Everyone loves Alida.
Yip, she is such an inspiration for any foodie out there. She has inspired me as a blogger and continues to astound me with all her ventures, adventures and successes when it comes to food. She started a blog, then published two recipe books, is a regular on TV and one cannot turn a page in any one of our many foodie magazines without coming face to face with this ever-resourceful and truly inspirational woman.
I had a chat to Alida to find out a little more about her, her love for all things foodie and her next great adventures.
How do you eat zoo biscuits?
I haven’t actually eaten a zoo biscuit in ages but I always used to nibble the icing off first (… with extreme care, I might add) before eating the rest of biscuit.
Where did your passion for food originate?
I grew up in a food-loving family with a gran who ran her own hotel and catering business. She taught me so much about food and cooking. It is with much fondness that I can recall the days she spent baking cookies with me, the kitchen table groaning under the weight of all her amazing foods that used to be part of our Sunday lunch family ritual.
Tell me a bit more about your latest recipe book?
I’ve have been sitting with this idea for” Cook from the Heart” for the longest time and was so excited when I could finally start working on it. I really wanted to create a book that focused on the emotions behind cooking and eating. The book is divided into 8 chapters, each chapter encompasses a certain emotion and I must say, I am so incredibly chuffed with it.
Name your three favourite recipe books?
Nigella’s Kitchen, Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries (vol 1 & 2) and Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem.
What interesting stuff are you busy with at the moment?
My publisher has already started haunting me for a third book so I’m trying to zone in on a concept (I think I just have too many ideas…). I’m also busy with lots of recipe development for Woolworth’s website which keeps me very busy. But I Have to admit, it is so incredibly exciting and such a dream brand to work with. I’m also always thinking of new and exciting things for my blog and ways to keep it up to date. I really love the fact that I have a space where I can just play and have fun and take risks. It’s very liberating.
Tell us about your involvement with Food and Home magazine?
I did a winter pudding shoot for them for their June issue. It was a whole lot of fun – as they gave me the freedom to develop the recipes (within their guidelines, of course), style and shoot. It turned out to be just one of those dream assignments for me.
Who are your culinary heroes? And why?
I have so many. I love Nigella because I think she made cooking sexy again and along with Jamie. They have seemed to have really inspired people to start cooking again. I love Heston Blumenthal for obvious reasons. He’s playful and an absolute master at what he does. Nigel Slater is my absolute favourite cookbook author as his writing evokes such emotion and finally, I’d have to say my gran. She was so patient in the kitchen (something I still struggle with daily). She taught me how important it was and is to cook with love.
Describe your perfect meal?
Wow, that’s hard as I really do love all food. My perfect meal would probably start with Carpaccio with lots of Parmesan and fresh lemon and dense seed bread with lots of butter. This would be followed by a juicy cheese burger with a hint of chilli and crisp Parmesan-truffle fries. There would have to be a cheese course and finally, a perfect Crème Brulee.
“Onthou kos” or ”moderne skeppings”?
Onthou kos with edge. There’s nothing like food that is steeped in nostalgia.
What are your favourite flavour combinations?
I am of the belief that fresh chili, garlic and lemon can make anything taste good.
Your five favourite ingredients to cook with?
Chilli, garlic, lemon (duh!), butter and lamb …. OOoh… and bacon!!