Meet The Girl With A Lot On Her Plate

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Meet the girl with ‘A Lot On Her Plate’ – Good Things chats with multi-talented Rosie Birkett about foodie inspirations, favourite summer ingredients and all things organic.

What inspired you to become a food writer? How did you get into the industry?
When I started working on the local listings magazine in Leeds it became apparent that I was particularly interested in writing about food and restaurants, so I decided to specialise, and from there went to a trade magazine for the hospitality industry (caterer and Hotelkeeper) where I was sucked into a world of amazing restaurant food and professional chefs. Where I was interviewing them behind the scenes and charting the rise of the British culinary scene.

When that job ended, I went freelance and focused just on food, writing about food and restaurants for many titles like Olive, The Guardian, Waitrose Kitchen, Jamie Oliver Magazine and many more. It was then that I decided to train in cookery in order to know my subject better, and after that I also began cooking and food styling for newspapers, brands and magazines, publishing my first cookbook ‘A Lot On Her Plate’ in 2015.

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Tell us more about your culinary background…
I’ve always loved eating and cooking, I come from a family who are utterly obsessed with food. I grew up in Kent where we grew our own vegetables and had fruit trees growing in the garden, I also remember going foraging with my Dad for mushrooms and cobnuts. My mum brought us up on delicious home cooked food and mealtimes were a precious chance for us all to be together – as my dad commuted to London each day.

Family camping holidays to France and Spain also played a huge part as I got to try lots of seafood and interesting and unusual dishes that I wouldn’t have had the chance to back home. I think my love of food and travel comes from these holidays, eating baguettes and frites at the side of the road and collecting cockles by the bucket load that we’d go and steam open back at the campsite and eat with white pepper and vinegar.

What has been the proudest moment in your career?
When my cookbook came out and was well received by people I really respect like Tom Kerridge, Michel Roux Junior and April Bloomfield.

Do you have any tips for aspiring foodies?
Just get out there: cooking, eating and learning. There is so much to learn and so much to experience – just go for it!

Describe your cooking style in three words.
Natural, seasonal and simple.

What provides you with inspiration for new recipes?
The ever-changing British seasons, wild food, underused ingredients and my travels.

Do you have any role models?
Yes, I have great admiration for food writers such as: Diana Henry, Nigel Slater and Yotam Ottolenghi.

What food takes you back to childhood?
Cobnuts, crab, really good gravy and roast potatoes (I know everyone says that their Mum’s are the best but my Mum’s are definitely the best!).

What are your favourite summer ingredients?
I love cooking with fish and seafood in the summer, and all the gorgeous vegetables like tomatoes, courgettes, fennel and lettuces/soft herbs.

What’s next on the cards?
More pop-ups (including an action against hunger dinner on the 4th October with Romy Gill, Elly Curshen, Olia Hercules and many more wonderful female foodies) and hopefully another book in time.

Tell us more about your role as the Boom awards ambassadors?
It’s been an honour to put my name towards the BOOMS and spreading awareness about organic as it’s a subject I really care about. I’ve had so much fun learning more about organic and testing out all those gorgeous new products.

What does organic food mean to you?
Organic food is everyday food. Organic food is available nationwide in over 8000 supermarkets, independent shops, box schemes, cafes and restaurants. It is not only fruit and vegetables that can be organic, it is everyday items like milk, bread, pasta, tea and meats too.

Organic food doesn’t always increase your shopping basket bill. Everyday items such as yogurt, bread, pasta, tea and many seasonal vegetables are the same price as non-organic.

Find out more about Rosie and the Boom awards by clicking here.

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