With his brilliant cookbook, Feelgood Family Food, out now, we chat cookbooks and foodie passions with the lovely Dean Edwards. Find out about his latest book, favourite ingredients and his foodie inspirations.
1. Can you tell us a bit more about your new cookbook, Feelgood Family Food?
It was a very personal achievement to write this book and one I’m very proud of. A few years ago I decided to really look into what I was eating and putting into my body and that of my daughter Indie who is nearly six. I had gone many years eating and drinking exactly what I wanted and whether I liked it or not it was starting to catch up on me, so I took it upon myself to start to develop recipes that were healthy, balanced and more importantly tasted great. No way was I going to compromise by eating bland food, I didn’t want to feel like I was missing out on other meals so I went to work. The result of this is Feelgood Family Food. I also love how my little one was included in the book, I’m so proud of her, although I hope it doesn’t go to her head, the other day she asked “Daddy am I going to be famous now?’” ha ha.
2. If you had to pick one recipe to show-off what the new book is about, which one would it be and why?
All of the recipes in the book as simple and straightforward, as a rule I use ingredients that are easy to source, if I cant find them in my local supermarket then I don’t use them, simple as that. Food is spontaneous, you may look at a cookbook and say “ I need to eat that NOW!!” and off to the shops you go. Hate it when you find you have to order online to get a specialist ingredient. The recipe I cook most though Is the Spanish Chicken Stew, great for all year round, it has a deep rich and smoky flavour and all cooked in one pot so less washing up, what a bonus!
3. Do you come from a long line of great cooks or are you the first passionate foodie in your family?
We love food in our family; I truly believe that’s where my passion comes from. At an early age I can remember cooking and enjoying food either at home or at my Nans house, family parties were always focused on food, big pots of curry, and bredie (a South African stew) were the talking point for weeks leading up to such events. Ok I’m guessing the adults enjoyed a few beers or ciders but us kids just couldn’t wait to dive into the food as soon as it hit the table. I’m trying to inspire Indie in the same way, getting her involved in the cooking process and making meals a focal point of the day.
4. Here at The Happy Foodie, we're somewhat obsessed with cookbooks. Can you tell us a bit about your favourite?
Ha that sounds familiar, I’ve got countless cookbooks, I love to flick through for dinner ideas and inspiration. My favourite ever book though is Jamie Oliver’s ‘Jamie’s America’: now that’s my sort of food! Ribs, BBQ, chilli… making my mouth water just thinking about it! I love Jamie’s style and he’s been an inspiration for me from day 1. He made food very accessible to all classes and is a bit of a food hero of mine.
5. Is there an ingredient you are really enjoying cooking with at the moment?
My favourite ingredient to cook with over the last few years hasn’t changed, I love love love chorizo, and the spicier the better. Whether eaten cured or cooked it adds a different dimension to many meals and you will find it cropping in in my book on several occasions, from my one pan rosti with eggs to my chicken and chorizo salad. I love to fry it off and use those smoky paprika rich oils to flavour the rest of the dish. Try it in your next batch of chilli con carne too, wow!
6. What excites you about the British food world at the moment?
Its diversity, you really can get some amazing food these days and you don’t necessarily need to be in the capital to try the best. The street food movement is one that really excites me, OK so London seems to be ahead of the trend but you can find inexpensive exceptional food in every city. I think the unique nature of this movement pushes the vendors to be individual, creative and passionate, you don’t really find this in the so called chain restaurants and cafes.