We asked the chef what her younger self would make of her today...
When I was really young, I wanted to do everything – definitely not just cooking. I watched a crime show on TV and wanted to be a police officer, then Seb Coe, Steve Ovett and Steve Cram at the 1984 Olympics, which made me want to be a runner. So it might have surprised my younger self to learn that I’d just have the one career!
I cooked when I was a member of the Brownies, and with my mother and grandmother a bit too. It was easy stuff, like shepherd’s pie: things that didn’t require too many bits and bobs. I’m sure I wasn’t left to do it by myself, but I think I probably showed some aptitude and I liked doing it. Because Mum was born of Italian parents, we used to have homemade pasta – unusual at that time for a family living in Kent and then Upminster – and we made dishes for special occasions like spinach and ricotta tortellini...
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