I was certain that if you offer a child the widest possible range of food from the earliest age in a loving environment, if you eat together as often as possible, and demonstrate your own enjoyment of flavour and texture and conviviality, that child will eat well forever, and will enjoy being with others around a table for the rest of his or her life. After all, that is the lesson of my own life.
Food and wine and friendship matter more than almost anything I can think of. Together they involve skill and craft and patience, and understanding of difference, and appreciation, and the desire to bring happiness to others.
I truly believed that to be culinarily literate was of central importance to personal independence and happiness.
We'd all do things like digging up potatoes or shelling peas in the kitchen while talking to Mum. I had never imagined being a chef.
I want children to discover where food is from, how it is grown and how delicious it is to eat, and how easy to prepare. We need to capture their interest, curiosity and energy, as well as their appetites.
GROWING, HARVESTING, PREPARING, SHARING
To share the table with people you love is all about giving and receiving; it’s a total two-way street. It can do far more than make your palate come alive – it makes you feel connected, to the people around the table and also to the land. And people love being fed!
Food to me is the ultimate nurturer and the best way I know of giving one’s time and effort and care to others.
Food, for me, is the most central theme of everything I love. It brings people together in the most wonderful way. Whether you’re cooking or just sharing the table, I wouldn’t be without it.
For me, great cooking starts with respect for produce… A beautifully grown piece of fruit or vegetable, a humanely slaughtered animal that has lived a good life, fresh herbs from the garden – it's all you really need.