Find out why master patissier Eric Lanlard has gone baking mad!
How did you become a Master Patissier?
It is something that I always wanted to do – every since I was a boy of six years old I wanted to be a patissier.
What are you up to at the moment and why did you decide to do it?
As I explain in my video (above), I’m currently filming my brand new TV series for Channel 4 – Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard. It’s a 10-part weekly series that starts on Monday at 2.45pm. Each episode features a different Bake Club – from Thai boxers to teachers – who are invited into my home to learn the tricks of quick, easy and delicious baking. (You can find out more at www.bakingmad.com)
I love doing television work – I’ve been trying to ‘push’ the baking idea years before it was fashionable – suddenly the UK are a nation of bakers so finally my idea was accepted. I’ve also just finished my new cupcake book Cox Cookies & Cake based on the recipes from the Soho bakery that I jointly own with Patrick Cox. The book is out in July – so it’s been a very busy time indeed.
What are your favourite foods?
I do not have a sweet tooth – which is ironic for a pastry chef! I love cheese – but I also have soft spot for good gastro pub comfort food – a good old steak pie or fish and chips. Of course the ingredients must be quality. I love fois gras and steak tartare also.
What are your favourite recipes?
It changes all the time because as a chef I’m always looking for new ideas, ingredients and flavours.
Lots of my recipes are actually available for you to try out right here at lovefood.com:
What inspires you when you’re cooking?
A new season, a recent holiday, new ingredients or, say, a meal that I’ve eaten. I was also recently inspired by Australian chefs. You can find out more by watching my video (above).
What’s the most important meal of the day?
I think any meal that is shared with friends or loved ones.
What’s it like in your kitchen?
Clean and calm, as you’ll see if you watch Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard.
What’s your favourite piece of kitchen equipment?
It is my peeler. I have had the same one since I was an apprentice. It has been around the world with me and it accompanied me while I was doing my national service. It’s now in my home kitchen in London and it’s still as sharp as ever!
If you were on a desert island, what would you cook?
Oyster Rockefeller, steamed asparagus with hollandaise sauce, filet of lamb with fresh curd and baby vegetable and my winning desert - hot pear tarte tatin.
What’s the biggest food trend we should all take note of?
Traceability! I think it’s really important that people should know where the food that they choose to buy and cook has come from - where it has been grown and how it has been sourced. It’s not just that this provides the feel good factor. Most local food and suppliers products also taste much better.
What’s the latest over-hyped fad we should avoid?
UMAMI! I haven’t got the time to find my 5th taste maybe I will wait for the 6th one to see if it is better.
What’s your food philosophy in a single sentence?
Cakes should always taste as good as they look.
Do you ever use cookbooks – and whose?
I love using cookbooks. In fact, I’d go so far as to say I collect cookbooks and always make sure if I like a restaurant and have been impressed with the chef I buy their cook book before I leave. My most recent purchase was Peter Gilmore’s book from Quay restaurant in Sydney - one of my favourite foodie destinations.
Which suppliers do you think stand out from the crowd?
I recently fell in love with a company called MSK. They sell a lot of products and ingredients for molecular gastronomy – great fun and educational at the same time.
What tips would you give to members of lovefood.com?
Do not despair when you start to bake or make cakes – practice is one major key to successful baking. Baking is like chemistry so always follow the recipe and use quality ingredients. Watch my video (above) to find out why I think this is so important!
Tell us a food joke.
Jack: Would you like some Egyptian Pie?
Jill: What's Egyptian pie?
Jack: You know, the kind mummy used to make.
If you could invite four guests to dinner, living or dead, who would you invite and what would you cook?
Elizabeth Hurley for glamour and fun conversation, Desmond TUTU for his wise thoughts and his amazing sense of humour; Catherine Deneuve my French icon; Sir Elton John because he is unpredictable and just so talented.
Baking Mad with Eric Lanlard starts on Monday, 25 April at 2.45pm on Channel
4 - it's a ten-part weekly series.
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