It's my absolute pleasure to welcome Cathy Bramley as the latest author to take part in the foodie Q&A for this Food & Drink feature month. It's hard to believe that it was only 3 years ago that I did a debut spotlight for Cathy as since then she has published 4 more books, Ivy Lane, Appleby Farm, Wickham Hall and her latest The Plumberry School of Comfort Food as well as republished her debut Conditional Love, which is a testimony to her brilliant writing that so many readers like myself love.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your writing journey?
I started toying with the idea of writing fiction in 2012 but had no idea that it would become my ENTIRE LIFE!! I wrote the first draft of Conditional Love and worked on it for about eighteen months before finally self-publishing it. It was far more successful than I could have imagined. An editor from Transworld picked it up and offered me a contract to write what became Ivy Lane. I’m now writing my eighth book!
I love the image that the title of your latest book The Plumberry School of Comfort Food conjures, what was the inspiration behind it?
It’s about finding what makes you happiest and taking time out to do just that. It also explores the idea that cooking for someone is a way of showing them that you love them.
I know from following you on social media that you are a keen baker so how much research did you need to do to write about setting up a cookery school?
Luckily I worked with LucyCooks, an amazing cookery school in The Lake District for many years, doing their PR in my former life, so I already knew how it worked. I actually based the Plumberry School of Comfort Food on Lucy’s school!
If you had to describe Verity in three words, what would they be?
Inventive, loyal, tenacious.
Describe your cooking style, follow recipes religiously or wing it and see how it turns out?
I consult books and then make up my own version.
If you were going to apply to be a contestant on a cooking show, would it be Masterchef or Great British Bake Off?
GBBO. I don’t fancy working in a professional kitchen – too much pressure!
You're planning a dinner party, which 5 people (dead or alive) would you invite?
The Spice Girls
It's your last day on earth, what 3 course meal would you choose?
King prawns in garlic butter, Chateaubriand with matchstick French fries and watercress salad, fresh raspberries, a thin slice of chocolate torte and thick double cream.
What's your favourite dish to cook?
It’s tarka dal which is the Indian equivalent of comfort food. I love Felicity Cloake’s recipe which I found online.
And now for a few quickfire questions to finish ;-)
Gordon Ramsay or Marco Pierre White? Gordon
Paul Hollywood or Mary Berry? Mary
Sweet or Savoury? Savoury
Steak or Lobster? Steak
Profiteroles or Crumble? Profiteroles