Gizzi Erskine: 'My background is in butchery; I don't get the same thrill from baking'
I cooked from a young age My mum was single parent, so she'd use us in the kitchen like little slaves, peeling the vegetables and doing the washing up. She had a lot of dinner parties for which she needed a lot of help with complicated food. I got a thrill from cooking things such as whole salmon.
I became a body piercer after I left school at 15 After a while, though, I felt I wasn't fulfilling my potential, so at 22 I did a course at Leiths School of Food and Wine; I had a lot of drive there as I felt I had a lot to prove.
I never get the opportunity to show what I'm capable of on TV It's a struggle as a female chef on television, because you're generally asked to do baking and cupcakes. But my background is butchery and working in proper restaurants, and I don't get the same thrill from baking.
I hate the British style of éclair It's filled with whipped cream, but with a proper éclair you have to have it with Crème patissière – the thick French custard cream. If you go to a proper French patisserie, that's how they serve it. It's also how I've served it as part of my remix of the Rock Tea at the W Hotel in London.
You have to be yourself I have a specific look with a specific theme: the tattoos and wearing my hair in a beehive. But during an early stage in my career I was really worried that people didn't get me, so I started to conform a bit. And that was a big mistake as suddenly I didn't recognise myself. And there were jobs I didn't get, as they wanted someone edgy.
I'm a bit of a scenester I've DJ'd rockabilly music since I was 15; it's hillbilly rock'n'roll from the 1950s, and people tend to wear 1950s and 1960s clothes, too. You can't listen to the music from that period without wanting to dance. I hate the idea of conformism. The UK does well with its subcultures, and I find people involved in them creative and interesting.
I like weird stuff I love taxidermy and I'm really into how the Victorians stuffed their pets and also how they stuffed mascots to show their hunting skills. I have a beautiful stuffed peacock, called Percival, in my living-room.
I've got a lot of energy But I can go into meltdown when things around me are not going to plan. I suck at coping.
I love fried chicken I used to be tempted by fast-food fried chicken, until I learnt more about how it's processed. Now I make my own: I marinate chicken breast in buttermilk with a bit of chilli sauce and a load of salt to bind it, and leave it overnight. In the morning I drop it in a mixture of self-raising flour, rice flour and potato flour, for a bit of chew. Then I add southern-fried seasoning and I confit it in oil and ramp up the heat at the end, to get the crunch.
Gizzi Erskine, 33, is a chef. Her remix of the W London Rock Afternoon Tea will be available at the Central London hotel until 26 June (wlondon.co.uk)
Life & Style blogs
Charlie Charlie Challenge: everyone on the internet thinks it’s a marketing stunt, but it probably isn’t
Not brushing your teeth can lead to dementia and heart disease
Yves Saint Laurent ad banned for featuring 'unhealthily underweight' model
Insomnia could be cured with one simple therapy session, new study claims
What do the emojis on Snapchat mean?
- 1 Amber Peat: Body found in search for missing 13-year-old who left house after argument with her parents
- 2 California man brutally beat 82-year-old Sikh grandfather he mistook for 'one of those people'
- 3 School kitchen manager 'fired from Colorado school for giving hungry students free lunches'
- 4 Gay teenager 'forced to have sex with his own mother' to 'cure' his homosexuality, campaigners in India say
- 5 Charles Kennedy 'had better judgement drunk than many sober politicians' says Ian Hislop
iJobs Food & Drink
£25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: With offices in Manchester, Lon...
£15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...
£35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...
£23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...