Head to Taste of Dublin this weekend, 14-17 June to see star baker, Candice Brown live in action at the Neff Taste Kitchen.
Candice may have started out as an amateur baker on The Great British Bake Off but with a cookbook already under her belt, she doesn't plan on stopping any time soon. Join Candice, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Adrian Martin, Anna Haugh, Aoife Noonan, Edward Hayden, Kevin Dundon, Rachel Allen, Sharon Hearne Smithand Sunil Ghai at their Taste masterclasses.
1. What are you most looking forward to for Taste of Dublin?
Taste this year will be about understanding and playing around with food, learning about flavours and the fun behind it all. Baking and cooking should be fun, it shouldn't be a worry or a panic. It'll be really interactive with some amazing chefs, local restaurants and food producers. I'll also be doing some demos, although I'm not sure what I'm going to do yet. I want to chat to the Irish producers and see what's in season and what they'd recommend. I love cooking with seasonal and local produce so I want to do a bit of research first and incorporate local produce into my recipes. It makes such a difference both to the final result and also to me, that's how I learn.
2. What is your earliest food memory?
My earliest food memory would be sitting on the floor at my nana and grandad’s with a pint of shell-on prawns, cockles, jellied eels. Where I’m from in North London, we had fish vans to go and get your seafood. We would de-shell the prawns and eat them. It’s still my favourite thing to eat. They are so sweet and fresh
3. What is the most valuable lesson you have learned on your career path?
I’ve learnt that actually you’re ok being you. Don’t try to be anyone else. If people don’t like that then there isn’t really much you can do. Those people are always going to exist but there will also be the people who do believe in you and in your talents.
4. What is the best thing you ever cooked?
In all honesty, I think it would probably be that bloody gingerbread pub that I made on Bake Off. I had tried it so many times at home before and it had never worked out. One test bake I made was so big, I probably could have walked in myself and had a pint at the table. Another one, my fiancé Liam, thought it looked more like a nativity scene. The one time it did work was when it really mattered.
5. Which kitchen tool could you not live without?
A really good spatula. It’s so simple but I use one every day.
6. What is your current ingredient obsession?
For savoury food, it has to be paprika. It goes so well with everything, chillis, pasta, Bolognese. As for sweet, I love anything with coconut in. When my mum was pregnant with me, she ate a lot of Bounty bars so I think it’s filtered through somehow.
7. Who are your biggest influences?
My nan is probably my biggest influence. She was the absolute apple of my eye. If I could be even partly the lady that she was, then I’m doing ok.
There are also incredible chefs who are really pushing the boundaries. I adore Tom Kerridge, and women like Gizzi Erskine and Sophie Michell. Female chefs and bakers are just killing it right now. It’s so important to come together to shape the future for our daughters and our sons too.
8. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Chicken nuggets. From anywhere. It has become a real running joke with my friends and family.
9. Dream dinner party guests?
Audrey Hepburn, Adele, Keith Richards, Micky Flanagan, my nan and Amy Schumer. I’d serve a seafood platter to start and give everyone bibs so they could get stuck in. Then a really good pie with mash and gravy for mains and about five puddings to finish. A crumble, steam pudding, pavlova – everyone likes a pavlova- with custard and cream and ice cream
10. What are your favourite eateries at home and abroad? Any boulangerie or patisserie in France. I’ll order the lot and say it’s for research. Any time I’m abroad I want to eat where the locals eat and try all of the traditional dishes. At home, places like Borough Market in London are brilliant. In fact, Padella just outside Borough Market do some of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever tasted. I go there by myself to focus on the food and read Harry Potter!