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:: Kitchen Magic Cookbook Competition and Gizzi Erskine Interview!

I hope you enjoyed Gizzi's recipes on the blog the week before last, I managed to grab Gizzi for a quick interview, this girl is busy! :)

So people will probably know you as one of the cook yourself thin girls, but "Gizzi's Kitchen Magic" is your first solo cookbook, are you the Geri Halliwell of the group? What do the rest of the girls think of the book?
Haha! God, I hope not. Cook yourself thin came to a mutual end as the 4 of us. Both Harry and Sophie have been super supportive of it. I loved both of their books too. I am actually the last one to bring a book out, not the first!

I love the way the book is full of such great tips at the start of each chapter, but as we all know cooking in the kitchen doesn't always go to plan, what was the worst kitchen disaster you have come across?
Oh Man, too many for words. In fact it was stressing out at skills and the way I was taught to be such a perfectionist at catering school that made me rebel and want to write a technical book that would be understood by everyone and take pressure of cooks. You see, my nemesis was pastry and this was because your told that the best pastry is short, and to be short it is not that wet and a pain to work with. After too many times of my pastry falling apart when trying to line a tart dish, I thought sod it, I want to make a pastry that I can handle and Gizzi's kitchen magic was born. A techniques book, where the techniques have been rewritten for the modern person. Someone who wants to cook, but wants to avoid disasters. At the beginning of each chapter there is a lowdown of how not to balls things up and then it turns into inspiring recipes in the way most of us are used to in other cook books.

There are a lot of family inspired dishes in the book but what was the selection process for the recipes in the book like?
Well, the great thing about doing a book based around techniques is that it gives you quite a lot of scope for different types of food. Your right about family inspired dishes. I have a bonkers Mother who was always experimenting in the kitchen so our childhood favs were a bit more original. I think that has stayed with me in my food. I love the classics but like a bit of a spin on them.

Do you have a favourite meal from childhood that you love to recreate today with your own little twist?
My favourite is 'Chicken in weeds'. Its a really light fragrant curry that is spiked with ginger and lemon and the weeds part comes in from bounds of fresh coriander. It kicks arse!

As the summer is nearly upon on us, what sort of dishes are you looking forward to cooking?
I am looking forward to doing some slow roasting on the barbeque. The Brits are hopeless at barbeques. I have worked on so many American barbeque books I am pretty damn nifty with some hot coals and a pair of tongs. We tend to use a barbeque as a grill, but in the states they make use of the lid and use it as a smoking oven. I have slow cooked shoulders of pork and legs of lamb and they are just exceptional. The tip is to get the coals white hot and then move them to the edge of the BBQ. Brown the meat all over with the lid off, then put the lid on and it'll slow roast for about 5-6 hours. Beyond amaze. also grill some bread dough on a barbeque and drizzle it with barbequed garlic oil.

There seems to be quite a lot competition in terms of lovely ladies in the cooking department, what sets you apart from the Nigella's and Rachel Allen's of world?
Apart from my age, style (being heavily tattooed and into 60s music and punk) and way of cooking, I am much more immersive. I want to get mucky and learn stuff as I go.

Every foodie has a favourite place to visit in the world for inspiration and delicious dishes, where is yours and why?
Well I spent loads of time in Thailand as a teen and have an affinity with Thai food, but am desperate to get to Japan and Vietnam, neither of which I have seen, but both producing some of my favourite food. I tell you what though. New York has some stupendous restaurants and a fabulous way of eating. I love the whole raw bar: oysters, clams, sashimi ect followed by really indulgent classics like a truffled fois gras burger.

What are the plans for "Kitchen Magic" will you be recording a TV series?
Were in talks, but I am currently filming my own show with Channel 4 which comes out in June and on Iron chef for a week in May as well as being a regular on This morning, so its all going tickity boo!

Thanks for the interview Gizzi, is there anything you'd like to say to the readers of the blog?
Just that I hope you like the book and a mega thank you to all that have supported me, including your fine self Donal.

I have three copies of Gizzi's fantastic new book "Kitchen Magic" up for grabs and you can enter over on twitter by tweeting about your best kitchen tip followed by the hash tag #gizzierskine and on "The Good Mood Food Blog" facebook page by telling me your favourite kitchen tip!

To be in with a chance of getting your hands on the book right here on the blog, all you gotta do is answer this simple question.

Gizzi is best know from which Channel 4 TV show?
A: Eat Yourself Thin
B: Cook Yourself Thin
C: You Are What You Eat


Please note that by entering this competition, you will be signing up for The Good Mood Food Blog newsletter, but if you don't wish to subscribe, please put "NS" after your answer. The competition will close this evening (27th of April) at 9.30pm. Only one entry per person please!

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:: Kitchen Magic Cookbook Competition and Gizzi Erskine Interview! + RAW