Thursday, September 4, 2014

Me, in my friend, Erin's kitchen
Welcome, Friends, and Meet My Friend, Jack!

Hi Friends!  Wow, it Has been a very long time since my last post!  Thanks to the many friends who have continued supporting my humble little blog.  Now, it is no secret that I am a big fan of Twitter.  Much of my blog networking happens on Twitter, and I have met many, many incredible chefs, food bloggers, fantastic home cooks and friends (all of the above!).  One of the people whom I have Twitter-met is Jack Knight, a young inspiring home cook from Great Britain.  Jack is an inspiration to me because he has been the cook I regret not being, one who has been in the kitchen since childhood.  In addition, he has undertaken an enormous task which I, too, must undertake, and that is to shed pounds.  Jack has shed an incredible amount of weight by changing the foods he loves and creating healthy versions of them, by choosing moderation over splurging, and by exercise.  Jack is a truly amazing guy with an incredibly sharp wit, understanding of the world beyond his young years, and is quite the colorful character.  With that, PLEASE meet My Friend, Jack, my guest food blogger.  You can follow Jack at:  
1st Guest Post
Jul 25

This post is inspired by the 'Spilling the Beans' and 'Cup of Tea' interviews in the magazine of my favourite supermarket: Waitrose. I'm not sure if they have John Lewis shops in America, perhaps one of my readers there could let me know in the comments?

So, without further ado, pull up a chair, help yourself to coffee or tea and a cookie. Let's begin.

Name: Jack Knight

Age: 27

Describe yourself: Lifestyle blogger, gay, geek, slight fitness freak, home cook, reader.

Think of a moment that changed. your life: The first time I saw the film 'Julie and Julia'. I was going through a "What path should my life go on?", crisis, and I watched it and realised that I should try food blogging.

What song sums up your life? There's two songs that sum up my life at the moment. First one is by Talking Heads, 'Psycho Killer'. The lyrics go like this: "I can't seem to face up to the facts; I get so nervous, I just can't relax. Can't sleep coz my bed's on fire, Don't touch me, I'm a real live wire."

The second song is Will Young's "I'm Feeling Happy Now", I think that's what it's called.

Someone is going to make a film based on you, and you have the say on who's going to play you. Who would you pick? Okay, I've given this a lot of thought, and I've decided on two possibilities. Daniel Radcliffe, because I'm told I look like him, and a stand-up comedian named Jack Whitehall, because I'm posh and rude apparently.

What childhood menu do you still crave? My Mum's chicken casserole. She always cooked it on Saturdays because my grandmother was coming and she really liked it.

Were you a fussy eater when growing up? Definitely. I was extremely fussy. I remember not liking pasta, pizza, mushrooms, and dark chocolate, all of which I love now.

Are you a fussy eater now? Are you fucking kidding? These days I am trying to not have many sweet things in my diet, I do allow myself a cookie or a brownie now and then. I also try to have wholemeal/whole-wheat anything whenever I can, and there's always plenty of vegetables, berries and cherries, plain yogurt and salad stuff in the fridge, and loads of bananas, grapes and apples in the fruit bowl.

Describe your kitchen at home: Seeing as I'm moving at this moment in time, it is rather chaotic, boxes everywhere.

Since you're moving, what would you change about your new kitchen? I don't know what my future kitchen is going to look like, so I can't say.

What are you like in the kitchen? I like to be alone in the kitchen, nothing worse than someone coming in and interrupting my trail of thought. But if you insist on being in the kitchen, I'd rather you helped by preparing a side dish or something.

Any cooking disasters you'd rather forget? I can't think of any I'd rather forget.

Share a great cooking tip: If you make a mistake, don't worry. It's all part of being human. Even the greatest chefs fuck up from time to time.

What drives you on? The desire to have good food on the table, and to make sure that everyone's eating healthily.

Who taught you how to cook? A mixture of people; my mother, my Godmother, my Home Economics tutors; and some of my friends. I've also taught myself through cookbooks and recipes from various blogs.

Do you have a signature dish? I am currently on the lookout for one, although everyone seems to the brownies that I make.

What's the most unusual food you've ever eaten? Now, you'd think with my being a food-obsessed guy, I'd have tried many things. Unfortunately I haven't. But I suppose the most unusual thing I've eaten was on a trip to Finland about a decade ago. It was a reindeer steak. It was okay, but I'd rather have a medium beef steak.

Where do you like to eat out? In the market town nearest to me is a pub called 'The Swan', and their steak roll is amazing. It's a ciabatta roll split in half, filled with rocket/arugala leaves, caramelised onion chutney, horseradish mayonnaise and slivers of medium steak.

Favourite junk food? Sweet chilli flavour crisps/potato chips.

Favourite kitchen gadget? A good sharp knife or my hands, clean of course.

Favourite food writers? British: Nigella Lawson, Nigel Slater and a young man called Sam Stern. American: Amanda Hesser, Dorie Greenspan, Mark Bittman and Tyler Florence. Blogging wise, I am a big fan of Molly Wizenberg (Orangette), Adam Roberts (The Amateur Gourmet) and the lovely Deb Perelman (Smitten Kitchen).

If you could ban any restaurant dish, what would it be? The Hawaiian pizza.

Wine or beer? Neither I prefer lager with lime, or cider.

Mars bar or Snickers bar? I am a big fan of the Snickers bar.

How do you have your tea/coffee? I like both with just a little milk, no sugar. (And I don't mean tea and coffee mixed together.)

It's your final meal, what's on the menu? Oh crumbs. Croque Monsieur with a glass of pear cider, followed by an oatmeal, raisin and chocolate chunk cookie. Incidentally, that is what I've had for lunch today. Uh-oh!

And finally, do you have a favourite quotation? I have many. But I'll leave you with this John Adams quote: We need to make books cool again, so if you go  round someone's house and they don't have books, don't fuck them. And if all they have is an e-reader, still don't fuck them.
Say Hello to Jack!
Jack, in his Chef's shirt. 

Thanks, Jack, for your guest post!  I am excited to see what dishes you present to us in your next guest spot!