Anna, can you tell us about your background?
I started out working in TV at 18, working for MTV, then Channel 4, T4 and Popworld doing everything from event organising to talent booking. I then moved into fashion working at House of Holland. Food, however, always played a huge part of my life. I cooked for housemates, friends, family and extended family. There would also be a flat full (we had a huge warehouse space) and we filled it often and fed everyone that visited. I hosted supper clubs and catered for anything and everything. I released my first cookery book ‘Eat the Week’ in 2015 and released a second last year ‘How to be Gluten Free and Keep Your Friends’ whilst also providing weekly recipe content for Grazia. I’ve now been freelance for almost four years and spend my time writing for the Evening Standard, sharing recipes, interviewing cookery book authors and compiling food and travel pieces too. I cater, host and collaborate with a lot of brands so life is brilliantly varied.
You recently hosted a beautiful brunch to celebrate the launch of our new salad bowls and Spring colours, can you tell us a bit about the menu?
The menu I compiled was really based around demonstrating how Falcon enamelware can be used in a variety of ways. So we baked oats with fresh fruit and served up gorgeous brunch bowls of cheese, truffled honey and prosciutto as well as baked mini rhubarb meringue pies. I wanted to really explore and make the most out of the versatility of the Falcon products.
What was your favourite dish you made using the Falcon Enamelware range and why?
I’m hooked on the Turkish style eggs. We served both fried and poached eggs in a rich garlic and black pepper yogurt with the most addictive sundried tomato sumac and Turkish chilli flake drizzle finishing the dish with fresh dill, pickled shallots and a healthy side of sourdough. For me, it’s a dish that ticks all the boxes. Serving this in the large Falcon Salad Bowl is perfect when feeding a crowd and means there’s plenty of room to pile it high and pack it full of incredible flavours. You can feed a huge crowd with one bowlful too.
Do you have any tips for cooking en masse with Falcon this Spring/Summer?
I love keeping dining informal so the large and medium Salad Bowls (plus the rest of the range) work perfectly for this. The best advice I can give is to pick your menu wisely and incorporate as many dishes as possible that can be made well in advance. You can then enjoy the party as much as your guests and be that easy, breezy and relaxed host.
If you could invite 8 dream dinner guests - who would they be and why?
The Obamas, Micky Flanghan, Adam Sandler, Deborah Frances-White, Julia Davis, Massimo Bottura and George Michael. This isn’t as easy as I thought it would be but the ultimate dinner party needs an eclectic mix of characters and these are just that.
Where is your favourite summer hang-out in London and why?
Richmond is incredible in the Summer. Last year we paddle boarded along the Thames and loved it every minute of it. A spot closer to home is the newly refurbed London Fields lido, though getting there early to avoid the crowds is essential in the Summer.
You’re just finishing renovating your incredible new home, could you tell us where you got some of your inspiration for this?
I think I was led by how we wanted to use the space and the lifestyle we wanted in it. We renovated and worked from the kitchen space out. That was always going to be the heart of our home. I’m launching cookery classes this July so I knew I wanted a big island but equally wanted an open space to allow for easy entertaining. We wanted a calm and minimalist space yet something that felt a bit timeless and still like a home. Instagram and Pinterest are both great sources of inspiration when doing your research.
Can you name a place that feeds your imagination?
I adore New York. That moment you arrive and see Manhattan in all its glory is always as special as the last. The food scene is incredible as well and I always research and reserve my dinners well in advance.
Can you give any tips on the best places to eat, drink, source ingredients in London at the moment?
I tend to source most of what I cook locally to me. So Broadway Market is great on a Saturday for incredible organic fruit and veg. We have Fin & Flounder for fresh fish, Hill & Szrok for meat or Ginger Pig. I also love our local Turkish shop Umuts which always has the most incredible bounty of fruit and veg, ten varieties of tomatoes, big bundles of fresh herbs… anything you need, that shop has it. Le Bouche is also great for cheese. When it comes to eating out, I love Lardo for pizza and pasta, Uchi for sushi, Campania on Columbia Road for more pasta and Brat for just an incredible meal out. Rochelle Canteen is perfect for an understated but delicious lunch. For drinks I always love a cocktail or two at Bistrotheque otherwise I like hanging out at our local pubs of which there are plenty.
What's the most important piece of advice you have been given?
Give it a try, what’s the worst that can happen? It’s all for the taking.