Tom Kerridge’s fresh flavours and straightforward recipes are designed for dining at home, family-style.
I love nothing more than seeing people enjoying their food – I love it so much I’ve made a career from it! As a chef, it gives me a huge amount of satisfaction to know I’ve contributed to guests at the restaurant having a good time. Cooking and eating together is one of life’s great pleasures and, although it sounds a bit cheesy, I truly believe that making a meal to share is one of the best ways to show those around you that you care about them.
Despite this, though, a few years ago I was stuck in a rut of bad habits, making poor choices about what, and how much, I consumed. Coupled with a hectic work life and long hours, this was doing me no favours at all. Missing breakfast, choosing high-sugar and high-salt ‘pick me ups’ during the day and alcohol-absorbing starchy carbs at night, I was massively overweight and had developed a routine of eating convenience food most days. I needed to make a lifestyle change – literally to save my life – and I wanted to be a good example to my young son, Acey. I now make it a real priority to set aside time each week to eat proper home-cooked meals as a family. It may not be every night, but it’s as often as we can and I know that it’s helping Acey develop a good relationship with food too.
We all know we should be eating less processed food and yet more of us than ever are regularly turning to ready-meals and takeaways instead of cooking from scratch. I get why: we’re busy, and convenience food is exactly that – convenient! But relying on it isn’t good for us. I want to show you that cooking your own food really isn’t as difficult as you might think.
I’d also encourage you to get all the family involved, whatever ‘family’ might mean to you. Cooking and eating is one of the easiest and most pleasurable ways to spend time together, and the benefits go way beyond simply eating higher-quality food.
Cooking and eating should be all about enjoyment, so have some fun with it. Don’t get hung up about creating restaurant-quality food – behind the scenes in a professional kitchen is a whole team working together! The goal here is to serve up tasty, home-cooked recipes for you and your family, and about spending some proper time together.
Tom Kerridge’s Fresh Start by Tom Kerridge, Bloomsbury, £26.