Make Time for Tea and Cake; We're All Busy - but There's Always Time to Sit Down for Some Soulsoothing Tea and Cake, as Lisa Faulkner Tells JEANANNE CRAIG

South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales), April 4, 2015 | Go to article overview

Make Time for Tea and Cake; We're All Busy - but There's Always Time to Sit Down for Some Soulsoothing Tea and Cake, as Lisa Faulkner Tells JEANANNE CRAIG


Byline: JEANANNE CRAIG

LISA FAULKNER has a lot to thank Celebrity MasterChef for. Since winning the show in 2010, the former Holby City actress has carved out a successful second career as a TV cook, and released three recipe books.

The BBC1 show was also where she met Australian chef John Torode, the firm-but-fair judge who eventually became her boyfriend.

"I took on three jobs at the same time as MasterChef, thinking I would only be in it for a day, and I ended up in it until the end. That was amazing in itself," the 43-year-old says.

"It completely changed my life and I haven't stopped cooking since. It's been amazing, really."

John - who she began dating in 2012 - is "lovely, very lovely", according to Lisa, who has an eight-year-old daughter, Billie, from her marriage to actor Chris Coghill.

"Somebody said, 'So what's it like at home when you're both cooking?' It's just like we're both cooking! It's not like he's going, 'Oh, you need to do that', or, 'Hurry Lisa, you've got five minutes!'," she adds with a laugh.

Recently, things have been busy with the release of Lisa's third cookbook, Tea & Cake.

"I wanted to do a book that was just about things that I liked, and memories of tea in days gone by when I was little - things like sandwiches and cake and tins of biscuits.

"We run around so much and we are all crazy busy. We can get so caught up in everything that's going on, and sometimes just to stop for five minutes with a cup of tea in a pot and a piece of cake, it's like, 'Do you know what? Everything's actually all right'."

Lisa has also collaborated with kitchen appliance makers Hotpoint, on a campaign encouraging the nation to love their kitchens and explore their cooking potential (learn more at www.hotpoint.co.uk).

She is keen to stress that image isn't everything when it comes to baking.

"If you've made a cake for somebody you love and there are little dents in it, or the icing falls down the cake, it's how it tastes, who you've made it for and why you've made it (that counts)," she says.

"My grandma was properly slapdash, but she was an amazing cook."

Billie, who Lisa adopted in 2006 when she was 15 months old, is also a keen chef.

"She loves to cook and bake, and set the table, anything to do with food, she's well into.

"She likes making pastry and bread, and she loves making chicken noodle soup."

Lisa, who was 16 when her mother Julie died of cancer adds: "I feel so very grateful to have her that I spend as much time as possible with her. She and I are a right little team."

While best known for her culinary prowess these days, she hasn't bid farewell to her acting career.

"I went for something the other day - that I didn't get, sadly - but it was nice to go in again," she says. "What's exciting for me is that I'll only go for characters that I really want, because I have another job that I absolutely love."

Fancy a sweet treat? Here are three of Lisa's recipes to try at home. The chocolate pudding and clafoutis recipes were created by Lisa for Hotpoint. All three are also available in Tea & Cake by Lisa Faulkner (Simon & Schuster Ltd, hardback PS20). …

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