20 August 2014

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Starter for 10: interview with Angela Hartnett


Angela Hartnett - Angela_Hartnett.jpgWith her second cookbook, A Taste of Home, due to be published in July, Britain's most famous female chef Angela Hartnett found time out of her busy schedule to chat with us about her home life.

What’s your earliest food memory?
Making fairy cakes when I was in the Brownies.

If you hadn’t have become a chef, what would you have been?
I’d love to have been a pathologist; I love crime stuff.

What’s your food heaven and food hell?
Heaven: any sort of cheese. Hate: coriander.

Do you have any guilty food pleasures?
I could eat crisps all day long, but only ready salted, and sometimes in a sandwich!

What’s the most annoying thing about men in the kitchen?
Although they’re meticulous, they do get a bit anal sometimes. You have to have a balance.

Who would play you in a film about your life?
Susan Sarandon.

What are the biggest differences between the English and the Italians?
Er, they don’t really queue, Italians! They also have to have the last word, and they love to complain, which the English don’t really do. Oh, they could obey the driving laws a bit better…

Which Italian restaurants do you rate outside of Italy?
I love Locanda Locatelli, Riva, and Tinello.

Who’s your food hero?
Elizabeth David, because she brought ingredients like olive oil and garlic to the UK; in fact, she simply brought Mediterranean cuisine over here full stop.

How do you relax?
Watching films, bike rides, and watching Arsenal.

What’s been your biggest kitchen disaster?
When I was working for Gordon [Ramsay] at Aubergine, I had a nightmare one day: I overcooked the crème brûlées and managed to switch the freezers off at lunchtime.

What’s the most annoying thing you’ve ever read about yourself?
Not so much what they write, but sometimes the pictures – often, I look like death warmed up!

A Taste of Home, by Angela Hartnett, is published by Ebury Press on 7 July, priced £25

Murano, 20 Queen Street, London W1J 5PP; 020 7495 1127

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