Tuesday, January 18, 2011


See this woman? Lovely or what? She's Lorraine Pascale, currently fronting a cookery series on BBC2 called Baking Made Easy.

Unsurprisingly, she used to be a model, but when that career was coming to its end she looked around for other jobs and decided to go into food. You get the impression she always loved eating and cooking - to the extent that life as a skinny model must have been really difficult for her.

She rose to attention on the back of the cupcake boom with her shop Ella's Bakehouse in Covent Garden, but I first became aware of her when on Twitter about a year ago she promised to give £1000 (I think it was) to the Haiti earthquake appeal if she got 1000 (I think it was) followers. So I followed, expecting to unfollow once the target was reached. But she scuppered that plan by making the donation anyway. She seemed nice, so I stayed following.

And, confounding our expectations of someone who used to be a model, she is nice. Very friendly and inquisitive, with an infectious enthusiasm. But what I hadn't expected is how well she comes across on tv. Obviously the camera loves her, but she has bags and bags of simple charm, including a way of breaking eye-contact with the camera that suggests a certain shyness. And her style is warm and supportive - she'll say that perfection isn't necessarily important, and that a little variation if you don't have all the ingredients is fine.

Last night's show included sun-dried tomato palmiers, and that's what I've attempted today. The recipe really is easy; the only real work was in chopping up the tomatoes. Here's the result. Obviously my food stylist is on holiday but they are tasty little morsels.

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