Emma Crowhurst's kitchen recipe

We spoke to Emma Crowhurst who spent many years working as a chef in London’s top restaurants and was once Head Teacher at the prestigious Leith’s School of Food and Wine. Emma co-presented BBC2s Food and Drink and appeared on Ready Steady Cook and the Generation Game.
Now based here in Suffolk Emma has a successful catering business and continues to lead cooking courses for the enthusiastic home cook. Author of Men in the Kitchen, Emma also writes for the East Anglian Daily Times and regularly features on BBC Radio Suffolk.
Emma said “I have enjoyed being part of the Suffolk Foodie family for the last decade, I can’t believe it’s over ten years, hosting cookery classes and doing demonstrations. The Suffolk Show and Aldeburgh Food Festival are both events I am proud to be involved with.
We moved from London to be nearer to our parents, we’d got two young girls and I’d just finished filming four series of the Food and Drink Programme. BBC 2 had axed the series as it was and with our new baby it was time to make the move.
In our new home I designed and planned my kitchen and I eagerly chose appliances I was unreasonably excited to have, not one but two full sized ovens, both with glass fronts and lights inside!
Whilst at Leith’s School of Food and Wine, and pretty much every other restaurant I’ve ever worked in, I was never able to see the food as it cooked. At first I thought it more exciting than television. Watching a soufflé rise in real time is a thrill, I can tell you!

“For me, a gas hob and an electric oven is the perfect combination”.

I like the instant control that you get from gas, often when I do cookery classes I have to use induction hobs which take some getting used to, imagine a room full of beeping hobs, it’s like being in the tropical rainforest with tree frogs in full flow.
The conditions I have had to cook in are varied, a cooking demonstration in a wind tunnel with the gas blowing out didn’t produce great results, trying to cook a soufflé at another well know Suffolk attraction only to find the oven stopped working! Having to explain what it should have looked like to the audience. Not my finest hour!
When running a workshop I don’t like to suggest that my course-goers have to buy expensive pieces of equipment. As a chef I like to travel light, my knives are essential of course, but it’s enough to say I am banned from Pampered Chef parties. I am famous for winging it, some of my favourite kitchen gadgets are charity shop specials, my super-duper mouli is one I can’t do without! For mash, purees, soups and coulis, it’s the tops.

“A good kitchen, well laid out with everything you need to hand, makes all cooking a real pleasure.”

Recipe adaptation, changing ingredients and methods is how food evolves. A good kitchen, well laid out with everything you need to hand, makes all cooking a real pleasure. Even with an amazing space having the confidence to try new things or use new ingredients can be daunting. I’m often asked to give private classes in super kitchens, cooking a bespoke programme individually tailored to suit. In my group classes it’s partly demonstration and mostly hands on cooking with me helping and tutoring. Great feedback and comments from my courses makes my job so satisfying.
Working in all kinds of kitchens for my classes and catering means I always have to be prepared, I’ve worked in some amazing and unique venues. The Balancing Barn and a Martello Tower both were fabulous; Suffolk really has some great places to rent for visitors.
I am hosting and demonstrating at the Co-op sponsored stage at the Suffolk Show, Nacton on Wednesday 1 and Thursday 2 June so do come along – there will be some great dishes on show.
My next class is a Healthy Summer Eating on June the 11th. Take a look at my website www.emmacrowhurst.co.uk if you like the sound of it or any other of my classes.”

We asked Emma……..

What’s your favourite thing to do in your kitchen?

“Apart from cooking with my children, it would be making meringues or macarons, I love the uniformity when piping! I guess that says something about me!”

What would you change about your kitchen?

“I ‘d love a big square kitchen so I could have an Island, I’d host small cookery demos at home more often. My kitchen is 9 metres long and 3 metres wide!”

What’s your must-have kitchen gadget?

“My Kenwood Major or Magimix, they both get so much use!”