Tamasin Day-Lewis: 'It's shocking to see so many grotesquely overweight children'


People feel de-skilled by celebrity chefs and their complicated recipes, so they're not cooking things that have been done since time immemorial. You can make a pastry in five minutes with leftover scraps: eggs, cream, milk, vegetables, bacon – just throw in whatever's in the fridge.

I want people to stop slavishly following recipes Your stove is different from my stove, your flour is different from mine, as is the ambient room temperature and your tastes, so use your instinct to decide what to change.

Most of the food I ate in my childhood was disgusting It was boarding-school food such as Spam fritters on a Friday night and hard-boiled eggs with black rings around the yolk; so over-boiled they stuck in your throat.

I've never eaten a microwave meal I'm very proud of that. My children have tried to force me, and I've got as far as [oven] chips. I just don't want that stuff inside me, all those preservatives and disgusting meat.

I crave chocolate at the moment I've just eaten a delicious chocolate and Marcona almond cake; there are really good nuts available at this time of year. I cooked a chocolate-fudge cake the other day for Alan Titchmarsh. I added some good bitter choc – 64 per cent cocoa is enough – amaretti, bashed-up almonds, pistachios and walnuts, and afterwards he said, "Marry me!"

We're breeding a generation of grotesquely overweight children It's shocking walking down the street, seeing so many abnormally fat people. Thanks to a food industry that encourages us to buy junk, they're going to have diabetes and arteries furring up. It's the first time in history where the rich are thin and the poor fat. We have to get things right for the next generation.

I'm a shoe fetishist Manolos in particular. Wearing those elegantly crafted shoes makes me feel happy. They are expensive, but I'd rather pay more than waste money on cheaper stuff.

I'm an idiot with computers and gadgets And my children won't even teach me how to use an iPad, as they say I'll just instantly forget.

My view of humanity has broadened since I worked on a documentary about the NSPCC Over six months I saw what people were capable of doing: a man who'd given a two-year-old gonorrhoea, another who'd thrown a baby against a wall. But I felt it was my duty to represent these people as accurately as the victims.

Everyone has a right to privacy I've been horrified by how people such as my brother [Daniel Day-Lewis, who has been labelled as eccentric] have been persecuted by the press. People are open to criticise [work], but there's no need to criticise artists as human beings.

Tamasin Day-Lewis, 59, is a food writer and documentary-maker. Her new book, 'Food You Can't Say No To', is published by Quadrille, priced £20

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