Beginner's Pluck

Lisa Faulkner

Lisa left school at 16 and became a model. At 19 she made her first film. She still acts, and is a TV presenter. When, in 2010, she appeared on Celebrity MasterChef, she rediscovered her joy in cooking — something she loved to do with her mother, who, sadly, died when Lisa was 16. She won the series, and now has cooking slots on various TV shows.

The idea for her book came in the wake of MasterChef. “I wanted to put my mother’s recipes into a book. They were so evocative to me, and were tied in with my memories of her, and of my childhood. I started with just recipes, but ended up writing lots of stories too.”

Who is Lisa Faulkner?

Date/place of birth: February 19, 1972, Wimbledon.

Education: Tiffan Girls School in Kingston.

Home: North London.

Family: Husband Chris and adopted daughter Billie, five. “She loves cooking with me.”

The Day Job: Acting, presenting, writing, cooking.

Hobbies: “I’ve just taken up horse riding. And I love it!”

Favourite Writers: “My favourite book is Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel. Jennifer Egan is great too. My favourite cookery writer is Nigel Slater.”

Second Book: “I think it’s going to be called The Way I Cook. It will detail the way I cook for children; on a Sunday morning; when it’s raining; and when I want to cook something special.”

Top Writing Tip: “I’m inspired to write by both music and food.”

Twitter: @lisafaulkner1


Recipes from my Mother to my Daughter. Simon and Schuster, €20.99; Kindle,€13.21

The book comprises recipes used by Lisa’s mother, as well as recipes handed down from Lisa’s aunties, godmothers, and from her sister, Victoria. For entertaining, as well as for family use, the recipes — ranging from barbequed lobster to Sunshine Shorties — are easy, and often fun, to follow. The stories that accompany them add poignancy, and a great deal of charm.

The Verdict: A wonderfully inspiring cookery book, which seems infused with love.

— Interviewed by Sue Leonard

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