GOOD ingredients and a bit of practise go a long way according to TV chef Rachel Allen.
The Saturday Kitchen regular is speaking to the Solihull News about the secret of rustling up a good meal.
“I think the thing is to keep it simple, but try and use the best ingredients possible,” she explains.
“If you’ve got good ingredients then you don’t have to do a huge amount to make something that tastes great.
“A lot of people are growing their own and I don’t think it’s just because it’s the trendy thing to do.
“If people are using their own ingredients then they know exactly what’s going into their food.”
Rachel says she always enjoyed cooking but was 18-years-old before she realised she wanted to do it full-time.
“I don’t know why I never thought about it before, it was one of those things that was staring me in the face.
“I went to train at the Ballymaloe Cookery School and met my husband there so it was definitely a good move.”
The mum-of-three says mackerel dishes and substantial salads are among her favourite recipes.
But quite often she just picks the ingredients that are in season at the time she’s cooking.
“I do love that, in winter it’s nice to have stews and all the things that warm you up.
“And then you’ve got the fresh tastes of spring, which leads into the summer flavours.”
Next month, Rachel will be serving up some of her latest recipes at BBC Gardeners World.
“I’m looking forward to it. I’m a keen gardener as well actually - I grow fruit, veg and herbs at home. It’s also a chance to show some recipes from my new book and that’s always a nice feeling.”
* BBC Gardeners World is on at the NEC from June 15-19. Tickets on 0844 581 0058 or from www.bbcgardenersworldlive.com.