British actress and Lorraine show cook Gaynor Faye will be showing off her culinary skills at this year’s Festival of Food and Drink, to be held at Clumber Park, on Saturday, September 15 and Sunday, September 16, in her food festival debut.
Best known for her roles on ITV soaps Coronation Street and Emmerdale, Gaynor has recently been sharing her love of home cooking by appearing in the kitchen on Lorraine, cooking traditional Yorkshire recipes.
Born and bred in Leeds, Gaynor is a proper Yorkshire lass which is reflected in her cooking. Gaynor will be demonstrating her favourite recipes in the Celebrity Cookery Theatre on Sunday, September 16.
Here she tells us more about her love of cooking in this interview.
When did you first become interested in food and cooking?
My mum (writer Kay Mellor) went back into full time education when I was around ten years old and my dad worked full time. My sister, Yvonne, and I would have to prepare the vegetables and peel the potatoes when we got home from school ready for tea so my parents wouldn’t have to start from scratch when they got in. As we got older, we began making tea for them, just easy dishes like Chilli and Bolognese.
Do you have a signature recipe – that go-to dish? If so, what is it?
It would have to be fish pie. I make it with smoked haddock, boiled eggs and carrots in a white sauce with a mash potato top.
What’s your favourite thing to cook?
I like baking, as there’s not a lot that can go desperately wrong. Even if a cake doesn’t rise - it makes a fab bake or even a biscuit!
The food you have done on Lorraine all represents Yorkshire – what is it about Yorkshire that you love so much?
Everything. I’m Yorkshire born and bred. The people are warm and friendly, the food is wholesome and moreish, and the landscape is lush.
Is there a type of cooking or an ingredient you’d love to learn more about or how to use more? If so, what?
I’d love to learn how to make curries from scratch.
Can you name one ingredient you love cooking with, and one that you hate?
I love cooking with truffle but I absolutely hate cooking with dried herbs.
Starter or dessert?
Dessert every time – especially anything with chocolate and nuts!
Are there any cooking gadgets you can’t live without?
NutriBullet – a blender and nutrient extractor. Its genius.
The Man behind the Curtain with Chef Patron Michael O’Hare - one of a handful of Michelin star restaurant in Leeds.
Name a simple foodie pleasure.
Totally wrong but potatoes - any which way they come!
If you weren’t an actress, what would you be doing? Chef?
Actually, I’d be a Vet. I absolutely love animals
If you could cook a three course meal for four guests of your choosing (past of present) – what are you cooking and who’s coming to dinner?
A scallops and chorizo starter, dover sole with buttered garlic spinach and samphire with triple cooked chips with aioli for main, and chocolate fondant with creme fresh and toasted pecans for dessert.
My guests would be Disaku Ikeda, my Buddhist mentor, Micky Flanagan to make us laugh, Idris Elba to look at and he could also DJ with some cool tunes after, and my Nanna - she was incredible and told great stories. She would read out tea leaves at the end of the meal for us all.
For more information on this weekend’s festival, visit www.festivaloffoodanddrink.co.uk