COOKING WITH DAD
Dad was my inspiration when it came to food. I’d see him at weekends and on school holidays. He’s a language teacher, a great gourmand and an amazing cook. Dad’s wife was Italian, so they’d produce amazing meals – huge roasts, salads and wonderful pasta dishes. That's where I fell in love with food.
One day, when I was about eight, he cooked a pasta dish with huge amounts of chilli and paprika, so spicy that it burnt my mouth. I asked him what it was, and he said, “It’s pasta with an angry sauce.” I absolutely loved it.
In the summer holidays he’d take us camping in Normandy and Brittany, where we made daily trips to the Monoprix for baguettes, peppercorn paté and ham, lots of salad and divine cheese and tomatoes. We’d find a beautiful spot for a blissful picnic. I still love picnics – so easy, so simple.
One night in France Dad took us to a restaurant where I ordered a seafood platter. It arrived at the table and I looked at it and didn’t know what was going on – mountains of clams and mussels. A man came over and showed me how to eat the French way; using a mussel shell to remove the other mussels from their shells.