Celebrity Chef and entrepreneur
Where does your passion for cooking come from?
I was the youngest of my siblings and whilst they were at school getting a formal education, I was at home with my beloved grandma learning the subtleties of mixing fresh herbs and spices picked from our garden, to create wonderful tasting sauces and relishes.
You attended a cooking class for older men, how did you find it?
That was a really great morning. I loved meeting all the guys. Chatting with them gave me a real insight into how important that weekly cooking lesson really was to them. For some of them, they had never cooked before, firstly it was teaching them valuable skills of how to prepare a healthy, balanced meal within their budgets. We cooked some jerk chicken, gave them a new taste to take away. Then there was the social element; for some of the guys this was their only social outing of the week. It was great to see all the interactions and exchanges of experiences. There was such a positive vibe.
Then there was the social element, again, for some of the guys this was their only social outing in their week.
For someone who’s never cooked for themselves before, what is the easiest way to get started?
Start simple, don’t run before you can walk. There are hundreds of ways to find recipes: online, in newspapers and magazines, or a good old cook book (which are always easy to find in your local charity shop or local library.
Why is it so important to eat healthy, nutritious meals – especially in later life?
I myself try to follow a healthy, balanced diet. The older you get the more important it is to look after yourself. You need to make sure you are getting all those great nutrients that help protect against common illnesses. We tend to eat smaller portions as we get older, so it’s really important to fill up on the good stuff.
What’s your best advice for getting fresh ingredients to cook with, if travelling to the supermarket isn’t easy?
Getting to the supermarket can be challenging for some but I know that quite a few local Age UKs run some form of shopping service, give them a call and see how they can support you.