Marie Rayner is the owner of The English Kitchen and the author of several amazing cookbooklets. Her experience as a personal chef and a home cook has helped her hone her cooking skills. She may not whip out haute cuisine meals, but she cooks delicious meals that she generously shares with her blog and cookbook readers.
“There won’t be anything here that I don't think anyone can cook, and I will endeavour to show you how to cook whatever it is I am cooking in the very best possible way, and hopefully we can all have some fun, and a few laughs along the way.” - Marie
1. Your cook booklets look lovely. The illustrations are just beautiful! How long did it take you to finish one booklet? Have you considered writing your own cookbook?
Thanks for your kind words re my cookbooklets. I have always loved to cook and I have always loved to paint. It takes me several months to put one of them together considering all of the artwork, recipe testing, etc. and then the editing. I really enjoy doing them however.
I have self published a cookbook called Recipes From The Big Blue Binder, which is based on a Big Blue Binder full of recipes gathered throughout my lifetime from friends, family, etc. I have carried it around the world with me. It is filled with many family favourites. I wish I did have the opportunity to write a cookery book for a publisher, but alas, that opportunity has never come my way.
2. What was the most interesting thing about working as a personal chef?
I loved working as a Personal Chef. I really learned a lot from the experience. I think the most interesting thing about working for the wealthy was the firsthand fascinating glimpse I had into a completely different world and lifestyle that I never would have otherwise been able to experience. It was like living in an episode of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous! Money was no object when it came to ingredients or equipment. It was a dream job really.
3. Have you considered opening your own little bistro or restaurant? If you have what would you name it? And what food would you offer?
I did once upon a time own my own Coffee Shop, but that was many moons ago. I have often thought about opening up a "Pop Up"Bistro or cookery school. I'd probably call the Bistro "Mom's" because I would want to serve the kind of food that you would get when you went home to your mom's. Homemade bread, rolls.
Comfort foods like Meat Loaf and Mash, or Pot Roast, Chicken Pot Pie, Swiss Steak, really good homemade soups, that kind of thing. And of course desserts would also be fabulous with every kind of pie you can imagine and cakes or cookies with ice cream. All homemade of course. None of that frozen stuff that you get in most places today!
4. Where would you go for a culinary adventure?
I have always wanted to visit Italy. To me that would be a Culinary Dream come true and a fabulous adventure!
5. What are your most and least favorite ingredients to work with?
When I was very young I worked as a Pastry Chef in a big hotel. I hated working with the Escargot. They came in a tin and you had to squish them into the shells prior to baking. I found them quite disgusting. I am also not fond of anything with tentacles, or insects of any kind.
My favourite ingredients to work with are really fresh, really nice vegetables and fruits. The possibilities are endless. Combine that with a nice piece of beef or pork and you are in my culinary heaven!
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