Meet: Emma + Jess
What food could you not live without?
E: Seafood would always be top of my list, to make sure you're sourcing sustainably in the UK this Greenpeace page is a really good resource.
Other things I just couldn't go without would definitely be freshly baked bread with proper butter and sea salt; oysters with lemon and vinegar; lemony, garlicky grilled prawns... drool. Don’t forget more bread and chips (with freshly made mayo) to soak up the juice! And finally, lemon sorbet, I’m never not in the mood for this – it goes with everything and is totally refreshing and perfect for ending any meal.
J: I always come back to Italian food. Fresh pasta with a simple, slow cooked ragu. Although I don't have my own Italian heritage I feel a strong affinity to Italy. We go back every year for the summer and stay with the same family, Lea, my surrogate nonna lets me into her kitchen and despite the language barrier and the lack of verbal communication, I've learnt so many recipes and always come from those trips renewed with ideas, very happy memories of long family lunches in the sun and recipes for the best kind of comfort food.
Do you have a favourite food memory?
E: Probably the strongest memory, was mackerel fishing down in Dorset as a child. We went out on little boats into the salty spray of the sea and came back with a bag of fresh fish we’d caught ourselves, our parents then showed us how to fillet and prepare a fish. When I was very small, I also used to spend hours writing and "binding" (stapling) recipe books for my Mother, including my prized secret recipes for a ‘bacon sandwich’ and ‘cereal’. I think I just have a penchant for making lists, writing things down, and memos!
J: Probably some of my earliest food memories are pulling up carrots, brushing the soil off and eating them straight from the earth at my Grandma's house in Streatham when I was a very small child. I think that education about where food comes from and not being afraid of it definitely has a lot to do with my unfussy, limitless appetite nowadays. So cheers nan!
Who would you invite round as a special dinner party guest?
E: Massimo Bottura, just because I love his energy and all the work he’s doing with Food for Soul. Otherwise, Guy Raz is the editorial director and host of both the ‘TED radio hour’ (anyone who knows me will know how much I bang on about it) and ‘How I Built This’ from NPR. I feel like he’s interviewed everyone who’s ever given an interesting Ted Talk, spanning so many different topics or who has had an inspirational entrepreneurial journey – imagine picking his brain.
J: David Attenborough seems the obvious choice - but basically someone who has fabulous stories, loves a drink and laughs a lot!
Best Spread moment so far?
E: We loved creating a completely green menu for the Pantone colour of the year launch with Airbnb last year. Our canapés were all-green-everything and styling them was so much fun. It was hosted in a house which had been completely taken over by ‘Greenery’ and dressed with an 'outside-in' theme, including a fully immersive forest, edible greenhouse and jungle bathroom!
J: We seat guests at long banqueting tables at our supper clubs so they're bound to be sitting next to someone they don't know. One night last year three or four of the parties headed off down the pub after dinner- that was a really lovely feeling! I also love when we cater for surprise parties and we have to hide with all the guests joining us giggling in the kitchen!
What do you want from the bar?
J: If we had to order at the bar for each other we would always go for a Dolin blanc vermouth- alpine fresh, any time of the year. Best just leave the bottle! For me though - a really oaky smokey old-fashioned
E: Yes, a vermouth cocktail please - I recently had the most amazing aperitif at the Ginger Pig in Brighton. Failing that, an ice cold glass of Picpoul never goes amiss.
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