Meeting Ainsley Harriott with Lavender & Lovage


We recently teamed up with Karen at Lavender & Lovage to celebrate the joy of not just staying in but "staying in in" which, is all about going the extra mile cooking delicious food in the comfort of your own home. As part of this, Karen attended the Bolton Food & Drink Festival and was given the opportunity to interview Ainsley Harriott, most renowned for his appearances in "Ready Steady Cook" and "Can't Cook, Won't Cook"; on his love of home cooking, his kitchen inspiration, and his favourite recipes.

Ainsley Harriott with Stoves



Here's a snippet of her interview with Ainsley Harriott:

Who was your childhood inspiration for cooking? 

Definitely my mother, Peppy, she was a great cook and we always had fabulous home-cooked food on the table when I was growing up. She cooked, as lots of mothers do, as a way of showing love for her family. It was a way of making people happy, and I thought that’s it! That’s what I want to do! 

Do you have a “Signature Dish” for “Staying In In” and why is so important to you?

It would have to be my mum Peppy’s Red Pea Stew and Dumplings. She always used to make this at Christmas, and it’s my favourite Staying In In dish to cook and share with friends and family. Mum used to make it with a ham bone, but I use ham hocks in my recipe. It was one of the favourite dishes at the Church Suppers we used to go to as well, and was the first dish to be devoured! (You can find Ainsley’s recipe here: Ainsley Harriott’s Peppy’s Red Pea Stew & Dumplings)

What three ingredients would you never be without in your kitchen?

That’s a tough question, but I suppose the essentials for me are obviously S & P (salt and pepper) and good oil, such as extra virgin olive oil. I also love cooking with Sumac, so I’m going to add that too!

Click here to read Karen's full interview