Five Go Mad

Sunday 14 March 2010

Q and A with Rosie Lovell

Rosie Lovell runs Rosie's Deli Cafe from the heart of Brixton Market. She has been called the Nigella Lawson for the younger generation but when you step foot in her homely cafe it's clear she has a style very much of her own making. With her first successful cookbook, Spooning with Rosie: Food, Friendship and Kitchen Loving, Rosie provides us with recipes suitable for all occasions. Rosie's passion and enthusiasm for food is felt in every page of the book. 

Five Go Mad managed to grab some time with this talented young cook.  

Where does your passion for food and cooking come from?
Definitely my Mum. She’s an amazing cook and even makes her own yogurt!

What made you decide to set up your own business?

The primary motivation was being able to wear my own clothes and listen to music I like. The food thing followed from there as I love feeding people and chatting.

You opened your cafe at a young age, do you have any advice for budding young cooks? 
Just do it!

Tell us more about Rosie's Deli Cafe. 
Well, it’s pretty small and filled with all my favourite art books, pictures, music and old china. It feels more like a kitchen than a shop.

Where do you source your produce for your cooking?
The stuff I cook with comes straight from neighbours around the market and most of the cheese comes from Kent, along with the apple juice and stuff. Bread, nearly all sourdough, comes from the fantastic luca’s on lordship lane. It’s a mish mash really.

You wrote a book recently, can you tell us more about that
It’s called spooning with Rosie and it's full of recipes that hail from my childhood and more recent London experiences. As a result it’s a really multicultural book. There’s thai, Japanese, French and English foods to name just a few, and there’s some romancing recipes too.

What's your favourite recipe in the book?
All I’m saying is, it’s one of Raf’s!

Where do you get your ideas for recipes? what inspires your cooking? 
I think food inspiration comes from everywhere. Sometimes it’s the mood you are in and sometimes it’s the foods you’ve eaten most recently. I’m constantly influenced by talking to people, whether it's my neighbour Esme, my Mum or just customers chatting about what they’ve been eating. It’s all juice for the pot.

Which cookbooks do you turn to for your inspiration?
Elizabeth David’s Mediterranean Food, French Country Cooking, and Summer cooking, also all the Australian Women’s Weekly Booklets.

Any particular British Chef you admire? Why?
Nigel Slater is my absolute hero, both in terms of his writing style and the fact the recipes are damn good.

Do you have a favourite british dish you cook for family and friends?
I made Scones recently and they were delicious in bed with a cup of tea.

Do you have a favourite British cafe or shop?
I love all British Greasy Spoon cafes. They ceaselessly cheer me up, Especially E. Pellici in Bethnal Green.

How did you hear about Five go mad? 
I found the website, it’s gorgeous.

Five go mad's slogan is "Quintessentially British" what does that mean to you? 
British for me is about incorporation, most of all shown in London. It’s a melting pot of culture from all over the world, and yet it’s very unmistakably British.

What's next for Rosie Lovell? 

I've just started writing for which is great fun. other than that i couldn't divulge, it's all top secret!

by Liz Appleby

Tuesday 2 March 2010

Q and A with Karin Akesson

Freelance Illustrator Karin Akesson was born in Sweden. She moved to Brighton to study Illustration, which was followed by an MA at the Royal College of Art. Karin exhibits her work across the UK and her eye catching designs have led to commissions for many leading brands.

What is your earliest memory of being creative?

As long as I can remember I have been drawing and creating things. Anything from board games to puppet shows or home made books. I think most children are creative, drawing was something I carried on doing.

Who was the first illustrator you discovered to inspire you?
Not sure she was first, but when I started studying illustration I discovered Marion Deuchars and loved her work.

What about your contemporaries, anyone you particularly admire?
Impossible to choose one, there is so much talent out there!

What methods and techniques do you use when creating your work?
Drawing, collage and the computer.

What is your favourite medium to work with? 
I love my Mac and would be lost without it, but at the same time I wouldn't be able to create my work with only a computer. It's important for me to retain that hands-on feeling.
Your designs are very eye catching and often feature elements of nature. 
Nature is fun to draw and nice to look at. One of the things I love most when I go home to Sweden is going back to nature and outdoor life. In London I live a typical city life, the only animals I see are mice on the tube or pigeons eating old chips, there is not much wild nature around. So, I like to bring some of the natural life indoors, like drawings of birds and plants. 

What are you working on at the moment? 
A commission by design studio BCMH to create illustrations for a luxury French hotel. Also an editorial commission to create some illustrations, featuring monthly in Pregnancy & Birth magazine. I love the mix of clients and projects I work on. Recently I have also been focusing on developing new products for my online shop.

What would be your dream commission? 
I would love to develop a range of textiles, transferring my drawings onto fabrics. I love patterns and composition and would like to develop further.

You were born in Sweden but have lived in Britain for a while.
The Five Go Mad slogan is "Quintessentially British" what does that mean for you?
Friendly people with a good sense of humour, pork pies, pubs, cold houses and politeness.
Do you have a favourite British icon?
Princess Diana.

You are from Sweden, I imagine the food is quite different to here. Do you have a favourite British dish? 
I don’t often eat meatballs and herring in Sweden and I can’t say the food I eat is particular British. Although I am a fan of the Sunday roast tradition!

Do you have a favourite cafe you couldn't live without? 
Market coffee in Spitalfields is a favourite place around the corner from where I live.

by Liz Appleby

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