Monday, 9 May 2011

hey good lookin whatcha got cookin?

Gizzi Erskine is known for her tantalizing and delicious recipes, her gorgeous 60's themed fashion sense, and her fantastic books, TV shows & regular magazine columns. So, I interviewed the lady whose name is on the tip of everyone's tongue, and found myself adoring her just a little bit more than I do already.

> What does your job entail?

Ahhh, my job. Well it’s pretty diverse. Initially I was a restaurant chef but after I won my place at BBC Good food magazine I became full time food writer and food stylist (before the madness ensued). What this means is that I would spend the days working to brief devising recipes for books, magazine, food and wine Pr companies and sometimes product developers. You mark out a plan, think of recipes, get them approved and then get to the supermarkets, butchers, fishmongers, etc, buying produce and then spend the rest of the time conjuring up recipes in the kitchen and writing them up. Food styling is when you chef for a photographer and then present and then maintain the food while it’s getting photographed. Nowadays though things are a bit different. I do still do the 'day job' but I'm now so busy with the TV stuff I spend my time developing recipes for my TV shows, books and columns. It’s a dream job.

> Is everyday different with your job?

Absolutely. Today I have a day at home writing, yesterday I was in meetings all day and spent the afternoon shopping for produce. Tomorrow I’m on BBC Breakfast, first thing doing an interview, I then head over to This Morning to do a recipe, I then have a lunch meeting, I am then having another meeting with a Model agent and then I dash home to get my last bit of work out. It’s pretty hectic.

> What's the BEST thing about what you do? & the worst?

The best thing is finally being able to get out there that the young do enjoy cooking and be able to teach people how to eat really yummy healthy food. The worst are me still fighting to prove that woman are not all about cupcakes and whoopie pies and that I can be a girl and into offcuts, game and offal in the same way a boy can be.

> Have you always known you wanted to be a chef?

I have always been into food. I only thought about taking it professionally when I was about 22. I would go to bed with the cookery encyclopaedia Larousse Gastronome and swat all the terms at about 17 so it was a given I was going to venture into food anyway.

> How did you get into writing for the glossy magazines?

I left BBC Good Food at 23 all bright eyed and bushy tailed and thought I would just fall into a food writing job. No one gave me a second glance. The food industry has up until recently been looked at as an 'older' industry for women and I struggled with that. Especially going into meetings with an undercut and weird clothes. I got a lucky break ghost writing for a big celeb chef and before long I had a better portfolio and was able to back up what I felt. Then I started writing for one of the big supermarkets and with the help on an excellent food writing and styling agent I felt confident to hit the Glossies up again.

> Do you have any advice for people wanting to get into the food Industry?

Get trained. With the influx of blogs there are people creeping through, but if you have the gumpf to back up what you’re doing you will be more respected.

> Do you have anything else in the pipeline? Books? TV shows?

Yes. All a bit too soon to confirm but you will be getting quite a bit of both from me. I don’t know if my next big TV project will be on our screen until next year, but hopefully it'll be worth the wait.

> Now, you're not just famous for your fab recipes, your gorgeous clothes and trademark beehive is always talk of the town! Have you always styled yourself in the 60's era?

I was a punk at 15-16, then into psychobilly, then into rockabilly and then into 60s Garage. I’ve always had a 'look' but I think the 60s suits me the best. I'm most comfortable in this era. I look this way purely because f the music. I know very little about fashion.

> You’re a huge hit with millions all over, but do you class yourself as a celebrity?

No way. I am just a normal girl riding a wave and pinching herself every minute of it. I also don't want fame. I fell into this world and didn't seek it. I am appreciating it and embracing now I’m here but I just want to live a normal life. Okay, maybe a normal life with a few perks...

> You have over 12,000 followers on Twitter, which must be pretty surreal? Do you just follow other celebrities?

No not at all. I'd say two thirds of the people I follow are mates or work friends. I do follow some celebs and am friends with some. You get to meet a lot of famous people doing what you do, but you honestly find that these people are totally normal and I think twitter should show this. As for fans, I won’t follow people if they ask me to but if someone tweets me regularly in a respectful way, and I build a relationship of sorts with them, then maybe. I do think I’m very good at responding to fans on twitter.

> It's your last ever three course meal, what would it be?

Shellfish platter with oysters, langoustine, brown crab, Prawns, Lobster and a good homemade mayo. Then Roast beef rib and short ribs with the trimming and proper gravy made from beef bones and then Rhubarb crumble with custard. All washed down with a bottle of Krug. If you’re gonna go out, go out in style...?!

Thanks to Gizzi Erskine for taking the time to answer these questions. Follow her on Twitter @GizziErskine, go buy her fabulous book 'Gizzi's Kitchen Magic' and look out for her on your TV screens!

Picture was taken from Google Images.

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