Saturday, 21 April 2012

An interview with Pippa Kendrick, author of The Intolerant Gourmet

Roast Butternut Squash, Coconut and Chilli Soup
Pippa Kendrick is really irritating.  For a start she’s pretty, funny and personable.  And now she’s published a cookbook for allergy sufferers of the take-me-to-bed-and-drool-over-me variety.

Actually, she’s published the cookbook that I used to dream of publishing.  Full of gorgeous pictures, thick, luxurious paper, lovely prose....sigh.  My husband saw her book and exclaimed tactfully: “She’s written the book you wanted to write!” 
But let's not dwell on that.
I met Pippa at a food festival last year and dammit but it's impossible to hate her.  I was genuinely thrilled to receive a copy of her book to review and I promise that I did not ask the following questions in a snippy, tight-lipped, ugly, jealous way. 
Why did you want to write this book?
Firstly, I wrote it because I have multiple food intolerances and I wanted to share my experiences of cooking for them with other people.  Secondly, I wanted to create the kind of cookbook that I wanted to read and cook from when I was first diagnosed (nearly 10 years ago); I wanted to make a lovely looking, generous cookbook that you could leaf through with pleasure rather than study earnestly.
You do include nuts in some of your recipes which may make my nut-allergic readers shudder a bit; who is this book for?  What are the allergies that you cater to?
Every single recipe in the book is free from wheat, dairy, soy, eggs and yeast, ¾ of them are gluten free and less than a 1/3 of them contain nuts.  Because I create my recipes based around all of the foods I cannot tolerate and because I like the texture that nuts can provide in intolerance-cooking, I have used them in a selection of the dishes.  My aim was to create the best recipes with all of the foods available to me, but I would never want to offend anybody and so intend to give nut-free alternatives for the second book.

Was it hard to create enough recipes to fill the book?
Not at all, writing the recipes is the pleasurable bit!  I love pottering around my kitchen, testing ideas, creating new recipes or finding ways of recreating classics.  I’m a bit of a food obsessive so I literally wake up thinking about recipe ideas and am usually straight into the kitchen given the opportunity - there’s nothing I enjoy more.
Roughly how many times do you trial each recipe?
Sundried Tomato Bread
It really varies; with some I will cook them again and again – eight or so times – just to tweak them.  With others, I’m so happy with the result that I’ll do it once or twice more and then that’s it.  I find sometimes that if you have to test a recipe too many times then it’s not meant to be, it’s better to walk away and forget about it, the answer will either come to you or it’s just not a recipe for the collection.
OK, so let’s be real; when you’re knackered you probably don’t knock up Paprika Pepper Chicken with Avocado Salsa (page 83).  What is your go-to allergy friendly quick meal on a rainy Thursday evening at 9pm?
Cup of tea, toast and jam (bread my own, of course ;) ) I’m also a big fan of quinoa, salad and hoummous – quick, easy, yum.  It’s not really cooking, more gathering, but that’s what I do when I’m knackered!
What can’t you be without in your kitchen? (if it helps, I can’t be without baking parchment)
Ooh, difficult.  Boringly, maybe my kitchen timer – it’s invaluable when recipe testing.  Otherwise, rubber spatula, just think how much would be left in the bowl if you didn’t use it?!
Tomato and Pesto Tart
What is your favourite dish from the book?
The Spaghetti Carbonara makes me happy.  It was a childhood favourite of mine and being able to have it again was quite comforting.  Otherwise, the Tomato and Pesto Tart makes me think of sunshine, summer and celebration.
The photos in your book are just beautiful, who took them?
JanBaldwin.  She is utterly lovely and ridiculously talented; all chat, chat, move this slightly, click, bit more chat, and then, perfection. I love her.
 I’m trying not to be bitter about your young, smooth skin with no sun damage, so let’s not focus on your age.  But if I may ask an off-topic question – woman to woman – where did you get the gorgeous blouse that you are wearing on the back cover?  (I’m not going to say anything about your un-creased cleavage.)
It’s from Whistles, an age ago, in the sale I might add.  It’s served me well!

Pippa, the smooth cleavage & the top from Whistles
 If you haven't bought Pippa's book yet, find it on Amazon and if you're not sure it's for you, just read those reviews and you'll be won over.

© Pig in the Kitchen All Rights Reserved


Joanna @ Zeb Bakes said...

Love this! You have a light touch with words that makes me want to buy this book right away :)

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Joanna, it really is a beautiful book. I love the way she writes and I'm a sucker for amazing photos. I say get this one in your basket straight away!

Nikki-ann said...

Sounds like a recipe book for me to try out! A great interview, thanks :)

Colette said...

Oh that book looks absolutely amazing! Do you know how I can order it in the US?

Pig in the Kitchen said...

Nikki-Ann, you should definitely try this book!

Colette, according to Pippa it should be available in the states later this year, or she thinks you can order it via

good luck!

Pig x

Jenny said...

Great interview, I will definitely try and find this book as I always need new recipes with allergy sufferers in mind