His Cheshire Cat’s smile, infectious energy and enthusiasm are almost as famous as his impressive cooking skills, and it’s cooking that TV chef Ainsley Harriott acknowledges his joy of living. is.
“Food is a great equalizer,” says Harriot. “It raises your mood and makes you happy and happy, it can be shared with friends and inspires your endorphins. Everything about eating with cooking is just great. I’m a boy I first noticed this as and helped my mother cook all these great dishes when I had friends and family.
“She was a great cook. Our kitchen was always full of great smells, music, boiling pots, frying pans, and laughter and chatter. When she offered everything, when they were it. Needless to say, just looking at all the foods showed me how to bring smiles to people’s faces. That’s where my love for food and cooking began. “
Harriot has come a long way since his mother, Peppy, who died in 1993, helped create a storm at his home in southern London.
After becoming a head chef in a long room at Lord’s Cricket Ground in London, he acted as a resident chef at the BBC One Daytime Show. Good morning with Anne and Nick 1992.
Since then he has been a presenter Ready, steady, cook Had his own hit ITV show for 10 years Ainsley’s Caribbean Kitchen When Ainsley’s food we love It has become a bestseller in several cookbooks and one of Britain’s most famous faces.
“When I’m shopping at the grocery store, I’m often asked for cooking tips, otherwise they smile and wave like my old friends,” he says.
“I really like it, and I’m always happy to stop and chat. As my dad [the Jamaican-born pianist and entertainer Chester Harriott] “Don’t behave like your shit stinks,” he said.
“He was also on TV, and he never allowed me to grow too big for my boots. We were a very well-founded family, and I told no one I didn’t want to be rude. It’s nice to wave to people and give them a little boost. Kindness is free. “
In addition to his ever-growing list of achievements, last year he was awarded an MBE for services to broadcasting and culinary arts.
“It was a great honor,” says Harriot, who has a former wife and costume designer Claire Fellows and two children, Maddy and Jimmy.
“I think my parents were particularly proud of me. They grew up with so many difficulties and food rations during the war that they couldn’t when I put myself there and they were growing up. I was always very happy to see that I was experimenting with food and recipes in the same way.
“The day I went to Buckingham Palace for the ceremony was a little nervous, but above all, I was excited. Prince Charles and I ended up with an old-fashioned giggle. He was with my kids. I was telling me I was watching a TV show, and we were talking about growing herbs. He is a really enthusiastic gardener and knows what he is talking about. “
Harriot’s 30-year career took him around the world and tried new foods and recipes – so where is his culinary home?
“Anywhere, anywhere. I love British food. I enjoy old-fashioned food, but I also love the variety of food here. A walk on the local high streets shows a variety of restaurants and food around the world. You can see.
“One of my favorite places to eat is Argentina. The main reason is that I’m nocturnal. I get up at 10 pm to clean the cupboards or do something in the kitchen. The type of person who does pottery about. Like the Spanish, the Argentines eat late, and it’s great for me, that’s when I’m most awake.
“Obviously their steaks are delicious, but there are also plenty of great little street food places in the poor areas, offering some absolutely great food like empanadas. I also love gaucho. [steaks] In Patagonia. “
Talking, eating and cooking about food makes it clear that food is really Harriot’s lifeline. He is excited that the pandemic has allowed more people to explore his kitchen.
“It used to be hard, but it gave rise to some good things,” he says. “I love watching the next generation try new recipes and learn old home cooking from my parents. I remember my son cooking for the first time. We were pushing When he saw our face and saw the reaction. It’s a great moment, and I think every parent remembers when their kids first cooked for them. ..
“Cooking is now a family-friendly event and is much more accepted as a passion for teenagers. Even when I was growing up, cooking wasn’t that cool. However, people these days are much more individual.
“There is more acceptance and we all do ourselves. We dress what we want to do and explore without much judgment about the activities and hobbies we want to do. It’s great and it’s great. We really want our society to continue in the right direction, as people deserve to be able to make them happy. “
Ainsley’s Good Mood Food Ainsley Harriott can be purchased from Ebury Press (£ 20). Ainsley’s Good Mood Food Appear on ITV every Saturday