Xanthe Clay

Interview with Xanthe Clay

Passionate Bristol foodie Xanthe Clay explains why Bristol is a very special food-connected place to be…

Please introduce yourself
Xanthe Clay, food writer for The Daily Telegraph. I write for food magazines as well and have published five books.

What do you think needs to change about the way we view food and eat?
We need to value our food more and give kids and adults the skills to feel confident in the kitchen. Let’s also look hard at how to solve the cost conundrum – we won’t beat obesity while a whole packet of biscuits is priced at less than one apple.  I was interviewing Thomasina Miers recently, and she said “If we tax alcohol and cigarettes, we should also tax sugar.” I’m more and more coming round to her point of view – and I would like to see the money raised used to bring down the cost of fresh fruit and veg.

How would you describe Bristol’s food scene?
It’s fun – there’s lots of small scale businesses and a sense of risk taking here which makes it very vibrant. Plus larger scale projects like The Lido which are world class.

What impact do you think Food Connections will have on the city?
It’s going to establish Bristol as the nation’s food capital. London may have more restaurants, but being so close to farms and producers makes Bristol a very special food-connected place to be.

Can you share one recipe that you think everyone should be able to cook?
Soup. Slice a leek, and cook it in a big dollop of butter, melted, until the leek is soft. Add a floury potato, chopped (and peeled, if you like) and cook for a minute or two more. Pour over enough milk to cover generously and simmer until the potato is soft. Puree with a hand blender if you like, or leave it chunky, adding more milk or stock until the consistency is how you like it. Season with salt and pepper. Eat hot in a deep bowl, maybe with some cheese on toast.

(You can, of course, add what ever other vegetables you like at the same time as the potato.) 

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