07 April 2009, 14:50
Food Heaven: “Home made chips the way I make them, beans, bread, butter & HP Sauce.”
Food Hell: Horseradish, English mustard and Oysters
Presenter and cookery enthusiast Anthea Turner’s ultimate dinner party guests would include the Queen of Pop Madonna, comedian Russell Brand and the Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher.
With husband Grant Bovey also taking part in the new series, Anthea admits that they do not normally share a kitchen and have two separate kitchens positioned at opposite ends of their home.
“I would have Margaret (Thatcher), I’ll have Russell Brand, I’d have Michael McIntyre for a laugh. I would have Madonna - all that fuss that they write about her I just can’t believe, I bet only a tenth of it is true... I would find out. And I’d have Jenny Eclair -she makes me laugh.”
Anthea says her husband has a phobia of sell by dates on food while she can easily tell if something is safe to eat.
“[Grant] has sell by date phobia, I look at something and smell it and know whether it is in date or out; I just can’t abide that sell by date thing. Grant thinks if it is a day out you are going to die of some horrible disease and I am like ‘look at it there is nothing the matter with it’… it is a bit like you don’t get your husband to teach you how to drive or to ski, with certain things you’re best just not crossing that line.”
But the How To be the Perfect Housewife presenter is confident that they will both manage to work together in Marco’s kitchen.
“From what I have seen of this programme you are so busy, so when we are working together I think we are quite professional. We used to be together in a work sense, not necessarily in the kitchen. We are not very good at being in the same kitchen together, but then again this is in a different set of circumstances.”
A self confessed cooking fan Anthea is hoping the programme will help expand her culinary skills which, at present, are straight out of her 80 cookbooks. She is hoping Marco’s influence will instil a skill for cooking.
“I just want to learn how to be a better cook. I don’t profess to be a brilliant cook although nobody has ever thrown up at one of my dinner parties. I would say I am a very competent domestic cook…I would love to be better and I would love to appreciate food more.
“I always enjoy going to the Le Manoir and I do enjoy Raymond Blanc’s food. I have various books of his that I will always go to…you’ve got Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall and it’s their passion, they have a passion for food, I have a passion for homes, I love houses, I love homes, I love making them, I love changing them.”
Anthea also reveals that she has briefly met Marco and eaten in one of his restaurants and is unfazed by his legendary reputation in the kitchen.
“I have met him before when he was at the Mirabelle. I have had many meals at the Mirabelle and they have all been delicious and absolutely gorgeous.
“I don’t think he [Marco] criticises for critics sake. I think if you are a perfectionist you want something done right. I don’t think he is out to intimidate people I think he is out to get the best out of you. I don’t think he plays up to the cameras and I think he does what he needs to do to get the best out of people. I have screamed and shouted at would be perfect housewives.”
Describing her palette as “plain” the domestic goddess admits that she is adventurous when it comes to trying different foods.
“I am quite a Gemini with my food I like everything and try anything…I am a great believer, you know, when in Rome. I love eating Thai food when I am in Thailand, but I have no great desire to go to a Thai restaurant in London. When I am in India I adore Indian food and I try everything but I don’t go out of my way to go to an Indian restaurant in England particularly.
Anthea says her biggest fear about appearing on the show is having to work in the restaurant waiting on tables as she fears her dyslexia may hinder her.
“I am quite methodical, I know a lot of dyslexic cooks because you have to work harder, I am not severely dyslexic, but I know that I have to be slightly more organised than the next person in case something goes wrong, in case I miss something and because of that, it has just made me more organised.
“Marco’s dyslexic, so at least he will understand what I have written and I have my own little short hand, but if I spelt it wrong at least he would understand it.”
Hoping that she will not have to cook a lobster or skin a rabbit, Anthea also reveals that as well as missing her own space, she is not looking forward to wearing a chef’s hat.
“I don’t know how I would feel with anything that was live, I have never done you know the lobster that is moving and now I am going to stick him in the pot…completely hypocritical that I eat fish and meat but I don’t relate it to the moving breathing animal. I am like the next person who tries to shut their minds to this.
“The only thing I hate is the thought of not being able to potter around at home and I quite like my own space, I am quite happy to scurry away and read a book, I will miss that and the thought of looking an absolute dog with no make-up and that stupid hat on, it’s not a good look is it?”
Last updated: 24 April 2009, 11:06