Professional chef Gizzi shares her favourite festive dishes in her new ‘Season’s Eatings’ cookbook
Becoming a recognisable name after presenting Channel 4’s ‘Cook Yourself Thin’ in 2007, Gizzi is now an award-winning food writer and cookbook author. She has written for a host of magazines including The Sunday Times and released several cookbooks. Her latest offering, ‘Season’s Eatings’ shows her love for get-togethers and family feasting with dishes for Halloween to New Year’s.
How did the idea for your book, ‘Season’s Eatings’, come about?
This book is my passion project. I’m a big child at heart, and we are a really festive family. My little niece is exactly the same as me – she loves Halloween and ghost stories; there’s just something magic that happens at that time of year I think. It’s great that I have her to do all these festive things with, even now.
Have you got any special memories around festive events?
My favourite meal of the whole year is my Christmas lunch. I have a bad memory of the one year that my mum forgot to make bread and cranberry sauce and I threw a tantrum like a five year old! I think it’s more the mood at Christmas. It’s very emotive eating at that time of year.
What’s Christmas Day like for you and your family?
We all help; on Christmas Eve I cook and on the day my mum does, but we all get involved in some way. I think everyone enjoys doing the cooking. I think if I said I wanted to do it my mum would be livid because she actually really enjoys it. And I don’t want anyone else’s food but my mum’s on Christmas!
What electrical appliance do you reach for the most and why is it so helpful?
The one piece of kit that I can’t live without is my Thermomix. It’s got a thermometer, which means that you can cook things like beautiful custards, hollandaise sauce and even scrambled eggs. It’s also really important to have a thick wooden chopping board and good quality Japanese knives.
Can you tell us your kitchen look like at home?
My kitchen could be a lot better actually because it is used almost on an industrial level but it’s a normal, conventional kitchen. I would love to have one of those beautiful kitchens but I need all the professional kit, so I need to find that happy medium of a kitchen that is practical for me but also looks sexy.
What do you feel has been the biggest change in the food industry throughout your career?
An acceptance of world food has been a key player. At the start of my career it was the ‘fusion’ era, which quickly became the ‘confusion’ era! Now with the internet we can see how these fusion foods naturally turn into dishes. My favourite movement recently has been the farm-to-table; it’s the crux of what’s good in organic farming, and doing clever things with vegetables. In ‘Season’s Eatings’ I’ve got shredded sprout salad, buffalo cauliflower and creamed corn.
What restaurants are you loving in London at the moment?
I like so many places! The place I spend the most time in is Brawn on Columbia road, but I also just love the Quality Chop House, St John Bread & Wine and Rochelle Canteen.
What are your aspirations and what would you like to achieve in the next five years?
I would definitely like to make a difference with how people see agriculture and how they shop. I’d also like to keep writing books and keep pushing boundaries.
'Gizzi's Season's Eatings' by Gizzi Erskine is published by Mitchell Beazley, £25.
Photos by Emma Lee
Article by: EKBB