Q&A Prue Leith

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Prue Leith CBE,  GBBO judge, restaurateur, caterer, journalist, cookery writer, novelist


The cookbook that has most influenced your cooking

Elizabeth David’s Mediterranean Cooking.

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

A Pancake Pie. As homely as bolognaise but less messy to eat than spaghetti

Your top five dinner guests, dead or alive

Catherine the Great; Gandhi, Nelson Mandela; John Lennon and Joanna Lumley

Fast food –  your top snack tip

Mozzarella in Carozza (an Italian deep fried cheese sarnie)

Most memorable meal in  film/literature/painting

The Fake Orgasm scene in  When Harry Met Sally

Your worst kitchen disaster

Christmas Lunch  Slow-Cooked Shoulder of Pork when my nephew turned the oven off at 9am by mistake

What do you eat  when you get home from the pub [or similar]  

Cake! Or failing that yogurt with honey and almonds on top

What would you like your final meal to be?

Oysters followed by Treacle Tart, which is what I had for lunch just before my wedding last month

What is your secret talent [in or out of the kitchen]?  

Leftovers. I’m brilliant at creative scrimping and saving

What did you eat for breakfast today?

Nothing. I’m getting so fat I’m try not to eat unless hungry and I’m never hungry first thing

Most over-rated/ under-rated food/seasoning/gadget

Spiralizer. At least the one I was given. Exhausting to use and hell to wash up

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

My mother was a hopeless cook but she made a great crème caramel. My grandchildren hate baked custard in any form, but I have hopes

Prue Leith is the author of The Food of Love trilogy, the latest of which, The Prodigal Daughter, is out now (Quercus, £8.99)