of time, so it can all run like clockwork when guests arrive.
Do you do any other crafts and what are your hobbies?
I’m not sure if it counts as a craft but I enjoy writing comedy skits, playing guitar, and doing lousy Simpsons impressions.
Which cooking blogs do you love to read?
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I think shows like Masterchef are everything that’s wrong with our culinary scene in the UK. They put novice cooks off by setting unrealistic expectations and regular cooks learn nothing new at all, other than what a bunch of show offs are cooking for other show offs. Cooking should be accessible, and supportive, and welcoming to everybody regardless of experience. Your grandma’s right, stick with Delia.