The delightful Gizzi Erskine is cooking up a storm with her fresh new recipes and her cool, young look. We chatted to the fabulous foodie (star of hit show Cook Yourself Thin and author of Kitchen Magic) about Clairvoyants, personal style and the tasty male chef she can’t get enough of…
When did you first realise you enjoyed cooking?
Cooking is in some of my earliest memories. I can remember being about two years old in the vegetable garden at home with my mum and being enthralled by all the different colours. It’s a really poignant memory.
Did you ever imagine you would cook for a living and become famous for it?
No! When I was about 18 I visited a clairvoyant. At that time I never thought I’d be a cook, but the clairvoyant told me I was going to be into food! My grandmother and mother had been wonderful cooks, so the clairvoyant assumed it was the natural role for me. It was mental stuff! About 5 years later she was proved right!
What is your favourite food?
I’m such a girl and always changing my mind! Men always have one thing that they like and stick to it but I like loads of things. At the moment I’m really into slow cooking. I really like weird cuts of meat like Ox cheek. I also love cooking Asian curries.
If you could give a working city gal 3 top tips on how to cook more often in her hectic life, what would they be?
Firstly, organisation. I eat really badly if I don’t plan. I just end up getting a take-away or cooking cheese on toast for dinner. To avoid this make sure your fridge is full, you’ve good a good store cupboard with lots of tinned foods and a stack of aromatics like ginger, chili and herbs to help liven things up. Next - vats. On a Sunday afternoon or a Monday night when you’ve got nothing to do, cook up a vat of food like a spag bol or a chili. Pop it in the freezer and it will keep you going. Finally, get a good repertoire. Learn to cook a few good quick meals really well like a stir-fry or a great 5 minute pasta sauce.
You are known for your fab food and your great look. Do you think there is a relationship between cooking and style?
I live in Hackney in east London. It’s really multicultural. So I’m always aware of keeping up with culture and of what’s happening and being aware of what young people want and being on it.
We love your signature beehive and your glam 60’s look. Is fashion important to you?
I have always liked fashion. The way I dress is completely inspired to the by the music I listen to. I love 60s rock music particularly – like this band called The Sonics.
In 2009 you were voted the sexiest chef. Which chef gets you hot under the collar?
That’s an easy one! Anthony Bourdain who wrote Kitchen Confidential. He is the original rock n’ roll chef. I completely fancy the pants off him! I narrowly missed meeting him once. I was gutted!
What’s coming up for you?
I’m still working on This Morning’s cooking segment Made At Home and in July I’m heading off America to work on a new project.
Do you like US cuisine?
I’m a sucker for a proper BBQ! They take it much more seriously over there - like an art form. And Daniel Boulud’s restaurant in New York, Daniele is amazing. It really kicks ass!
Catch Gizzi on Cook Yourself Thin starting 7th June on C4 at 2.55pm Monday to Friday. For more info on Gizzi, www.gizzierksine.com
By Marisa Bate