Q&A Lentil Purbrick

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Lentil Purbrick, Australian farmer, blogger and advocate for sustainability

The cookbook that has most influenced your cooking

The honest answer is I rarely cook from a recipe. If I had to pick one, it would probably be the homemade cookbook my mum left me – it has all her recipes written down or recipes cut and pasted out of recipe books she liked. My mum and the women in my family taught me a lot about cooking!

The food of love… what would you cook to impress a potential date?

Nothing. I would make them cook for me!

Your top five dinner guests, dead or alive?

  • Asher Keddie. Australian actress. She is just great
  • James Murphy. American musician and DJ who started LCD Soundsystem. He is integral to my writing and has to be an awesome guy
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs. I am counting the whole band as one entity here. I like their attitude
  • Jack White. Amazing actor
  • Wes Anderson. Amazing creative

Fast food – your top snack tip?

Bowls of things, with mayonnaise and preserved chilli sauce. Often in our fridge we have sprouts, cooked pulses or beans, leftover grains and preserves – I put these in a bowl, fry an egg from the chickens and a few greens from the garden, put it all in a bowl and then top it with mayonnaise and chilli sauce from the previous season. It’s the best quick meal

Most memorable meal in film/literature/painting?

The opening scene from Captain Fantastic

Your worst kitchen disaster?

I think for me it would be when we had our cow and someone left a pail of fresh milk (from the cow) in a tin, with a lid, in the sun and then it exploded onto my face

What would you like your final meal to be?

A melted cheese (with the best cheese you could find) toasted sandwich (with the best sourdough bread you could find), with summer heirloom tomatoes, good salt and cracked pepper

What is your secret talent (in or out of the kitchen)?

I love aerobics/dancing

What did you eat for breakfast today?

Nothing (whoops). And then I had one of those delicious all-the-things-in-the-fridge bowls I was talking about earlier

Most over-rated seasoning

Zaatar. This is a personal dislike, as everyone puts it in recipes as a herb mix – but it is actually a herb in itself

Your inheritance recipes – the one you inherited (and from whom) and the one you’d like to pass on to your children

I make a ‘barley and vegetable stew’ – it’s super simple, delicious and feeds many. I think the recipe started with my great grandmother and my aunt tells me that there was always a pot of it on the stove when they were children


Grown & Gathered by Matt and Lentil Purbrick (Pan Macmillan Australia) is on sale now amazon.co.uk  grownandgathered.com.au