Written by Joe.
Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
- When you were a child what was your dream job?
I always wanted to cook, it was one of the first things that I felt really excited by, I can remember leafing through my mum’s recipe books, barely able to understand them but excited about the idea of making things. However, I never really understood in what context I wanted to do it, being a chef didn’t have the same appeal, I just had an overwhelming love for feeding people!
2. Who inspired you to make a career out of cooking?
It was a combination of people over the years. Firstly, my mum is a fantastic cook with a real natural flair, she was very much part of the 70’s early grow-your-own, eat organic and mostly vegetarian school of thinking. It meant we ate really exciting, adventurous and delicious food growing up which in turn inspired my cooking. Then, reading food writers such as Nigel Slater, Colin Spencer, Nigella and Elizabeth David made me see that writing and cooking can transform one another, and that being a food writer is about creating tempting food both in the kitchen and on the page.
3. What made you focus on free from recipes?
My own personal experiences. I became very ill in my early twenties through complications to do with a dairy intolerance. I had a series of operations which went wrong and the result was a damaged digestive system unable to process wheat, dairy, eggs, soy and yeast. At the time there was so little exciting, inspiring recipes or products for food intolerances, I felt drawn and driven to create my own.
4. Out of all your recipes which one is your favourite?
That’s so difficult! I tend to eat by whim and mood so it can vary from day to day. Currently, I’m making a lot of rainbow food so my Summertime Tomato Tart fits really well with that. Also, you can’t go wrong with my Bakewell Tart.
5. What is the inspiration behind your recipes?
Simply to create delicious, vibrant and simple food for everyone to eat, without anyone feeling like they are missing out. I want people to just be able to eat good food unaware that it’s free from wheat, dairy, eggs, soy and yeast!
6. What makes your recipe book appealing to the followers of Foods You Can?
I hope that they find a lovely collection of allergy-free recipes that are packed full of flavour, simple to make and delicious to eat. I want it to be the sort of cook book that you share with friends and family.
7. What makes your recipe book stand out from other recipe books in the market today?
What we’ve tried to do with this book is show that allergy-free cooking doesn’t have to be restrictive, dour or earnest. It’s a sumptuous book, full of decadent recipes designed to inspire and please. I think the photography, textures, colours, styling and illustrations all make it gorgeous book in itself, plus there’s over 120 allergy-free recipes inside too!
8. If there were one thing you could tell consumers today to be careful of regarding what they eat, what would it be?
It would simply the amount of unnecessary rubbish in today’s food. If you use pure, fresh ingredients and cook your food from scratch not only will it taste infinitely better but it will also exclude all of the negative and unhealthy ingredients that are used in the production of food.
9. In the next 5 to 10 years do you think that people will still suffer from food allergies or intolerances due to the food they eat?
Sadly, I think they will and I genuinely believe that the numbers are going to increase. We consume such a vast array of unnecessary foods as a population and pay little attention to the amount chemicals and unhealthy toxins that we ingest (through cleaning materials, pollution, foods, pesticides) our immune systems and guts are getting weaker and the foods we eat are getting ever more processed. It stands to reason that food allergies and intolerances will only increase in numbers.
10. What’s next for you?
I’m currently working on the second book in The Intolerant Gourmet series; there will be lots more recipes and a real focus on family eating. I’m also always working on new recipes and ideas for my blog (www.theintolerantgourmet.com) and I hope to keep writing, creating, cooking and improving as time goes on.