Another bad memory was many years ago when I was travelling around Europe. We were camping (admittedly not on a camping site), and one night, we came back to find a strange man sleeping in our tent. Our companions took pity on us and took us home to one of their parents to sleep there. We were immediately integrated into the family, and on the next night served a special dinner of bacalhau (salted dried cod and a Portuguese speciality). I wasn’t vegetarian way back then, but I had already stopped eating fish, so I had the tricky task of secreting vast amounts of bacalhau into serviettes, placing it about my person whilst pretending it was delicious. I just didn’t have the heart to be so difficult and fussy when they had taken us in like that and didn’t know us from Adam. (I noticed while reading this through that hiding unwanted food appears to have been a recurring theme when I was young – see below!)
2. Best food memory – Dinner at Ottolenghi in Islington, London, with foodie friends. The food is amazing and everything looks so fantastic and fresh. I don’t think I have ever salivated so much in my life…and looking and choosing the food from the vast and beautiful array of salads and puddings was one of the most difficult choices I can remember. Thankfully, they are served in tapas sizes portions so you have to order LOTS.
3. My signature dish is. – absolutely anything to do with breakfast!
4. One of my favourite food photographs (I used my own photos here) - I chose two
|Breakfast in black & white (with a touch of porridge) © Francesca Bondy|
|Berry breakfast © Francesca Bondy|
5. Ingredient I'm currently obsessed with is: well, not one particular ingredient, but I am crazy about Vietnamese food at the moment. Berlin has a large Vietnamese immigrant community (in the former East where I live – they were communist, after all) so I adore the freshness and the minimalism and beauty in my favourite restaurants. Three fantastic fresh dishes on the menu, not 200 from the deep freeze! The mixture of hot, cold, soft, crunchy, raw and cooked…. wakes up my taste buds a treat.
6. Worst kitchen injury – Thankfully I’ve never had anything worse than the usual burns and cuts, so nothing springs to mind. More annoying is that I’ve become very clumsy recently and broken lots of lovely dishes and bowls.
7. Cake I ask for on my birthday – Tarte au Citron or New York cheesecake
9. Share with us one of your favourite recipes: Just to make a change from Ottolenghi & Tamimi, I’ve chosen a delicious lemon and poppy seed loaf from the internet (thanks to my friend Ilse who pointed me in its direction)….it’s now a firm favourite (and my signature cake!): tasty, tangy, beautiful and so easy to make…works a treat every time – just remember to let the lemon drizzle icing soak in overnight to ensure that wow effect in the mouth!
10. Favourite kitchen appliance and what I make with it most often – my mini mixer – I most often make parsley and walnut pesto with lots of garlic, olive oil and parmesan…. Best served with 12 minute Di Cecco Spaghetti (as I don’t make my own pasta...not so much evidence of a foodie here!)
11. If you were on death row, what would your final meal request be – the full works at Jai Krishna – a really cheap ‘caff style’ Indian vegetarian restaurant in Stroud Green, London (definitely not a café). Cheap as chips, take your own booze, and don’t be confused by the slightly arcane ordering system. I specially love their Jeera Aloo; almost caramelised potatoes with cumin. Absolutely delicious, and their Tarka Daal is the best I’ve ever had…. (not having actually been to India!).
12. What did you learn from you mother/grandmother that you use often in the kitchen –My dad was the one to cook in our house… I learned that children, if given half a chance, sometimes hide food they don’t like so as not to upset their dad!
13. What the name and address of your blog: Bowhaus - www.bowhausblog.blogspot.de
14. What are five things you can’t live without? (don't have to be food related) – my beautiful dog, Nico; friends; a nice cup of Yorkshire tea; my Mac (well, I could, of course, but I wouldn’t like to….oh no, not one little bit!); going to the cinema
15. What are your favourite cookbooks that you would recommend every home cook own and why?