Episode 20: Sophie Michell: Chef, cookery writer and TV presenter

My castaway today is Sophie Michell. 

Last week I met the wonderful Sophie, who is just great – a real inspiration. She’s one busy lady and I was so happy that she agreed to be on Desert Island Dishes.

Sophie comes from a long lineage of avid foodies and professional cooks. Her grandmother taught her to cook and we hear about her blue and green marble sponge  cakes she used to make aged 5 which sound most impressive, even at my age! She decided at the ago of 15 to pursue a career in cooking and at the age of just 19 she was crowned  “Young chef of the year”.  Sophie has gone on to cook all over the world for a whole host of A list clients incuding Claudia Schiffer and Leonardo Di Caprio AND both Princes William and Harry…to name just a few.

Sophie became the UK’s youngest female Executive chef taking over from Mark Hix at Belgraves Hotel in London. She has her own restaurants, and has also carved out a career as a successful TV presenter and food writer. She’s written 7 cook books, and She was part of Channel 4’s smash hit show Cook Yourself Thin, and co-wrote the book of the same name that went on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies.

Snacks at the ready for this episode people as it’s full of delicious things – you have been warned….

One of her little kittens plays a starring role in today’s episode – and I never considered myself a cat person. However, by the end of the interview I was trying to figure out ways I could smuggle him away in my bag. He was so teeny and cute and took a real shine to me, which I have to admit, felt good.

Can there be a better description for a sandwich with two types of cheese other than “a naughty little sandwich”? It sums it up perfectly, and I can almost taste it. But I know what Sophie means, you need one cheese for the meltiness and one for the, you know, cheesiness. I know I need to get my hands on (or chops round) that pasta of Stevie parles – the potato ravioli with truffle and egg yolk. I mean that just sounds like heaven in a plate. When I was in New York I went to The Minetta Tavern and had the spaghetti Za Za, which was quite similar and it was just divine. Divine – not a word I use often but there you go.

I am absolutely loving the starring role that roast chicken is playing in all the episodes of Desert Island Dishes. We all know that food is so much for than just food. You can eat the most delicious food, cooked by the best chef, in the hippest restaurant, but if you are sat next to the world’s biggest bore then it probably won’t feature on your Desert Island Dishes list. Whereas an unassuming dish of scrambled egg, cooked by your favourite person when you need it most, is the kind of thing you will savour forever. And that’s the fun thing about food (and about this podcast).

I absolutely love the idea of Sophie going off to the island with a truffle in her pocket …I mean what more does a girl need? Can’t wait to go and check out her food at Winterville on Clapham Common – the whole thing sounds great and Sophie’s turkey Christmas burger just sounds like something I need to eat. 

Have a listen to Sophie’s Desert Island Dishes using by pressing on the button below:

Desert Island Dish:

Starter: Chicken liver pate

Main course: Roast duck

Pudding: Big cheese board

Luxury item: a truffle in her pocket and a case of vodka 

Have you subscribed to the podcast yet? No?! Well, get a wriggle on…go on! Scram! But come back next week. See you then!

Have a look at this weeks recipe just by clicking here.


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