Albin Michel 2016
« One of my favorite recipes from my book Gingerbread Wonderland is the Cookies in a Jar. It makes a dun and unusual gift – perfect for any food lover especially at Christmas. »
Hello Mima Sinclair, still water or sparkling water?
Could you tell us which dish you enjoy most these days?
I adore Moussaka. I make big batches of it and freeze portions for when I’m feeling lazy but want a delicious home cooked meal.
Have you always eaten this dish?
Yes my mother used to cook it when I was younger and I’d pick out all the aubergine! I no longer do this! I was in Greece with my husband this summer and all the homemade moussaka really rekindled my love for the dish.
What is you culinary history?
I have always loved cooking, especially baking, and from a young age my mother encouraged us to help in the kitchen. My sisters and I were allowed to experiment in the kitchen so we would make quiche and multi colored cakes!
I studied photography at University and whilst working with a food photographer in London I discovered the job of a Food Stylist. I instantly knew this was the job for me and began working with local caterers and assisting food stylist on shoots. I completed an intensive cookery course which gave me lots of confidence and really got me started. After a couple of years I got a job at publishing house writing, testing and styling recipes for a major supermarket magazine. Once I gained enough experience I left and became a freelance food stylist and food writer. Now I work for all the major supermarkets, food magazines and food brands creating delicious recipes and styling them for photo shoots. I have written three books my first Mug Cakes, my second Gingerbread Wonderland and my most recent just out in October Rainbow Bakes.
How did it influence your eating habits?
I am very lucky to have parents who cooked from scratch when I was growing up. They also were adventurous eaters and travelers so my sisters and I were introduced to food from all over the world. This has really fuelled my interest in flavors and combinations. Also with a background in art and photography I have used my skills to have fun with food and I love to plate up food to look almost too good to eat!
Could you tell us about a specific culinary moment? (Food preparation or experiment)
It is a slightly odd one but then there have been many in my career so far food styling. I was working on a nose to tail pork book and one of the recipes was stuffed pigs head. l had to stuff part of the head and then sew the skin back together so the stuffing didn’t come out – the skin was so tough it took me hours! When my husband came home and opened the fridge it was rather a shock to find a pig head looking straight back at him! I also had to make Tower Bridge (a famous bridge in London) out of Gingerbread for a supermarket magazine. Lots of fun but it took a very long time and I was very worried about it breaking as it was so long and thin!
According to you which food embodies most human mobility nowadays?
Which food would be missing you if you should have to skip it for one year?
Cake! I have an incredible sweet tooth (as you might be able to tell from my three baking books!) I could not live without cake – chocolate cake to be specific!
Can we rely on you to get an eatery or restaurant recommendation?
I love Hawksmoor in London. You can enjoy the most incredible steak in an Art Deco style restaurant. I also love Brasserie Zedel which is also in London. They serve great cocktails and they have a delicious rabbit dish that keeps me going back for more.
Could you introduce a product and share one recipe of it with us?
One of my favorite recipes from my book Gingerbread Wonderland is the Cookies in a Jar. It makes a dun and unusual gift – perfect for any food lover especially at Christmas.
And lastly, a few words about diversity, interaction between people who are different?
I think that diversity in life and cultures is amazing thing – and even better when they meet. My father is Scottish, was born in Calcutta and has lived in Italy. My mother is Dutch and has lived in Holland and Trinidad. This fusion of beliefs and cultures has developed a keen interest in me to travel and not only experience other countries, their cultures and their food but also their people. I think it is very sad when people choose not to interact with other cultures – you don’t always have to agree with everything but to not experience any at all I feel you miss out.