STARCHAT WITH ANNA GARE
Learn about new foods and new trends
WORKING in the food industry, author and TV presenter Anna Gare is constantly coming across new foods, new trends and the latest is “expert” advice.
Anna started her career running a catering business in Fremantle, Western Australia. She’s a proud western girl and poured eight years of her life into it.
Getting well known around town, she started doing segments for Perth At Five, and as time went on Anna’s career took off, hosting Junior MasterChef, The Great Australian Bake Off and often appearing as a guest on cooking shows.
Her first love though, is writing cook books, and after the success of her last book Eat In, which featured a great range of
traditional home cooking, Anna’s latest book is a collection of healthy foods full of flavour that anyone can make.
With her children all grown up and leaving home, Anna had the idea of writing a cookbook for people who were about to set up their own home, but it soon evolved into what finally became Delicious Every Day.
“I originally had thought about writing a ‘leaving home’ book for my kids, so I worked on some ‘simple sides’ which are simple dishes that do appear in this new book,” Anna said.
“But then I decided (after my friends said they loved the idea), I thought I’d make it for a broader market, which led to ‘Delicious Every Day’.
“My husband (former basketballer Luc Longley) moved to Denmark, and it’s a food maniac’s dream. I’m surrounded by fertile soil, sheep, produce, cheese… it’s a really lovely part of the world to live in.
“We moved here and the kids left home. Luc always wanted to live here, he bought it with the proceeds of a trading card, believe it or not.
I believe people want to eat healthy foods. We’ve gone so far from natural foods with additives and hormones that I believe people want to go back to healthier foods.
“He bought a property when he was 21, there was a trading card he got paid for that went into a Wheaties packet when he was in the NBA. He got a large sum of money for doing that trading card when he played for the Chicago Bulls and with that money he gave it to his dad and said ‘get me a property.’
“I’m lucky that with my work I can base myself anywhere, to be honest.”
In the 1980s, Anna was in the music industry. She was part of an all-girl band called The Jam Tarts which also included her sister Sophie. The girls famously did a support tour in the mid 80s to Rik Mayall and Ben Elton, riding on the success of the popular show The Young Ones.
Sophie and Ben Elton eventually married, and with Anna hitched to Luc Longley, the family is busy to say the least, is food is where Anna’s heart lies, and she enjoys using her profile to spread the word about healthy eating in one of the fattest nations on earth.
“I’ve always cooked healthy food to be honest, and as I say in the books, I’ve cooked mostly healthy food because I believe people want to eat healthy foods. We’ve gone so far from natural foods with additives and hormones that I believe people want to go back to healthier foods.
“It’s how I like to eat. I feel so much better after a healthy meal than I would an unhealthy one. For example, you know how you feel when you crave a burger or some junk, then afterwards you wish you hadn’t? I’ve only made that mistake once, just the once, and my husband still doesn’t believe me. I’m just one of those people that wants to feel good after I’ve eaten and don’t want to
waste a time meal that isn’t good for me.
“Obesity is such a problem in our country, and I love to work with food organisations and it inspires me to do more work in the community. When I’m in shopping centres doing demos or promotions, that’s when you see lots of unhealthy people. I work with the Stephanie Alexander program which is fantastic, and it gets to kids when they are young. I do lots of work with them, and also Jamie Oliver’s organisation, which involves going out in food vans,” Anna said.
“We need a bigger army of people out there spreading the word about the benefits of fresh food, and give them the tools to have a healthier life.
“I don’t like going around telling people how or what to eat. Nobody likes rules. If someone says don’t eat it, you go and eat it. When you cook something that is yummy and delicious, you want to share it with people.
“I make a recipe and if everyone goes ‘oh my god that was yum’, I think to myself, right, I’ll put that in a book.
“I’ll make it again and put something different in, as often recipes can evolve over time. Some of the recipes in Delicious Every Day I wrote a few years ago, and they’ve been with me for a while so you make them again and again over time.
“You can keep changing things, but I do love the whole process of making up a recipe,” Anna said.
She loves the fact that she is sharing the love of healthy eating. “People come up to me and tell me ‘I loved your book’ or ‘I adored that recipe.’ That makes me feel like I’m making a difference. I naturally want to share the food love. I don’t feel any