Under the grill

The more I cook the less I write, sorry! You are welcome to pop in for a tea instead!

My favourite food magazine, New Zealand’s Cuisine, has a nice short interview column titled Under the grill. I liked the latest issues so much that I decide to answer the questions (almost the same every time) myself. I guess the answers don’t change much with time.

When did you first become interested in food?
There where few episodes in my teenage years smashed by overbearing parents and the lack of groceries – I grew up in a small village far away from everywhere. Then as a history student I got tired of non-illustrated books and began buying colourful magazines. Then I was trying to impress my boyfriend. Maybe the kiwifruit tarte helped him to make a decision of marriage? And with my first job in the kitchen I totally fell in love with cooking. 

What’s your first food memory?
When I was a child food was simple and not so diversified. I was raised in the countryside so I recall milk fresh from the milking, hot and fat, the incredible strawberry jam and bread with butter and sugar only, vanilla sugar and semolina porridge. These are the first. My menu has changed much and often from that time.

What is your ideal party menu?
I rarely cook the same thing twice. I prefer aboundance and a huge choice. I had twice prepared a  party consisted of 25 dishes. Usually I would serve few starters, one main and again the choice of desserts. For the starter a savoury muffin, for the main a simple pasta with a nice sauce and then I have time for several refined desserts! Last time I served pizza muffins, meaty pasta with courgette, vegetarian pasta with broadbean, New Zealand’s lemon snow, roasted peanuts brownie and rhubarb pie.  

Who would be your dream dinner guests?
There are many of them, alive, and they pay us visits every now and then. And for the deads, I guess my three favourite poets, Mieczysław Jastrun, Tadeusz Chudy and Władysław Broniewski. For another party I would certainly invite Gaius Julius Caesar and Octavian Augustus.

What’s your pick of food destinations?
Big eclectic cities like London. This is where I learn most and where cookbooks and resources are easily available. When I travel for food I want to experience it very intensivly. In a big city you can meet not only the region’s cuisine but all of the world. My dream is to visit Melbourne and Singapore.

What’s the worst food crime?
There are many I guess. I particularly hate serving hot dish on a cold plate, carelessly washed lettuce and serving meat reheated or kept for some time under the grill meat. I prefer it straight from the pan!

What is coming next in the food world?
Sharpening the division between fast food and good food. Food prices may drive us towards old methods and skills at homes but shops will be full of junk food. 

Why did the chicken cross the road?
To check what’s on the other side!

Answer yourself!

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