When did you become interested in food?
I’ll be honest, I’ve always been greedy; one of my earliest memories is reaching out of the child seat of a supermarket trolley, grabbing a block of Stilton, and taking a big bite through the plastic. I loved it.
What inspires you to share your passion for food?
I love the democracy of food; almost everyone has something they’re geekily passionate about, whether that’s sourdough breadmaking, or the best flavour of crisps. It’s something that connects us all.
What is the one ingredient you can’t do without?
Butter. I absolutely love it, both for cooking, but also for eating like cheese. I’m the person who gets asked if they’d like any bread with their butter.
The Cheltenham Food and Drink is in June. What seasonal foods are best at this time that we should be looking out for and using in our cooking?
June (my birthday month!) is a great time to eat; strawberries are at their best (and you can’t beat them eaten freshly picked and sun warmed to be honest, though some good thick cream is rarely unwelcome). English asparagus is still in season, and again, simple is best, bathed in melted butter or dipped in soft-boiled eggs – and this is absolutely the time to eat those tiny baby little broad beans, the size of a baby’s fingernail, which are so delicate there’s no need to peel them. I love them raw, tossed in olive oil and salt, maybe smashed on toast with some fresh goat’s cheese.
Your new cookbook One More Croissant for the Road is out now. Do you have a favourite recipe you can share with us from the book?
Oh, that’s like asking me to pick a favourite child! I love classic French food in almost all its forms (I’m still working on some of those more assertive sausages), but at this time of year, I’d highly recommend the cherry clafoutis recipe I picked up in the Limousin region of south-west France, creamy and cool with just a hint of rum.
What are you looking forward to about Cheltenham this year?
It’s my first visit so that’s always exciting – I’m so greedy everything looks delicious, from vegan Indian to Welsh lamb and sustainable fish. Hoping to catch as much as possible while I’m here!