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You are in: Norfolk > People > Profiles > Delia Smith: Football, fame and cheating at food

Delia Smith

Delia Smith: Football, fame and cheating at food

The nation's favourite television cook gave an interview to BBC Norfolk ahead of the release of new book How To Cheat At Cooking. Her husband Michael Wynn-Jones joined her to talk food, fame and what to sing at football.

Delia Smith's first cook book, How To Cheat At Cooking, was released in 1971. Now, 37 years later, the nation's queen of the kitchen is back with a modern take on How To Cheat.

Her first book for four years, Delia and her husband Michael Wynn-Jones gave an exclusive preview to the book at their home near Stowmarket to BBC Norfolk's Karen Buchanan and Andy Archer on Thursday, 14 February, 2008.

The spoke about working together on the new book which features a range of pre-prepared foods - from tins, chill cabinets, freezers and store cupboards - to help cut cooking times and techniques.

Karen, Michael, Delia and Andy in the Kitchen.

Karen, Michael, Delia and Andy

As joint majority shareholders of Norwich City FC, their love of sport remains a main course on the menu of conversation, with a new song by Delia for a star of the Canaries' team as dessert!

Delia also lifts the lid on her part in the famous Rolling Stones' album cover Let It Bleed and reveals how she nearly, but not quite, met football icon Brian Clough.

AA: How To Cheat At Cooking is already a best-seller based on pre-orders, how does that make you feel?

DS: Relieved really, because you never really know if you're on the right track or not until the public get exposed to it, so because there is a lot of interest I'm very happy.

KB: It is a bit of a change for you, what was the thinking behind the book?

DS: We have evolved almost unnoticed into an era where mothers and fathers go out to work, families still have to be fed and there must be a way to make it simpler and easier. The other thing is I think a lot of people are afraid to cook, there's an awful lot of fear about cooking.

[The book] it's for busy lives, for families to be able to have a really good meal sitting behind the table together, and also to reassure people who feel afraid to cook that they can.

Delia Smith (Picture: JP Masclet)

Delia shares her foody cheats

Because I had done a book called How To Cheat At Cooking in 1971, I thought I would have a look round and see what's happened to cheating nowadays.

I have to say cheating has come on a lot, there are some fantastic ingredients I discovered as I scoured the supermarkets, the farm shops and delis and saw what was out there that could help to short circuit cooking a meal.

AA: A lot of TV chefs are becoming rather political, do you support, for instance, the recent campaign on the welfare of farmed chickens?

DS: Yes and no, I support the idea, but I can't really make a comment on it because I don't know enough about it.

I hate the idea of battery-farmed animals and chickens, but at the same time I am aware that we still have child poverty in the country.

If you're going to condemn battery chickens then you have to help people who are poor find the same nutrition for the same kind of price.

It's such an enormous problem that I tend to feel I'm going to stick to the recipes and not get up on a platform because I really don't know all the answers.

KB: When Norwich get to the Premiership, would you be happy to be playing a game abroad? What do you think of the Premier League plans?

MWJ: Apart from the money I cannot see the point of it.

Delia Smith celebrates with Norwich City

Delia celebrates with Norwich City FC

DS: That is the point of it.

MWJ: But apart from that it's noticeable that they have come out saying, 'We'll play a game in Tokyo'. But the Japanese FA have said, 'No way, we only allow foreign teams who are playing one of our sides'. They don't want it.

How many fans are going to pop over to Adelaide or wherever to watch one game? They'll watch it on TV, it just hasn't been thought through.

DS: The one season we were in the Premier League we attended league board meetings and we had one vote, if we had been on that meeting we would have voted no.

MWJ: We would, and we would have been the only ones.

Delia Smith and Michael Wynn-Jones' interview was first broadcast on BBC Radio Norfolk on Friday, 15 February, 2008.

How To Cheat At Cooking is published by Ebury Press at £20.

last updated: 30/04/2008 at 15:34
created: 14/02/2008

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