Dhaka, Bangladesh
'I do a lot of cooking at home and I never lost my passion for it'

'I do a lot of cooking at home and I never lost my passion for it'

I live above Plaquemine Lock - my pub-turned-Southern restaurant in Islington. I was born here, opposite the pub on Noel Road, on the other side of the canal, but am newly returned. I didn't think I'd ever been here when it was still a working pub, but my childhood au pair visited from Israel after we'd just opened and said she used to bring me in here for tea in the pram after a morning walk. So the whole thing feels quite serendipitous. I'd been nursing the idea of a Louisiana-style restaurant for a few years, and when the pub came up, it fell into place. There's no style of food that goes quite so well with alcoholic drinks as Cajun and Creole, and we're right by the water here, which feels fitting ... I commissioned Darwen Terracotta, a British company specialising in faience - glazed ceramic tiles that are moulded to buildings - to do the cladding for the pub exterior. They have an amazing catalogue of glaze recipes, so we got this bold, and splashy splashback for the flat while we were at it. It's an investment in our happiness - and in British workers in some measure, who deserve our support. It sits on the back of the chimney breast and I love it. It's really important to me to have as big a work surface as possible. That in turn needed a big - but not flashy - light. Mine is a simple ring of LEDs, a design called Doppio, by German lighting firm Sattler. The moka coffee pot to my left is an Alessi Pulcina. It makes delicious coffee (I just use Lavazza espresso) and it means I don't use Nespresso capsules, which, convenient as they are, are horribly wasteful. I do a lot of cooking at home and I never lost my passion for it. A week rarely goes by that we don't entertain. The kitchen is the heart of the home and it's only really beating when you're cooking in it. This is how I justified the Wolf cooker, which is huge and expensive, but pretty incredible to use. My favourite thing to work with in the kitchen is dough. I learned to hand-roll pasta at a trattoria called Anna-Maria in Bologna, using a very very long rolling pin like this one I am holding. The two enamelware vessels are my favourite pots. I use the orange one, passed down through my family, for stocks, lobster and large amounts of pasta. The other, yellow one by my left hand I use for stews, casseroles, even pies without the lid. It's a 1950s a Creuset called Le Coquelle - an aspirational design, I think. It's got hope in it, and we need hope these days.

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