Welcome back to another segment of Eat My Words. This time we are speaking with Carla of the glorious CanBeBridedWithFood, packed full of wonderful recipes and cooking advice. You can also follow her on twitter @bribedwithfood, and Facebook
What got you into food writing?
When I first moved to university I realised with a sense of impending doom that the only thing I knew how to cook were pancakes and Macaroni and Cheese out of a box so I applied myself to follow and learn some of the basic recipes my parents had sent me away with. Since then I have been the one amongst my friends always volunteering to host dinners and cook for everyone – I liked to show off my newly acquired kitchen skills but I also wanted to experiment and demonstrate how anyone could make lovely meals. As time went by friends started calling, texting and emailing asking for what they could cook at their own dinner parties and so to save everyone time and large phone bills I decided to start Can Be Bribed With Food.
How has writing about food changed the way you cook and eat?
When I first started out I was all about eating pasta, using pre-made sauces or getting take-aways having a blog, though, as lead me to shed most of my bad habits and I try to make as much as possible from scratch as well as experiment and treat myself to varied menus every week.
What has been your biggest success in the kitchen?
In general learning to recreate Panamenian and Italian dishes in a UK kitchen makes me feel a little bit proud; when my parents and I moved to Italy I was only 10 and I was homesick. Mum tried to make us rice and peas, chicken casseroles and anything that would feel the gap but at that time it wasn’t easy to come by the right ingredients so her attempts were seldom; it made me appreciate her efforts more and I now know how to feel closer to home via cooking which in itself is an achievement for someone who, like me, likes to travel and change location on a regular basis.
And your biggest disaster?
I was hosting a lunch for 40 people and one of the dishes on the menu was tamal de olla: a set cornmeal and chicken casserole typical of Panamá. It was the one dish I was 100% confident about as I’ve made it so many times but at the last minute I decided to use a different brand of cornmeal to my usual… The casserole came out as wet as porridge and not set at all. Needless to say that went straight into the bin.
Name 3 of your favourite food blogs
This is a difficult question to answer: I have about 50 food blogs I read regularly! However, if I had to choose only three to read for the rest of my life I’m pretty sure I would go for Jul’s Kitchen, Smitten Kitchen and Joy the Baker. They are beautifully written and photographed and always prove to be a source of inspiration for me in one way or the other.
What do you think about the Bristol food scene? Which up-and-coming restaurants should we look out for?
Bristol is exciting for locally source produce as well as independent businesses; I love how most menus reflect seasonality and simple dining experiences full of flavour rather than fashionable efforts. It makes homecooking all the more exciting for it too.
Wilks Restaurant is definitely the one to look out for here right now: simple yet exciting dishes infused of delicate local flavours. A must!
What was your all-time greatest restaurant experience to date?
I must say that Murano in London was the one meal that will go down in history for me as absolutely flawless. I took myself for my birthday a couple of years ago and I left hoping I was a millionaire and could eat Angela Hartnett’s food every day!
What was the last restaurant you ate at and what did you think?
My last meal out was at Fabrizio’s near Archway station in London. I had been before and decided to make the trip back as felt it’s one of the best and most typical Italian restaurants in the city. Have a pizza Reale if available: it’s slathered in stracchino cheese and dotted with spianata as well as fresh Italian sausage. Divine.
What is your favourite local restaurant?
I do love the food and atmosphere at The Kensington Arms: they make excellent chargrilled bavette with frites but if your appetite isn’t quite that big then you can only hope to get your hands on one of their freshly made scotch eggs at the bar!Share
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