Local celebrity chef Nadiya Hussain talks food on ‘Life on a Plate’.
The first episode of the new Waitrose podcast ‘Life on a Plate’ features an interview with local author, presenter and winner of The Great British Bake Off, Nadiya Hussain.
During the conversation with restaurant critic Jimi Famurewa and Waitrose Food Editor, Alison Oakervee, Nadiya talks about what food means to her, her childhood food memories, kitchen disasters and store cupboard staples.
Nadiya said on the podcast: “I didn’t apply for Bake Off myself – it was my husband. I was at my lowest in terms of my mental health and I was really struggling to find myself again.
“Somewhere between being married and having children, and being a stay at home mum, I lost myself a little bit.
“I think when people watched me (on the show) they saw whatever it was I couldn’t speak out about.
“I still can’t fully watch the ending: the mixture of the music, and my sobbing face and my children’s voices in the background – even now I can feel my jaw tightening up as I say it. That moment was much more than cake. It wasn’t about winning a competition.”
Despite her success on the most famous baking programme on TV, Nadiya came to baking late.
“Baking wasn’t a thing I understood until I went to school,” she said.
“I’d seen Delia do it (on television), but I’d never seen a real life person making cake.”
Nadiya recalls claiming she thought her Home Economics teacher had ‘gone mad’ by putting a cake in the oven; due to lack of use in her childhood home, she thought it was a cupboard.
She said: “I’ll never forget my first ever smell of butter and sugar in the oven and then out comes this cake. I think that magic will always stay with me. The first thing I ever baked was a Victoria Sponge – it was lopsided but it tasted just like Mrs Marshall’s from Home Ec.”
On her childhood, Nadiya said: “Home was quite chaotic. Growing up in an immigrant household it was mostly just survival, as long as the bills were paid and we were just getting by, that was our life. There was no aspiring to be better or be more.
“I remember really looking forward to going home and opening the door and being met with that smell and trying to guess what mum had cooked that day.”
Life on a Plate is a new podcast from Waitrose, which launched in January. Future interviewees on the podcast include chef Tom Kerridge and comedian Sarah Millican.
For more information on the podcast, visit http://www.waitrose.com/podcast.