The View National Express Autumn 2017 - 85

REAL LIFE

Culinary master

WORDS: Patricia Pett PHOTOGRAPHY: Will Ireland HAIR AND MAKE-UP: Rosie Kor

LONDON-BASED CHEF EMMA SPITZER SPILLS
THE BEANS ON MIXING BUSINESS WITH PLEASURE
Imagine a six-course, exotic dinner
-party menu being prepared in
your own kitchen with the chef
bringing the ingredients, serving
and washing up afterwards...
It sounds heavenly: more so
when the chef is BBC One's
MasterChef finalist Emma Spitzer
and the menu includes such
tantalising delights as kibbeh
(spicy Lebanese lamb patties)
with avocado for an appetiser,
a starter of cured salmon with
pomegranate dressing, and a main
course of chicken with cracked
wheat, broad beans and dukkah
(a mix of nuts, seeds and spices).
And that's not to mention canapés,
date brûlée and baklava sweets.

Spice of life

Middle Eastern cuisine is second
nature to bespoke private caterer
Emma, 43. 'I was first taught to
cook by my Polish Jewish mother,'
she explains, 'and, later, my love
of travel (Emma co-owns a luxury
tour company) introduced me to
a whole world of new dishes,
especially ones from Asia, North
Africa and Eastern Europe.
'Wherever I am, I like to find
keen amateur cooks who'll let me
into their homes so I can watch
and learn as they prepare some
local speciality. I did this recently
in Jordan. A lovely woman used
my all-time favourite spice, sumac,

which she crushed by hand. It's
a deep burgundy red with a
wonderful lemony tang. Glorious.
'On that particular trip I bought
some sumac to take home. I love
exploring foreign markets, and
the one in Amman sticks out: hot,
full of vibrant colours and smells,
with piles of dates, nutmegs and
spices everywhere.'

CHEF'S
SPECIAL
Despite
creating
dishes since
the age
of eight,
Emma has
never had a
professional
cooking
lesson.

Hot off the Fress

Emma, who lives in London
with husband Carl and their
four daughters, recently
launched her first cookery
book: Fress. 'That's a Yiddish
word which means "to eat
copiously and without
restraint"!' she says. 'All
the recipes in the book aim
to extract the maximum
flavour from humble
food stuffs.
'Carl is very
supportive and
also doubles
up as a taster!'
Emma's book
Fress (£19.99,
Mitchell
Beazley) is
available
now. 

85



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The View National Express Autumn 2017

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