Hi Justin! We’re so used to seeing you cooking on our screens these days. Have you noticed any difference since your first show?
Apart from a few more kilos and white hairs? I love every series we do; I work closely with the GBC production team who are amazing and open to new ideas so it’s been fantastic to see development in the series in the way it’s filmed and edited, and in my confidence in front of the camera.
What has the reaction been locally to all your culinary endeavours?
Overwhelmingly positive! With this past year’s pandemic and various lockdowns, everyone who has been sat at home waiting for the news in the evenings or flicking through their channels has probably seen the show. I get told by many that they really enjoy watching the various recipes we make and how they look so easy to do. I’d love to think the books have become a household staple; many students take them to university as a way to keep their traditions with them and I’m very proud that we were even given a Heritage Trust ‘special commendation’ award in 2018.
What were the themes of your first 3 cookbooks?
All books take on inspirations from local culture and surroundings. The very first two books (76 Gibraltarian Inspired Recipes and Tasting the Mediterranean) focused on local recipes and locally inspired recipes that many of us have grown up with, that through generations were at threat of being lost. My aim has always been to preserve the traditional dishes but also bring a bit of modern life to them, which is where the third book came in, 100 Everyday Recipes. This was inspired by various food trends at the time and local ingredients; the main aim is to use ingredients which are always readily available in store or those that we usually have in our cupboards as standard.
What was your inspiration for bringing out a vegan cookbook?
Ever since the shows began and the books came out, I’ve been asked ‘What’s next?’ or told ‘You should try this!’. Ultimately, I wanted to have a book that included everyone, whilst also incorporating some traditional recipes such as Torta de Acelga, Torta Patata and Bollos de Hornazo using alternate ingredients. Vegetarians can eat vegan, but not the other way around, so a vegan book is all-inclusive. Needless to say, we all have a new appreciation for the environment as never before, with countless documentaries showing us how we must care for our planet. Adding a vegan diet alongside our current ones would slowly help us progress to that ultimate goal.
What sort of recipes will we find inside?
The book is made up of 50 (51, actually!) varying recipes, from simple breakfast treats to sweet treats and desserts. From the better-known such as pancakes, tortas and cakes, to very fragrant curries, cottage pie and roasted stuffed peppers.
Which was your favourite to create, and why?
I’ve enjoyed making each recipe, although some were trial and error where I got quite frustrated, but there have been a few I’ve really enjoyed or ended up saying ‘WOAH! You’d never know!’ My ultimate favourites have been the flan, banoffee pie, and cottage pie. Can you tell I have a sweet tooth?
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