“Seasonal Eating Is Sexy” Transcript
Dorie Greenspan: Hi, this is Dorie Greenspan.
Joy Wilson: And Joy the Baker.
Dorie Greenspan: You're listening to Radio Cherry Bombe.
Joy Wilson: You're the Bombe!
Dorie Greenspan: You are!
Kerry Diamond: Hi, Bombesquad. You're listening to Radio Cherry Bombe, and I'm your host, Kerry Diamond. Each week we talk to the most inspiring women in and around the world of food. Let's thank our sponsor, Handsome Brook Farm pasture raised organic eggs. Handsome Brook Farm's secret to making rich flavorful eggs is simple. The most possible space, the best possible feed and lots of love. It's a healthy and humane recipe that makes your omelets, cakes, custards, and everything in between taste better. Wanting to get cracking, off course you do. Visit Handsomebrookfarm.com.
Kerry Diamond: All right, some housekeeping. Calling all green girls. The Food Waste Fair 2019 is taking place in Brooklyn on Thursday, May 23rd. Join the Cherry Bombe team and other zero waste peeps. If you are a New York City food lover or food service professional, come to this interactive experience, and get connected with the resources and knowledge you need to get to zero food waste. That night from six to nine PM, there's the zero food waste challenge, featuring Kirstin and Claire from Hunky Dory and other mindful New York City chefs. And guess who one of the judges is? None other than everyone's favorite, Alison Roman. For tickets to the fair or the challenge, visit foodwastefair.nyc.
Kerry Diamond: Today we have a special returning guest from across the pond, Anna Jones. The home cook champion who has a fantastic new book out called The Modern Cook's Year. It's finally spring produce season here in New York, that time of the year when farmer's markets really come alive after months of potatoes and apples. You've got asparagus, rhubarb, ramps, so many vibrant things. I was very excited to talk to Anna about what seasonal cooking means to her, since that's a major focus of The Modern Cook's Year. Before we get to my conversation with Anna, let's hear a word from our sponsor.
Kerry Diamond: Handsome Brook Farm believes that organic and pastured is the way to go when it comes to eggs. Pasture raised means better lives for hens, better lives for small farmers, and better eggs for you. It's also better for chefs who depend on rich flavorful eggs. Handsome Brook Farm's own flock of amazing chefs, their mother hens count on it. Einat Admony is a mother hen. She's also the celebrated chef behind Taïm, Balaboosta, and Kish-Kash in Manhattan. Want to learn how chef Einat whips up her red shakshouka, an aromatic spicy tomato sauce into which she nestles eggs and lets them poached to perfection? You can find chef Einat's Middle Eastern egg centric recipes and videos on handsomebrookfarm.com. You can find their eggs at Publix, Kroger, Sprout's Farmer's market, Fresh Direct and many natural food stores across the country.
Kerry Diamond: Enjoy my talk with Anna Jones.
Kerry Diamond: Anna Jones, welcome back to Radio Cherry Bombe.
Anna Jones: Thank you. I'm so happy to be here.
Kerry Diamond: Well, you're one of our favorites. And I love the British Bombesquad so much. It really makes me sad. I don't get a lot of FOMO, but I definitely get FOMO when I see everybody's pictures, and see you all hanging out together without me.
Anna Jones: Well, you know you're welcome anytime. We're there. We're always there.
Kerry Diamond: It's a plane ride away.
Anna Jones: Yeah, it is a plane ride away.
Kerry Diamond: I know I've been teasing this for years, but we are definitely doing an event in London at some point. I swear to God, before the next president is elected. Let's just put that up there.
Anna Jones: Oh, you have to. You have to, because there are many people who just love you guys, and we'd love to support you. And also so many people who would just love a little, a little piece of Cherry Bombe over in London.
Kerry Diamond: So many of you we love from afar, but today we get to love you from anear. Which is not a word. You are here to talk about another gorgeous cookbook that you've done called the Modern Cook's Year. And I was saying this off mic earlier, but I don't know how you do these cookbooks. They are gorgeous. They are beautifully designed and photographed. And then there are these just incredible recipes, and you literally want everything in these books.
Anna Jones: Oh thank you so much.
Kerry Diamond: Anna Jones, how do you do it?
Anna Jones: Well sometimes I'm not actually quite sure myself. The first couple of books I wrote before I had my little boy, but this one I did when my little boy was quite young. So it actually was a bit of a blur. I can't quite remember how it all came together. But also for some reason in this book I decided to write like a double book.
Kerry Diamond: I was going to say it's like a door stop. I mean I look at the Cherry Bombe cookbook and this is like twice the size.
Anna Jones: I think it's over like 260 recipes, which is kind of wild. And I just couldn't stop. Couldn't stop writing, which I think, at the beginning writing a book is such a process, isn't it? And at the beginning, I always have that writer's block and I can't quite place the book, and you have to sort of let a book have its own life. So as you start writing it, it kind of builds momentum. And this one just wouldn't stop. I just kept going and kept going, kept going. Also because the book is written around a year in my kitchen, it felt like, I didn't want to write just like 10 recipes for spring. It just didn't feel generous enough and to get all the whole arc of the year, the whole kind of like change in mood and ingredients, and just couldn't stop.
Kerry Diamond: How do you even approach a book like this? How much time did you have to work on it?
Anna Jones: I think I wrote this book over a year essentially.
Kerry Diamond: I mean you've been writing it your whole life, you can say.
Anna Jones: Yeah, I think so. I think seasonality and seasonal cooking is so central to what I do. I'm totally vegetarian, so all the recipes in the book are sort of vegetarian and a lot of them vegan. So cooking seasonally is super important to me, because vegetables are at the center of what I do. So them being in season, them tasting amazing is just so central to how I cook and how I've kind of always cooked as a chef.
Kerry Diamond: Did you grow up eating seasonally?
Anna Jones: You know what, I'm not sure that it was...
Kerry Diamond: I didn't.
Anna Jones: Yeah, that it was majorly a thing. I do definitely remember moments in the year, we wouldn't have like strawberries or cherries or those things all year round. There would definitely be moments of the year where special ingredients came along, asparagus, those kinds of things. But it wasn't something that was explicit, I don't think. My mum wasn't someone who loves being in the kitchen. She definitely cooked. She's a great cook, but she cooked more out of necessity. So it wasn't something that was kind of labored over, or enjoyed or lamented in the same way as I've sort of cook slowly and enjoy the sort of cooking process.
Anna Jones: And I think it's definitely been a bit of a sort of paradigm shift in the whole of cooking. That was kind of in sort of mostly in like the eighties and nineties when I was growing up. I think my mom thought time in the kitchen was a bit of a infringement on her sort of liberty in a lot of ways, you know?
Kerry Diamond: We get sad that our moms were kind of robbed of that.
Anna Jones: I think so.
Kerry Diamond: That we get to enjoy that so much, and for them it was a completely different experience.
Anna Jones: Yeah, no it does make me sad actually. And I think my mom, my mom was a sort of staunch feminist, and so for her, she always couldn't be that mom that bake cookies and did all those things. She kind of made use of like microwaves and she's still cooked us great nutritious food, but it was like getting on the table as quick as possible, and using shortcuts. Which I'm still not like a super fan of myself. Not necessarily microwave meals, but-
Kerry Diamond: The short cuts.
Anna Jones: Yeah. I think we are in a really lucky place now with food and with feminism where we can pick and choose a bit more. Not everyone, but I'm in the lucky situation where I can choose to cook my family dinner if I want to, if not my husband cooks. If not, there's all these other options. So yeah, it's definitely been a change. But yeah, eating seasonally wasn't something my family did. It's definitely something that I learned as a young chef. I think one of the really grounding experiences for me as a young chef was going to the market every Saturday. All the kind of young chefs from London would all meet up at Borough Market. We'd all go and get a coffee at Monmouth Coffee Company before it had queues of like Fifteen0 people outside every morning. And then we'd go and we'd look and we'd see what was in season and we'd connect. We connect with the food, and that definitely has been one of the sort of formative experiences of kind of setting up how I cook.
Kerry Diamond: Who were the big proponents of seasonal eating in the UK? Here I'm thinking Alice Waters, people like that who really helped us wake up to that idea.
Anna Jones: Well I think Alice Waters had a massive influence I think over in the UK as well, especially within the kind of foodie community. I think our kind of Alice Waters were probably Ray and Ruth from the River Cafe, they really really sort of flew the flag for seasonal eating and seasonal cooking, which then kind of I think trickled down. Brilliant people like Nigel Slater has always sort of let that rhythm of the seasons sort of guide his cooking.
Anna Jones: But I think a lot of the people that kind of cooked in that River Cafe kitchen like Jamie Oliver, have then gone on to either write books or have restaurants that have then informed how we cook. And Jamie obviously is a huge, huge... I work for Jamie actually for quite a few years. And so that was definitely something that sort of was part of the rhythm of what we did there too.
Kerry Diamond: We had him on the show a few months ago, and we name dropped you shamelessly.
Anna Jones: I mean, yeah, I mean we're kind of like the same level, Anna Jones, Jamie Oliver, so thank you for doing that yeah.
Kerry Diamond: He was a fun interview. It was so short, that was the only bad part. But he was very interesting to talk to. We asked him about his female mentors, and it was really amazing to hear him talk about Ruth and Rose, and the impact that they had had on his life and career.
Anna Jones: Absolutely. And he is a huge... He backs women. Jamie. He's absolutely brilliant. And 80% of the people who work for him are women. He's a great feminist, Jamie Oliver.
Kerry Diamond: I also love his wedding photo.
Anna Jones: Oh yeah.
Kerry Diamond: Have you ever seen? Comes up on Instagram, I know. It comes up on Instagram all the time, and I can't tell is it like a corduroy powder blue suit or just powder blue but-
Anna Jones: I'm not sure. We have to get the inside track because I'll ask him.
Kerry Diamond: Let's ask him about that powder blue suit, it cracks me up.
Anna Jones: And like a frilly shirt and stuff. Yeah, definitely. He's got a bit of a retro vibe going on there. But he looked amazing.
Kerry Diamond: He did. It's super cute. So how did you get your start?
Anna Jones: Actually with Jamie Oliver. So ...
Kerry Diamond: Did you go to college? Did people go to culinary school?
Anna Jones: They kind of do. It's not quite the same thing here in the UK. There are a few sort of culinary schools, but they're quite expensive. The sort of state education system runs cookery courses, and I think a lot of people train that way. But yeah, a lot of people in the UK actually I think get their experience just in kitchens, and learn kind of on the job, which actually I think was definitely my most powerful source of learning. But yeah, no I did an economics degree, which obviously is very little to do with cookbooks.
Kerry Diamond: Or not, or maybe it does.
Anna Jones: Well I mean, yeah, it's definitely been something good to have done, and good to have.
Kerry Diamond: Economy of time. Economy of how do I use that advance to finish this book.
Anna Jones: Yeah exactly, exactly. I'm still trying to work that out. So yeah, I guess my break was actually at Fifteen. So Jamie Oliver did this training program called Fifteen, where he got Fifteen young people and set up a restaurant. And those young people sort of man the restaurant along with some chefs, and I was in the second group at Fifteen.
Kerry Diamond: Oh I didn't know that. I know about his Fifteen project, but I didn't know you were a part of it.
Anna Jones: No, it was kind of a wild story because I was kind of just doing a job. I wasn't really that connected with, and decided I wanted to do a cooking course. And literally Googled this cooking course, and Fifteen popped up. I'd never heard of it. This was when Jamie had just had one book out. He wasn't a major kind of worldwide deal that he is now. And yeah, I just thought, oh, I'll give that a go. And I think I actually bumped off work on the Wednesday afternoon, and went to an interview.
Anna Jones: And then that weekend I ended up in typical Jamie Oliver stock, they were filming it all for like a TV show. So we went down on like an outward bound, if that makes sense to you guys, weekend. And we did like team building. Build bridges with like twigs and all of this stuff to see like how we worked as a team. And then at the end of the weekend, they were like, yeah, you're in. You're in. You've got a place. And then I just didn't quite know what to do. So I quit my job. Yes, started cooking and it all-
Kerry Diamond: And how old were you?
Anna Jones: I was 24.
Kerry Diamond: Okay.
Anna Jones: And that all happened in the space of like seven days, from the moment of a light bulb going off and me thinking I want to be a cook, to having a job in a kitchen. Well for me in life when things like that happen, you know it's the right thing. It's almost like something else has taken over for you. So yeah, I was really lucky. And then I spent seven years working in Jamie's kitchen, and then for him kind of personally helping him with his cookbooks and food styling and stuff, which was quite a ride.
Kerry Diamond: So how did you start to learn what you are good at? What emerged in those early days?
Anna Jones: I guess cooking is always something that I have done, and that I knew I was good at. But I never really considered it as something that could be a career. I think I was perhaps brought up in a family where academia, and in a school where academia and those kinds of things are a bit more celebrated. And I think we've had a great kind of resurgence of creativity over the last Fifteen or 20 years, haven't we, where all these creative jobs are actually considered on the same level as being a lawyer or a doctor or, not that I'm saving lives. Massive respect to doctors.
Kerry Diamond: But things that weren't careers are now careers.
Anna Jones: Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And when I started out, being a food stylist or cookbook writer wasn't something that I could have been written down on my school application forms or anything.
Anna Jones: So I guess, the real kind of galvanizing moment for me was when I read an article in one of the Sunday papers about working out what your passion was. And for me, I knew it was kind of cooking, restaurants. It basically said you determine your passion by which part of the Sunday supplement papers you turn to first.
Kerry Diamond: I remember you telling me this story.
Anna Jones: It's actually so cool because it was so instant and so clear for me. And I think when that light bulb went off, I just thought actually, that's the route I need to go down. And then when I got in the kitchen, I think I realized that I really enjoyed the creation, that kind of recipe creation part. I really enjoyed that creativity. I really enjoyed that part, the end part of putting everything on the plate. That delicacy, that kind of telling a visual story with how a plate looks.
Anna Jones: And I think I was in a lucky position because obviously, as Jamie's business grew and grew, there were these other outlets, there was this whole media side of Jamie's business, which I could quite neatly hop into. And yeah, I think it's been a process of working out what I'm good at really. I knew I love writing. I knew I love kind of like visual arts and that creative side of things. And I think I knew I always wanted to write a cookbook. I used to do like cookery shows to like pot plants in my mom and dad's kitchen, when I was like seven, eight, nine. So it was there. But it's so funny how we don't consider these things, isn't it? These things that are our true passions, how we don't necessarily consider them?
Kerry Diamond: Well I think it's back to what you've said. Back in high school, recipe developer was not a job description. Food stylist, not a job description. And today, I think that's also an interesting thing about women in the industry that, because for a lot of them, kitchens were not an option. Being a chef was not an option, that they've kind of carved out these careers for themselves in the food world. I'm still amazed like when we do events, how many young women come by who are recipe developers, doing things on Instagram. I mean really creating their own paths into the food world.
Anna Jones: Yeah. Well I think that's kind of what I felt like I had to carve out because when I worked in restaurants, when I looked ahead, I just couldn't see how that could be a possibility. And I think for a lot of women, I can count on one hand the amount of women I know who have kids who still work in restaurants. It's changing I think, but super slowly.
Kerry Diamond: I just opened up to chard and ricotta pasta for Dylan. Speaking of kids, and having them and cooking for them.
Anna Jones: Yeah.
Kerry Diamond: I mean honestly, Anna, I needed to just start reading some of the pages. The book is falling open to ricotta gnocchi with brown butter tomato sauce, with the most gorgeous photo.
Anna Jones: Oh thank you.
Kerry Diamond: I love gnocchi so much.
Anna Jones: I think that would definitely be up in my top five. I think gnocchi is just, anything with like tomato sauce, the buttery tomato sauce, I mean...
Kerry Diamond: Tell us about this dish.
Anna Jones: I think a lot of the recipes I cook quite often come from a restaurant or a fancy technique, and I try and kind of ground them in the day to day. So being a mom of a young little boy, I don't have as much time to cook anymore. And that kind of pressure has never been real for me, of like having to juggle millions of things, and get dinner on the table pretty quickly. So this is kind of based on a gnudi recipe, but I've kind of sort of-
Kerry Diamond: Tell people what gnudi are in case they've never had it.
Anna Jones: Gnudi are these incredibly delicious kind of cloud puff like ricotta, gnocchi essentially. But you make them kind of 48 hours ahead. They stay in the fridge for a couple of nights, and you almost put no flour into them. It's almost just kind of like ricotta. And you kind of tossed them in semolina or in flour that they hold together when they cook. But unless you're a serious, serious food geek who makes anything 48 hours before they're going to eat it.
Anna Jones: So this is a recipe where I've used a little bit more flour just to make it easy enough to make it an hour or so. A really simple tomato sauce, but then finished off with brown butter. So that's the kind of thing that I try and do, I guess, in a lot of my recipes is, draw people in with something that feels familiar, that doesn't feel too scary, but then give them something at the end that is like a different pop of flavor that is something unexpected. In this recipe it's the brown butter, which actually is super, super easy to do, but it's something that perhaps people might just eat at restaurant, they might not eat at home. But it's a total game changer.
Kerry Diamond: Is that basil?
Anna Jones: Yeah, just a little bit of basil.
Kerry Diamond: Can you say it the way a British person says it for me?
Anna Jones: Just a little basil. Just a small amount of basil on top.
Kerry Diamond: And you say herb, right?
Anna Jones: Herb, yes, yes. Not erb.
Kerry Diamond: Not erb, like we say. I saw something in here with pink peppercorn. I feel like pink peppercorns are having such a moment. Why is that?
Anna Jones: Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's one of the things I love about food. Like an ingredient will rise to the top for a while, and then it will get kind of like slightly over use, and then it'll get put to the back of the shelf again. And it's really nice. I think pink peppercorns are such a brilliant ingredient. They add like a spice, but it's like a fresh rounded warming kind of slightly zingy, peppery note. And they work really, really well with lots of things. And I would say that's something that can sit on your spice shelf for like quite a few months. Pretty low maintenance. It's not like something that needs to be refrigerated. But they can add incredible pop. I think there's a couple of recipes in here that use them actually. There's a raw squash salad recipe, which I make at the end of the summer when the squashes are just coming in. And the dressing has got pink peppercorns in, which just adds like a warmth that just counteracts that kind of sweetness of the squash.
Anna Jones: There's also a a gratin which uses potatoes, beet roots, rhubarb and pink peppercorns, which perhaps are not the sort of thing that you would put together in a gratin, but it turns very cherry bombe actually because it turns the cream pink so.
Kerry Diamond: We only eat pink food here, as you know.
Anna Jones: Yeah, exactly. But yeah, again, it's that kind of like unexpected twist at the end, where you're like I know where this is going to taste like. Then you're like, hold on a second. But I think that's how we get people to step outside their comfort zone in food. Because if you create a really fancy recipe or something far fango and crazy, then people aren't going to do it. But if they know like 99% of the recipe, and then there's one little like tweak, hit change, it's a nice way to explore new flavors.
Kerry Diamond: I feel like Americans are finally starting to accept rhubarb into their lives.
Anna Jones: Rhubarb, yeah.
Kerry Diamond: I feel like in the UK that was always a thing.
Anna Jones: It is a massive thing because we have an area called the rhubarb triangle up in Yorkshire, which is, yeah, this is like four... The three towns, obviously not four. There's three sides to a triangle Anna. Three towns, three towns in Yorkshire, and in between them is where all the rhubarb grows.
Kerry Diamond: The rhubarb triangle. So it's not like the Bermuda triangle.
Anna Jones: Well, I mean who knows, who knows.
Kerry Diamond: Get themselves lost in the rhubarb triangle.
Anna Jones: I could probably get myself lost in the rhubarb triangle. That sounds quite fun. I think in the UK, rhubarb crumble is something that is quite accepted that people make. But people don't use it that much outside of that. But it's actually a great thing to use in savory cooking, because it's not sweet at all. It has wonderful acidity.
Kerry Diamond: It's a little tart.
Anna Jones: Yeah, a little tart. You can pickle it. So, in that gratin, it takes the place of perhaps some lemon or something else like that. I pickle it at home as well. The last few weeks I've been doing a tray bake with lots of potatoes, feta, and some really, really finely sliced rhubarb. And my son won't go anywhere near it, but that's another story. But I think there's these moments in the year when these fresh, bright, colorful ingredients pop up. And actually it's just so cheering. Do people here eat a lot of rhubarb? Is it not something that's really part of the-
Kerry Diamond: It's changing. It's changing. I think people have gotten over their fear of cooking with beets now. Beets have been accepted. Rhubarb is still, yet to have its big moment. But you see it more in markets. You see it more in recipes. I feel the same way about Brussels sprouts a little. Brussels sprouts were just so maligned, because people cooked them so badly for so long. And I think even rhubarb, my dad had like bad experiences with rhubarb as a child. But now people are understanding what to do with it.
Anna Jones: Yeah.
Kerry Diamond: Another recipe we just opened to, the blackberry bay leaf and honey tart. Bay leaves. Totally misunderstood here in America.
Anna Jones: Bay is one of my favorite herbs.
Kerry Diamond: And it's fresh. These are fresh bay leaves.
Anna Jones: They're fresh bay leaves. Yeah, I have a big bay tree outside of my house.
Kerry Diamond: Of course you do.
Anna Jones: And bay is like, I'm not a gardener. I literally kill like every plant. But bay leaves are impossible, impossible, impossible to kill. It's really sprouted everywhere. So fresh bay, you could use dry bay as well, but I think we're so used to just seeing bay in like a béchamel sauce or in like a bolognaise sauce or something like that. But it's got, I mean bay is just a really lovely subtle verbdom but slightly sweet flavor.
Kerry Diamond: I don't think I've ever used anything but dry bay leaf.
Anna Jones: Yeah, well the fresh is definitely more powerful. When you scrunch it up, you can kind of smell the amazing, quite heady but very green sort of smelling, smell of bay. And it does add, you know it's like anything fresh, it adds an extra sort of 50% of flavors. So you sort of need to use a little bit less. But it's brilliant in sweet cooking. So a panna cotta with a bay leaf and some laminin. Tutti Frutti ice cream. That's what bay leaves are used in that traditionally. So that's what creates that flavor of that.
Kerry Diamond: Okay I confess, I don't know what Tutti Frutti ice cream is.
Anna Jones: So Tutti Frutti ice cream is this ice cream that I think must've come from Italy. It's lots and lots of chopped candied fruits. It's vanilla. And then it has this kind of like underlying kind of like almost difficult to place sort of spice, and it's bay. And I think quite often that difficult to place spice is bay. But bay is the kind of like, it's the base level. It's such a generous spice because it doesn't shout. It doesn't make you think like you know like coriander or tarragon. They're literally like, hey notice me. Whereas bay is just like, it's quite gentle. It's like a really friendly, like warming flavor.
Kerry Diamond: Tarragon is one of those herbs that I just can't embrace.
Anna Jones: Okay. Yeah.
Kerry Diamond: I love a tiny little bit of tarragon like in a chicken salad or something, but the second is just like too much tarragon.
Anna Jones: Yeah. I'm not going to make you my tarragon salad ever then. It's basically just tarragon. I'll make note of that. If cooking for Kerry, strike off the tarragon salad.
Kerry Diamond: I'm glad I warn you. How are the rest of our friends in the UK doing? What's up with the British Bombe squad?
Anna Jones: Great. Lots, well there's just loads of amazing stuff going on at the moment in food, and particularly with women in food. Melissa, who I was on the show with last time, is just yeah.
Kerry Diamond: Our good friend Melissa Hensley, we miss her all the time.
Anna Jones: Yeah, she's just brilliant. And there's just a good vibe around at the moment in terms of food, which is good because there's some other different vibes going on in politics.
Kerry Diamond: I did not prepare you for this, but can you shout out a few places that if anybody from the Bombe squad is going to London, that they would be remiss not to see or visit or stop by, whether it's a market or a restaurant?
Anna Jones: Yeah, well London is kind of crazy. I live over east, so my leaning is always, always, always over that side of town. One of my favorite places to go is a restaurant called Lyles, which is in Shoreditch. The chef there is a guy called James Lowe, and he's got a brilliant, very kind of progressive kitchen. And he cooks seasonal British food so so, so beautifully. Another favorite is Luca in Clark and well, which is a restaurant started by a couple of young brilliant chefs as well, and it's very pasta centered. It's like a beautiful dining room. Yeah, I absolutely, absolutely adore it there.
Anna Jones: Markets, I mean I would send people down to Molby Street, which is in sort of southeast London. It's a little street. There's lots of street food stores there, but at the end of that street there's a place called Spar Terminus, which is kind of a bit of an underground food market but it's where all the people really in the know, like you might see occasionally like people like Nigel Slater down there buying his groceries. It's got an incredible honey company, a brewery, a butcher if that's your kind of thing, it's obviously not mine. And then a couple of really, really amazing vegetable shops. But it's not the kind of tourist, Borough Market. It's a bit off the beaten track.
Kerry Diamond: How's my favorite Rochelle canteen? Rochelle's canteen?
Anna Jones: Rochelle's canteen is an absolute cracker yeah. In the summer, I mean it's unbeatable. You sort of eat outside under their sort of pergola of vines. And it's very, very, very simple cooking by Margot Henderson, who's partner Fergus Founder Saint John's. So it's kind of that style of very simple cooking. but it's just so beautiful. There are just so many places, so many places in London right now. Another favorite of mine is Merito. Part of the Moro family. They've actually got three premises now around town, and that's kind of like Spanish, North African inspired foods.
Anna Jones: So really, really, really big on flavor. I mean I could literally list restaurants for like three and a half hours.
Kerry Diamond: One day we'll have city guides.
Anna Jones: Yeah. Oh I actually... And if you're going all out to treat yourself, then Spring in Somerset House is kind of unbeatable. It's the most beautiful restaurant in the middle of Somerset House, which is this beautiful, incredible old sort of museums style building, and Sky Ganger is head chef, kind of at the helm there. Even just down to like the serving staffs kind of uniforms. I want to live there, basically.
Kerry Diamond: Melissa took me to a great dinner that Sky did, that was all about food waste. And she just made all this incredible stuff from things that normally get thrown away in the kitchen. And they had these plush giant stuffed vegetables, that I have been meaning to find out who made those for like two years now, and I never found out. But I don't know if you saw the pictures. They were like giant artichokes and carrots and onions, and they were the most brilliant things.
Anna Jones: I didn't. That sounds amazing. But I know that they do. So Spring the restaurant, is definitely a treat restaurant for me. But they do do a lunch, I think, out in that little courtyard area, which they cook just from the kitchen waste, and that's much more affordable. And I really love that there's kind of really like, quite upmarket restaurant is kind of making their food available and affordable to everyone. And you still get to eat in this really beautiful environment.
Kerry Diamond: Anna's like stop talking about fake vegetables. Let's talk about real food. Okay, we're going to do a speed round.
Anna Jones: Lovely.
Kerry Diamond: Okay. Most treasured cookbook that you didn't write.
Anna Jones: Oh my God. Loving right now to Verna by Georgina Hayden. She's a friend who I worked with at Jamie Oliver's. She is a larger than life, wonderful Greek Cypriot. She's written this book called Taverna, which is all about her family's Greek Cypriot heritage, and is very, very beautiful. She was a food stylist like me at Jamie, so she's got that touch. But it's telling her whole family history and I literally want to make every single damn thing in the book.
Kerry Diamond: Favorite kitchen utensil.
Anna Jones: A speed peeler. That's what we call it in the... Is it a wide peeler? Is that what you call it here?
Kerry Diamond: Speed peeler.
Anna Jones: Speed peeler. So those kind of wide peelers that you peel potatoes with, but you could also like ribbon courgette or carrots. You can also whip the side off a bit of lemon.
Kerry Diamond: A Cherry Bombe first. No one has ever said that.
Anna Jones: I just think it's the most useful.
Kerry Diamond: You can't see meat for this next question, but a food that you would never eat, aside from meat.
Anna Jones: Aside from meat. You know what, I'm not great fan of walnuts.
Kerry Diamond: I love walnuts.
Anna Jones: Yeah, I know I like the flavor of them, but for some reason...
Kerry Diamond: Okay, I won't make you suffer walnuts and you won't make me suffer tarragon. Yep.
Anna Jones: It's a deal. It's a deal.
Kerry Diamond: All right. Song that makes you smile.
Anna Jones: I'm going to sound so damn cheesy here. When we were walking out of our wedding, my little boy was six months old, and we have Three is the magic number by De La Soul playing. As we walked back down the aisle, and Dylan was on John's shoulders, and it was just a dreamy moment, so that always makes me smile.
Kerry Diamond: I love that song. Dream vacation destination.
Anna Jones: I have a lot of dream vacation destinations at the moment because with a three year old, we're kind of going on slightly less dream vacation holidays. But that will change. It's all going to be okay. I think Vietnam, that has been top of my list for so many years, and I've never actually made it there. Where I live in east London, there is crazy amounts of Vietnamese food, so I just feel like I need to get there, eat the food. Yeah.
Kerry Diamond: My favorite cuisine and my favorite place to visit. Amazing people. Amazing place. Last question. If you had to be trapped on a desert island with one food celebrity, who would it be and why?
Anna Jones: Oh my God, that's such a good question. That's such a good question. Wow. That's a really, really hard one. With one food celebrity. I think I'd actually choose Alice Waters. I'd really, really like to, I'd like to know what... She's just such a pioneer and I would have like a million questions to ask her about how she did what she did, and why she did what she did, and what her plans for like new things are. I think she'd be great to cook with. I think she'd be brilliant at like foraging for some food. So it's like a self care thing as well.
Kerry Diamond: Who do you think Alice Waters wants to be trapped on a desert island with?
Anna Jones: That's a really good question. Maybe like she'd pick someone really cool. Maybe Samin. Yeah.
Kerry Diamond: Maybe one day we'll get to the bottom of that. Anna, I'm sorry the interview has come to an end. I'd keep you here all day if I could.
Anna Jones: I could sit here for hours and hours. This has been so fun. I just absolutely love being, well just chatting away.
Kerry Diamond: Me too. Thanks Anna.
Anna Jones: Thanks so much.
Kerry Diamond: That's it for today's show. Thank you to Anna Jones for coming to visit Cherry Bombe HQ. Make sure to check out her new book, the Modern Cook's Year, as well as her other brilliant cookbooks.
Kerry Diamond: We'd also like to thank our sponsor, Handsome Brook farm pasture raised organic eggs for supporting this season of radio Cherry Bombe. Radio Cherry Bombe is a production of Cherry Bombe media. Our show is edited, engineered, and produced by Jess Zeidman. Our theme song is All Fired Up by the band, Tralala. Thanks for listening everyone. You're the Bombe.
When Harry Met Sally Clip: I'll have what she's having.
Amanda Orlando: Hi, my name is Amanda Orlando, and I'm a cookbook author and recipe developer, and you can find me at Everyday Allergen Free. Do you want to know who I think is the Bombe? It has to be Iron and Gardens. Has to be Ayana. She completely changed how I thought about entertaining and cooking for others, and welcoming people into your home. She really inspired me with what I want to do with my life and my career.