In which we pretend we’re BFFs with Simon Rimmer

Doing Daily Brunch with Ocado is basically an elaborate ruse so we can hang out with our favourite chef, Simon Rimmer (and hopefully get him to cook for us). Yep, we’re shameless. But we got you all the inside gossip to make up for it.

You’re welcome, dear reader!

Q How did you get into cooking?

I’ve always been surrounded by food. My Mum and Dad are both good cooks and my Dad’s family are Italian, so we were surrounded by food all of our lives. Professionally, when I was at college and studied Fashion Textile Design, I worked in bars and restaurants like lots of students do and just fell in love with the industry.

I worked as a freelance designer for five years and then, in 1990, I decided I wanted a complete change of career so I gave it all up, bought a restaurant and taught myself to cook. Continue reading

Beginner or pro? Take the egg test now

Egg Week is upon us – I know you’ve been counting down the days! Perfectly prepared eggs are the benchmark for any chef hoping to get hired, so pitch yourself against the professionals and put your egg skills to the test. Continue reading

Get out and celebrate a Swedish Midsummer

Midsummer in Sweden is so much fun for friends and foodies – and now you can take part in the UK too. I’m a Swede living in London, so I’d like to tell you why you should join in and how.

The Midsummer festivities always fall on a Friday, although thousands will be celebrating tomorrow instead. We gather around 1 o’clock – usually with the same bunch of friends every year (tradition is very important) – and kick things off with a long lunch.

The meal is actually pretty similar to Christmas. Think lots of herring, salmon and potatoes. The difference is that, this time of year, you’re sitting down with your buddies rather than your family. The food is always delicious, and everyone contributes something.

Image of a Swedish Midsummer meal

A Midsummer buffet

Image of a cake

A cake with fresh strawberries

Continue reading

Want to go Paleo? Joy Skipper on ‘the caveman diet’

The Paleo diet is all about mimicking the eating habits of our palaeolithic ancestors. Think ‘clean eating’ – lots of fish, grass-fed meat, organic produce etc. Basically, the kind of unprocessed foods you’d get from hunting and gathering.

It’s become incredibly popular, and we’ve noticed our customers buying more and more of these types of foods. So we’ve created a special Paleo aisle to make shopping for ingredients easy – no foraging needed.

Joy Skipper is the nutritionist famous for bringing the Paleo diet – followed by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennifer Aniston and even Freddie Flintoff – to the Great British public.

To help me understand more about the diet and its health benefits, she’s kindly agreed to fill me in. Read on to find out more.

Image of Joy Skipper Continue reading

Guest post: Karin Ridgers’ veggie Christmas

Restaurant advisor and Founder of VeggieVision TV, Karin Ridgers, writes on catering for veggies and vegans at Christmas. Read on for lots of great ideas…

Image of Karin Ridgers

So, you have a vegetarian coming for Christmas? Firstly, there is no need to panic. With a little preparation and a chat with your guest before the big day, everything should run smoothly.

Many veggies do love the traditional Christmas dinner, so ask if they would like something completely different or not. Perhaps they would prefer not standing out at the dinner table and would just enjoy everything that everyone else is eating – without the meat!

Maybe as their centrepiece a tasty Chestnut Bourguignonne Pie would go down well, or simply some meat-free alternatives. If it all sounds too much, talk to your guest. They might be able to bring their own turkey substitute, making things much easier.

Image of Chestnut Bourguignonne Pie

 Here are my top Christmas catering tips

  •  Make sure that the veg and roast potatoes are cooked separately from the meat or any animal fat.
  • Gravy can easily be made without meat juices. We always add a spoonful of Vegemite to ours as it tastes great, is vegan, and is bursting with B vitamins.
  •  Check the ingredients of mince pies and Christmas puddings – some will not be veggie or vegan friendly. If you’re making your own, just run the recipe by your guest beforehand so there’s no stress at the dining table.
  • Replacing butter for vegans couldn’t be easier. Tomor is great for cooking with, and there is also Vitalite which I know several people like as it is very buttery.
  • Tofu is super for recipes such as quiches, or simply mashed up and fried with onions and dairy-free cheese for my favourite: Scrambled Eggless.
  • There are many dairy-free milks to choose from, like soya (light/unsweetened/organic/wholebean), coconut milk, various almond, hazlenut, oat, rice, hemp… see what they prefer.

Image of Veggie lunch

No matter why you are exploring meat or dairy-free options, never focus on what you won’t be having, always focus on the abundance of new products that are out there waiting for you to try!

Have a delicious Christmas

Karin Ridgers

For my full, free guide go to veggiechristmas.com or follow me on Twitter @veggievisionTV

 

NB Karin is vegan – all non-vegan links are Ocado’s