When it comes to us humans, curiosity is something of a must. Some call it innate nosiness, but I like to think that being inquisitive is a good thing (or at least this is how I justify it to myself). So when talking about Foodies Festival recently, I said I would like to interview someone I’ve seen there multiple times, but know relatively little about.
If you’ve been to Foodies Festival before – and if you haven’t, enter my ticket competition to be in with a chance of winning tickets – you may well have seen the wonderful Jacqueline O’Donnell cooking, presenting or chatting away whilst someone tries to cook on stage (she’ll likely step in before it goes too catastrophically wrong). But unlike many chefs she’s not someone we hear about often, possibly not surprising when you consider that she has a restaurant, writes recipes and has a life of her own to live. I caught up briefly with her to talk about next month’s Foodies Festival and soft fruit, of all things. Here’s Five Thoughts From… Jacqueline O’Donnell:
1. You’ve been doing Foodies Festival in Edinburgh a few years now, what’s the best part of the festival and what is it that makes you come back each year?
Its such a fantastic event to be involved with year on year it gets bigger & better, showcasing the excellence of the food and hospitality that we can offer right in the centre of the Capital.
2. What’s the most memorable thing that’s happened to you on stage at Foodies?
A wonderful person in the audience said he enjoyed my demo so much he came back with a glass of champagne for me, I mean its not every day someone watches you cook and repays you with champagne.
3. You’re a busy chef and restauranteur at The Sisters, so we know what you cook for your customers, but what do you cook for yourself
I use the exact same principles at home, great Scottish food simply cooked, however I now have two young kids that feel the same so it is like a restaurant kitchen with little critics at home too ;0
4. You’re a big advocate for Scottish produce – what’s in season just now that you just cannot get enough of and what would you do with it?
In season right now I just can’t get enough of our amazing Soft fruits the berry season is well on its way to excellence as usual there is so much brilliant vegetables & salad produce coming through too there is very little on a produce shelf just now that doesn’t have a Scottish flag on it, that makes me proud.
5. If you could cook and eat dinner with one famous person (alive, dead, fictional) who would it be and why?
I’d love to go on a Filmed Scottish fishing trip with Floyd catching fish on boat tipping in the waves cooking on board on a camping stove with a glass of wine in our hands great fun brilliant chat. Very memorable I’m sure!