Annabel Langbein believes in food in its most pure form and using it to create simple and delicious dishes. In her Lifestyle Food series Annabel Langbein: The Free Range Cook she show viewers exactly how to do this. TV Guide met with the chef to find out about all her favourite things, not just food.
ENTERTAINMENT Movie: The Lives Of Others. It’s one of those gripping, edge-of-your-seat movies that takes you right into all those themes of power, corruption, greed, hope, humanity. Book: Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier And Clay, is impossible to put down. TV show: Put Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin together in 30 Rock and you have the quirkiest, funniest show ever. Band or singer: That’s hard. Down to the wire it probably has to be The Doors. Jim Morrison was so brilliant. Album: Leonard Cohen Ten New Songs. Such a poet, and also an amazing visual artist. Karaoke song: I don’t do karaoke, but if I did it would be Ella or Dean Martin or one of the crooners. Gadget: My microplane grater. It goes everywhere with me.
LIFESTYLE Holiday spot: Southern Turkey. You can still find people living a simple peasant Mediterranean life as they have for hundreds of years. I love to swim and the water is pristine. Thing to do on the weekend: Go out for coffee, have friends over for Sunday lunch or Saturday dinner. Place to go to relax: Wanaka, in the southern alps of New Zealand, where we film the series. We live on the lake. Sport to follow or play: Years ago I came off a horse and broke my back and seven ribs. These days I just like walking, swimming and yoga. Dinner conversation topics: We spend hours sitting around talking about ideas, history, events, the world, movies, life, food, wine and stories.
HOME Room in your house: The kitchen. It’s where everyone congregates. Place to hide from everyone: The bath – with a good book or a movie on my laptop. Art piece: My mother was an artist and on our bedroom walls I have some of her collages. Mum died about eight years ago, but having them there reminds me of her and her wonderful creativity and energy. Item you can’t live without: My Chinese teapot. It sits in a padded bamboo holder, which keeps the tea warm for ages. Luxury product: I am a sheet gal. Bring on that thread count.
FOOD Meal of all time: On the beach cooking fresh abalone over the fire and making a big pot of seafood soup. Dish to cook: Whatever is fresh out of my garden on the day. Family recipe: My mother was a wonderful cook and her chocolate chip cookies continue to please. Ingredient: Lemons. The juice adds this lovely fresh brightness to a dish. Guilty pleasure: Cheese. I love it all, but especially an ashed goat cheese – creamy with a lovely tang. Restaurant: The bistro at the Amisfield winery in Arrowtown, just outside of Queenstown. They have a fabulous seasonal menu of shared plates, very honest food that is not too complicated and really well cooked. Cafe´: As long as the coffee is good I’m happy to check out a different one almost every day. My latest find is Ruben Hills in Surry Hills – really good coffee and fabulous breakfasts.
STYLE Style icon: Coco Chanel. After getting to know more about her through books and movies, what talent, what a gal. Fashion designer: Collette Dinnigan and Diane von Furstenberg always hit the spot. Piece of clothing: This soft, almostmushroomy pink lambskin coat. It weighs a ton but you will be warm and look good at the same time! Shop: Maybe Selfridges for that onestop shopping experience. Artist: Probably Marc Chagall. The whimsy of his art I find entrancing.