Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Bloggerview with Ian McCurrach, Lifestyle and Travel Commentator

Ian McCurrach

Name and occupation

Ian McCurrach, Lifestyle and Travel Commentator, Columnist, Consultant and Media Trainer

OK time to plug whatever it is you want
I am never in one place for very long. One minute I’ll be landing in the Namibian desert to check out new safari camps, the next I’ll be jetting to Manhattan to report on a new bar opening.

I have an umbrella portfolio spanning newspaper columns and fabulous features on lifestyle and travel. I’ve recently added consultancy and media training to the mix and clients have included British Airways and Marriott.

I  always welcome new opportunities and am very open to suggestion!

 What cookery book do you use the most?

Jamie’s Ministry of Food – I have had to remove the dust jacket though as I can’t abide the sight of his big smug face and chubby chops staring out at me

What do you like to cook for friends and why?

I prefer to prepare food in advance as much as possible so I can concentrate on my guests. Jamie’s ‘Asian-style steamed salmon and veg’ has become a bit of a signature dish for first sittings. Perfectly healthy, perfectly simple, perfectly delicious and makes me appear like a whiz in the kitchen. All you do is layer it all up in a steaming pan in advance and take it out of the fridge and simmer for six minutes.

Second sitting guests (ie those who have already feasted on the above) usually get Parmesan chicken breasts with crispy posh ham. Again it can all be done in advance and is a quick six-minute fry. I would serve this with salad for summer simplicity or steamed veg as a winter warmer.

One kitchen gadget you could not live without


You travel a lot, which country would you go to just for the food?

Scotland for hotel high tea and fish suppers

What is your earliest food memory?

Chip butties. Bloody sandwiches made with Heinz ketchup

What sweets did you like as a child?

Sherbet Flying Saucers. Everything that fell from Lucky Bags. Love Hearts.
A celebration is not complete without......

Bollinger La Grande Annee, they are all great years to me!

What is your favourite food item?

Heinz Baked beans

A cooking tip you would like to share with everyone?

Soak a layer of mixed freshly cut seasonal fruits (think banana, apples, plums and apricots), topped with sultanas, raisins and then a layer of jumbo rolled oats in milk and leave overnight in the fridge. And hey presto when you get up in the morning you will have delicious Bircher-style muesli for breakfast. As a topping defrost some frozen red berries overnight on a plate (stops them going too soggy) and finally lightly drizzle with some mixed nuts. Yum!

Favourite restaurant?

Pied a Terre on London’s Charlotte St.

Most memorable meal ever?

Celebrating my birthday at Asiate, Brandan Kida’s stunning restaurant on the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental with the twinkling lights of Manhattan beneath me.

Where do you go for your favourite cocktail?

You simply can’t beat the vodka martini in the library bar at the Faena Hotel and Universe in Buenos Aires. Closer to home I’d opt for the same at the American Bar at The Savoy. Not what it once was but it takes me back to my twenties.

You have been extremely naughty and you are about to have your last supper, who would you like to join you?

Margaret Thatcher,
Christopher Isherwood,
Lauren Bacall,
James Dean,
Janice Joplin,
James Murdoch,
Germaine Greer,
Andy Warhol,
Joan Bakewell,
Eric Sykes

Which chef do you most admire?

Jamie Oliver, reluctantly, but you can’t help but credit him for the work he has done beyond his own kitchen.

Fine dining or relaxed local?

Relaxed local. Currently The Marksman in London’s Shoreditch

In what way would you like to see things develop in the restaurant or bar industry?
Making eating out more affordable.

Favourite food blogs?

I thought there was only one and this is it. I confess the only other one I ever dip into is London Eater (londoneater.com)

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