Amy Chap­lin

Chef to the stars and whole­food cham­pion on flax oil and fen­nel dress­ing

The Guardian - Cook - - Kitchen Encounters -

My kitchen is … a dining room, living room and kitchen all in one. I have a long is­land in the mid­dle, with a stove in the mid­dle of it, fac­ing out into the room. I have a wall of cup­boards and draw­ers and a large south-fac­ing win­dow, so there’s nat­u­ral light. It’s quite mod­ern with rustic touches, such as my farm­house sink and clas­sic taps.

My favourite kitchen tool is … my Ja­panese veg­etable knife: I re­ally can’t do with­out it. And my Vi­ta­mix, which I use for mak­ing soups, dress­ings and almond milk.

My store­cup­board sta­ple is … raw al­monds, which I turn into milk, but­ter, cheese or for toast­ing.

When I’m starv­ing I … have a rice cake with what­ever I have to hand – kraut, cheese or just a driz­zle of flax oil.

My culi­nary in­spi­ra­tion is … na­ture. That vi­brant fresh­ness you get from freshly picked veg makes me want to go straight into the kitchen.

My best-kept kitchen se­cret is … soak­ing whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds. It sparks the sprout­ing process which neu­tralises phytic acid, mak­ing th­ese in­gre­di­ents more di­gestible and more nu­tri­tious. Paul Pitch­ford’s 2002 book, Heal­ing with Whole Foods taught me this – it’s my go-to bi­ble for reme­dies and health in­for­ma­tion.

My cur­rent ob­ses­sion is … a fen­nel dress­ing I’ve just posted on my blog. I’m teach­ing it, mak­ing it for my clients, eat­ing it my­self on steamed veg, on av­o­cado, on kale … You just blend fen­nel, lime and dill with a few cashews and a driz­zle of flax oil.

Ev­ery­thing tastes bet­ter with … flax oil. I love the rich nutty flavour, es­pe­cially on a plate of greens or on a salad com­bined with a lit­tle tamari, sea salt or lemon.

When I go shop­ping I … make a list which I then ig­nore and in­stead buy what­ever looks good! Of­ten at the end, I’ll check the list and re­alise I man­aged to buy most of what I needed.

For din­ner tonight … I have a bunch of veg­eta­bles that need us­ing in­clud­ing tat­soi, which is a re­ally in­ter­est­ing Asian green: it has a long stem with a lit­tle round leaf at the end – re­ally pretty. I also have some squash, so I’ll prob­a­bly make a soup with that and some Ja­panese sweet pota­toes, and stir the greens into it.

At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen by Amy Chap­lin (Jac­qui Small) is pub­lished on 18 June; amy­chap­

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