Hello and welcome to this, my very first blog entry.
I hope it will be the first of many.
It’s a place where I can speak personally to you, how I really talk when I’m not thinking in the language of press releases and book blurbs. Where I can tell you a bit more about what’s been going on with me and my work, where I will probably get overly enthusiastic about the latest kitchen products, and where I will undoubtedly sound off about things that have been getting my goat lately.
It’s a very exciting time for me right now. I can’t tell you how stressful, busy and tiring the past few months have been chez James. I’ve always been a hyperactive chap – my head is constantly buzzing with ideas, recipes, grand plans… but at the moment I would be quite happy to unscrew my head, place it neatly it in a box, and take a day trip to the beach.
That said, it’s been fascinating watching this new site take shape, along with my first cookbook, mix. I’ve been living, breathing, sleeping and, yes, eating both of them for so long that it’s hard to believe that they are finally here.
And now the hard work really begins…
People are forever asking me about cooking. Why do I do it for a living? What’s my favourite recipe? How do I get on with those celebrity chefs you always see on Ready, Steady Cook? Put simply, I love food. There is nothing finer than sharing a meal with a group of close friends or loved ones.
Even more so if you made it yourself.
But a meal, as I tend to reply, doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive or fancy to be special. The philosophy behind this site and behind my new book mix. is “no fiddle, no fuss, just food”. You shouldn’t have to travel to the ends of the earth to source ingredients for a dinner party, nor should you have to spend a week preparing it, and you definitely shouldn’t have to re-mortgage your house only to blow it all on a couple of truffles.
A cost effective meal does not have to be dull either. Right now I’m thinking of a university flatmate whose favourite thing in the world was to eat mashed potato sandwiches. He tore into them every day after lectures.
That’s not what I mean by cost effective. Certainly, there was very little fuss or fiddle involved, but it’s not the sort of food you would like to eat, is it? Even the thought of it makes my whisk spin.
Yes, I realise that we are slap bang in the middle of the so-called “credit crunch”. Yes, I know that times and purse strings are tight, but meals – either with the family, friends or your own good self – can still be nutritious, inexpensive and delicious.
As I see it, it’s my job to tell people how to do that.
But I’m ranting again. I do that a lot. Anyone who knows me will already be well aware that, if talking was an Olympic event, I could talk enough to win Great Britain at least four more gold medals.
So please, sit down, pour yourself a generous glass or two of your favourite tipple. Unwind. Let’s chat…