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Ask Delia...

 

Find out what inspires the nation's favourite cook, her kitchen must-haves and favourite foods, as well as a pet hate.  

Delia and chairHow did you get where you are today?
Working my way up from being a kitchen assistant in a small French restaurant in London. 

What inspires you?
People, travel, magazines and cookery books. When it comes to deciding what to cook, whatever happens to be at its best in season.

How can you inspire others to enjoy good food and cooking?
That is what I have spent my life trying to do. And the BBC Complete Cookery School has been used in school broadcasts.

The most useful items in your kitchen?
A small, flat-sided skewer to test when things are done. And a well-designed oven.

Tell us a few of your favourite things…
Meal: Traditional Sunday lunch; I love traditional home cooking, especially British and Italian.
Fast food: Hamburgers.
Ingredients: Really good, well hung meat, fresh fish caught in British waters, home-grown vgetables and salads, fresh herbs, good butter, olive oil, crème fraiche, spanking fresh free-range eggs, lovely cheeses, artisan dried pasta.
Winter: for the log fires and slow-cooked food.

…and pet hates
‘Poncy’ food in any shape or form. Perfection lies in simplicity.

What’s in your glass?
Red, white or rose.

Tell us a kitchen secret
I have revealed all! My top tip would be to use a reliable recipe. If you asked me for one piece of advice for the domestic cook, I would say: use my books!

This interview first appeared in You magazine and is taken from Off Duty: the World's Greatest Chefs (HarperCollins, £25).

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