Ten Questions with Food Writers Alice Levine + Laura Jackson
Laura Jackson and Alice Levine are a pretty unstoppable pair. Their cookbook Round to Ours is the as delicious as it is stylish, their supperclubs are described by The Observer as ‘the hottest in town’ and as if that wasn’t enough, they both have impressive individual careers too. Most importantly though, they are both as lovely as they are brilliant.
Here we talk about lemon tarts in mid-summer, the most under-loved ingredients and what eating well means to them.
What’s your earliest food memory?
L: I always remember making cupcakes at home, I would eat half the batter before it went in the oven though!
A: My mum has had an allotment for as long as I can remember, I loved picking vegetables and cooking together at home with her.
What did you have for breakfast?
L+A: Avocado on toast! When we have an office day we always make this for each other, its the best way to start the day.
What’s the most underused ingredient?
L; Radish, its peppery crunch is great raw or roasted, people just dismiss the radish, but I love it
A: Anchovies, people are really put off by anchovies but they add such depth of flavour
Your worst kitchen disaster to date?
A: We once had to make lemon tarts for a supper club on the hottest day of the year. We only needed to make three but by the time we had finished we had made about 11 failed tarts. Pastry does not like the sun!
What do you eat when you get home after a long day or night at work?
L: Currently I love coming home to a big bowl of soup and a doorstop wedge of bread with a worrying amount of butter.
A: I live across the road from the most amazing dumpling restaurant so more often than not after a long day I can pop across the road and have the most wonderful comforting dumpling dinner.
The best smell in the world?
A: I love the smell of freshly baked bread – there is nothing like it.
L: When you walk in the door and the smell of a home cooked meal hits you, that and walking into any bakery.
What does ‘eating well’ mean to you?
L&A: We don’t deny ourself any food, if we want a burger and chips we will have that, but equally if we fancy a salad we would order that too. We don’t out too much pressure on ourselves. We don’t skip dessert, ever – and will always have the extra cheeky glass of red.
Do you listen to anything while you’re cooking?
L&A: We love the French radio station FIP, we listen to that we when we cook together
Who would you most like to cook for?
L: Oh, thats a tough one…Maybe Graham Norton so he could make me laugh while I’ m rustling something up in the kitchen.
A: Nigel Slater is one of my favourite cooks, although I think it would be intimidating cooking for any food hero – I bet he loves a cheese toastie though.
Where is your favourite place? (A shop, a beach, a village, a café …)
A: I love Leilas in Shoreditch, amazing fresh produce, great eggs at breakfast and on one of the loveliest streets in London.
L: At the moment its Campania and Jones on Ezra street, pasta and fizzy red away form the crowds of Columbia road.
What’s next for you guys?
A: I am doing a world tour with the podcast as well as my new weekend breakfast show in radio 1 – so its a busy first half of the year, I’m filming a new show that airs in the next few months too. With J&L we have our monthly column with Marie Claire and working in collaboration on some exciting projects as well as being brand ambassadors for the Californian almond board.
L: Ive just finished filming a new show for the BBC which is out on Saturday nights in April and we have some exciting collaborations with Jackson&Levine, our second range of products with habitat comes out in June, we have just got back from the ceramics factory in Italy who are working with – that’s very exciting for us.