Monday, 12 March 2012

Bloggerview with Josa Young, where she spills the beans

Josa Young

Name and occupation

Josa Young, writer and internet content consultant

What would you like to plug?

My first novel, One Apple Tasted ( - the next one, Sail Upon the Land, is finished but as yet unpublished.

Name your three desert island ingredients 

Garlic, Provencal herbs, tomatoes

Your best cooking tip.

If you start off by sauteing an onion, you will end up with a meal even if you have no idea where you are going next with this.

Which seasonal ingredient do you look forward to the most?


What is your favourite snack?

Don't snack on principle

What would you have for your last supper? 

Asparagus with hollandaise; Dover sole; creme caramel

What foodstuff would you banish to room 101?

Anything that weird orangish-yellow colour that indicates it has been deep fried (see

What's your favourite restaurant?

What's your favourite tipple? 

Veuve Clicquot

Which book gets you cooking ?

Constance Spry

What comfort food comforts you when you are sick?

Heinz tomato soup

Kitchen implement you can't do with out.


What's your dream dinner party line-up? 

Old old friends - their value is more than anything or anyone else to me

And what would you cook for them?

Vichyssoise, osso bucco with gremolata, pear and frangipane tart

What is your favourite cooking aroma ?

Fresh lemon zest

What was your childhood teatime treat?

Victoria sponge sandwich

What was the first thing you learnt to cook?

A version of Victoria sponge, only it failed to rise and was like a manhole cover

What was the first thing you taught your children to cook? 

Each child something different - included chicken satay with peanut sauce. The youngest is currently making many jellies from scratch with sheet gelatine and fresh juice in a brain jelly mould (he is 11)

What was your mothers signature dish and do you try to copy it?

Chicken in a delicious cream sauce with mushroom - with her own vegetables she grew - and no, I have never really tried to do it myself. Perhaps I should.

What would you make to impress your partner?

I would cook almost anything that was home made and fresh - as that seems to be the most impressive thing in these days of ready meals and other horrors. If he brought round some caviar, I would make proper buckwheat blinis, raised with yeast and provide the sour cream, chopped egg, chives and lemons.

Where do you go for the best fish and chips?

Yorkshire - fried in dripping

What was your most memorable meal?

A buffet at the Arc de Triomphe horse race in Paris in 1991. Unbelievable food.

What was your biggest culinary disaster?

Exploding cake - used too big a mould and it burst hot uncooked cake mix all over the kitchen (just before a child's birthday party)

What's the worst meal you've ever had?

Sea slug - I was in Hong Kong writing about food, and it was one of the dishes I was offered. Like warm wet rough wool blanket served with lashings of HP sauce. Revolting.

What's the most outlandish thing you've ever eaten?

Peacock - out in the wilds of Rajasthan, staying with a thakur (local landlord) I expressed an interest in trying peacock. He sent a servant to knock one off a branch. Rather tough, it need to hang for a few days.

Who's your food hero/food villain?

Hero? Isabella Beeton - young, brave, independent and doomed.
Villain? Whoever it was in the food processing industry that managed to infiltrate the department of education and remove domestic science and food and nutrition from the curriculum sometimes between 1977 and 1999. This led to generations being taught 'food technology' (how to assemble a pizza) instead of the basics of cooking and hygiene.

Nigella or Delia?

Delia - I do use some Nigella recipes, but feel that they are often far too high in fat

Gin or Vodka?


Muesli or fry-up?

A good muesli with freshly grated apple, fresh walnuts and good yoghurt is hard to beat

Wine or beer?


KFC or Burger King?

If absolutely forced, I would eat the coleslaw in KFC (last did so about 30 years ago)

What do you consider the best of the best of British?

Well hung beef with freshly grated horseradish mixed with cream

What's the best/worst thing about the British restaurant scene?

Best thing is that it is SO much better than when I was young - you can actually get a decent meal in many different places now - particularly liked the gastropub trend when it came in the 1990s. 
Worst is that the British public as a whole still accept mass produced food masquerading at home cooked in many many places throughout the UK that are pulling off a con because they know the British are still pretty ignorant, and their palates have been corrupted by ready meals laden with salt and sugar.

What do you think will be the next big thing?

Dessert restaurants - I haven't got a sweet tooth myself, but plenty of people do. All kinds of pop ups, particularly in people's homes.

What would you do if you could choose any other career?

I only ever wanted to be a writer - and I have earned my living all these years writing, even if sometimes it was strap lines for ads, brochure copy or complaints procedures for ISPs. I would just like to write novels please and see the next one, Sail Upon the Land, published.

No comments:

Post a Comment