Our Chef interviews continue this week with Sophie Michell – her influences have come from across the world from her travels, but something her Mum cooks for her always brings her back home.
If you could travel to cook in any country for a year, where would it be?
South East Asia – I think I would learn some really interesting cooking skills and flavour combinations, plus it’s so varied from Malaysia to Thailand, that you would really develop a wide range of knowledge.
What’s your favourite childhood holiday memory?
Being in Sorrento in Southern Italy, picking out live lobsters from the big tanks for dinner and marveling at the huge lemons. Everything about that trip was vibrant, I was 5 and my first ever recognisable memory was from that trip.
Where’s your favourite place to travel?
I love going to California, apart from the epic weather, great countryside, beaches, shopping and surfing, I find the food very inspiring. All of the farm to table initiatives, great produce and healthy slant really does it for me.
If you could fly anywhere in the world for a day, where would it be?
Bali, we travelled there when I was a teenager and I have been back three times since. It has changed over the years, but I still have a craving to be there often. It’s magical and it just relaxes me.
What’s your favourite cookery book?
I’m into my antique cookbooks – I was recently given one by my future father – in – law, The Boston School of Cookery from the 1940’s. I find it really interesting. It was owned by my finance’s Grandmother who came from the US to Ireland years ago, my engagement ring was also hers.
If you had to cook one dish, what would it be & why?
Roast chicken, it makes a home a home, and it never fails to make me happy, especially when cooked by my Mum.
If you had to choose one country to move to, where would it be?
California, not a country I know, but what’s not to love? I’m a nature lover, but also used to the city luxuries, LA has both, so that would be my aim.
What’s your best food memory from a holiday?
All of my best holiday memories are from food! From the food markets in Indonesia, to amazing Clam Linguine in Capri, to the stunning food market in San Francisco. I follow my food cravings around the world.
Who was your main chef / cooking influence when you were growing up?
Michel Roux Junior. Amazing chef, wonderful energy about him and I just have a huge admiration for him and his gastronomic family legacy.