First food memory?
Harvesting fruit and vegetables with my mother, I particularly liked eating the peas.
First cookery skills?
Squash, so colourful and versatile
Recipes or improvise?
I like to read recipes to glean ideas and then improvise with what I’ve got in the kitchen.
Most underrated dish?
Tapioca, we make it into a lovely Vietnamese dessert, very subtle and so unlike the “frog spawn” puddings from school.
Indispensable kitchen gadget or utensil?
Can’t do without my Suribachi Japanese pestle and mortar, I use it for grinding spices, sesame seeds and making pastes.
Tell us a top cookery tip?
To peel ginger or scrape out the seeds from chillies, use a teaspoon, has to be a cheap one with a sharp rim!
Eat at home or eat out?
As a vegetarian I prefer to stay at home and cook for friends.
What’s Britain’s best kept food secret?
Foraged foods that grow wild, they don’t cost anything other than walking and collecting. In spring my favourites are wild garlic and hedge mustard and in autumn, elderberries and damsons.
What are the key ingredients for a successful cookery class?
A relaxed atmosphere, so that everyone feels happy and gets a lot out of the day.
What do students enjoy most about learning to cook?
The feeling of pride and satisfaction, when their dishes come out looking really good and tasting great.