“Cooking is the thing that makes me happiest,” says Lauraine Jacobs, award winning food writer, food columnist for The Listener and author of eight cookbooks. While her earliest food memory is white bread —specifically, digging out the center of a fresh loaf—her ingredient of the moment is NZ’s own Lewis Road Creamery Butter. “I feel like I have been waiting all my life for this butter.”
We asked her a few more questions . . .
Where do you draw your culinary inspiration?
I think anyone who’s in the business of food writing is eating out all the time, reading every food book they can get their hands on, visiting every farmers market they can get to. And I’m always keeping my eyes peeled for what’s in the supermarkets.
Who is your cooking idol?
Nobody on TV. I’d have to say Mark Hix. He’s a champion of British cooking and owns several restaurants in London.
What is your greatest cooking achievement to date?
I’d hope my greatest cooking achievement would always be my latest column for The Listener.
How would you describe your style of cooking?
I suppose it’s simple food. What I really believe in is cooking simple food and if it’s simple to make, it’s simple to eat and your guests will love you.
How did you start cooking?
I really started cooking at the Cordon Bleu School in London. That’s where I really fell in love with food.
What’s your favourite meal?
Probably a roast dinner with roast chicken or beef and preserved lemons with both.
What’s your biggest kitchen disaster?
A dirty floor.
If you could eat anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I’d go to San Francisco and eat at my friend Joanne Weir’s tequila bar and Mexican eatery, Copita. She serves real Mexican food. I’d love to go there.
What are your kitchen must have staples?
Salt, butter, lemons, fresh herbs, fresh spices.
Why do you love cooking?
It’s the thing that makes me happiest.
Who is your dream dinner guest?
The late writer Nora Ephron, or Madhur Jaffrey. I’d love her to come back to New Zealand. She once stayed with me and we cooked the most fabulous Indian banquet together.
Find out more about Lauraine at www.laurainejacobs.co.nz