Welcome to Kitchen Quiz our new series of short interviews focussing on the wonderful people who write our cookbooks for us!
Episode 1: Gillian Veal (The Parlour Cafe & Cambo Gardens Cafe)
The Parlour Cafe Cookbook was our very first publication way back in the mists of time. We owe its spectacular chef and author Gillian Veal a massive debt for launching our book list in such exquisite style.
So we thought it was only right to kick off this series with Gillian, especially as we are currently working with her on a brand new title [trumpet sounds].
The new cookbook is based around the food she creates at Cambo Gardens in the East Neuk of Fife. Her cafe is set in the old stables of the historic Cambo manor house amongst gloriously kept walled gardens which are packed full of vegetables and herbs for her to use in her culinary creations. It is a magical setting for any chef and Gillian has simply thrived there, so we are very pleased that soon she will be sharing that magic with you all.
Meanwhile we caught up with her at home and asked her a few wee questions….
Sit back and relax. It’s time for KITCHEN QUIZ!!!
Q: Hi Gillian, was there a cookbook that really inspired you?
A: The River Cafe Cook Book was the one. I loved the relationship between the two owners. It was inspiring how they bounced off each other with their knowledge of ingredients and simple approach. It set me on the path that led to The Parlour Cafe Cook Book.
Q: What is your favourite item in your kitchen that you simply couldn’t do without?
A: I love all my gran’s old pans and baking stuff. They simply don’t make them like that anymore. And I recently treated myself to a thermo mix ,which is a bit like having a second chef work with me.
Q: Do you have a favourite song, type of music or podcast you like to cook along to?
A: Oh impossible to choose any one song or genre in particular. It’s like my food, I mostly decide what I’m going to make that very day. Same with the music. It’s a good day when the right music and food comes together. I’m lucky I have so many friends around with a passion for music, so I get introduced to all sorts in the cafe. My only habit is I always listen to the radio from when I get to work till 10am. It’s like my timer to prepping for the days service. I normally listen to Radio 6, but flip over to Radio 4 as well if I’m not feeling it.
Q: If you could cook anywhere in the world in any location then where would you choose?
A: There are so many places I still have to visit, but for now Andalucia in Spain would be my number one choice. It has the perfect variety of food and cooking styles. So probably an outdoor kitchen at the top of a beautiful beach from around 4pm till sunset. And perhaps with the odd glass of vino…
Q: If you had to give one single piece of advice to someone about cooking then what would that be?
A: My one piece of cooking advice would be to engage all your senses. It’s not just about following a recipe. If something doesn’t smell, taste or feel correct then do something about it. You have to feel it. While cooking it might even involve getting to know the right sound an ingredient makes when it hits the pan. It should be a passion and not just work.
Thank you so much for doing our Kitchen Quiz Gillian. We can’t wait to try out your new recipes from Cambo very soon!
Buy The Parlour Cafe Cookbook here