The 5-minute Interview: Tamasin Day-Lewis, Chef and writer

'I'd fire all the bad hospital catering departments'
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The Independent Online

The television chef and cookery writer, 54, is known for using organic and locally sourced produce. Her latest book, 'Where Shall We Go For Dinner', is out now.

If I weren't talking to you right now, I'd be ...

Writing my book or out running.

A common misperception of me is ....

There are probably too many to mention, though thankfully people tend to keep them to themselves.

I wish people would take more notice of ...

My new book.

A phrase I use far too often is ...

They're all unrepeatable.

The most surprising thing that has happened to me is ...

The fact that I go on being surprised by things. You think that you must stop being surprised when you reach a certain age. I'm constantly surprised and I'm very glad about that.

I am not a politician, but if I were I would ...

I'd try to tackle the problems with school and hospital food. I would target the big food industries and conglomerates. I'd ban all bad things and I'd fire all the bad catering departments.

I'm good at ...

Friendship, loyalty and giving people a good time. I'm good at having fun and getting people together. There's no event too big, no event too sudden. I can always cook a bloody good dinner, as well as breakfast the next morning.

I'm very bad at ...

Selling myself. I just don't have that attitude. I'm also always taking on too much.

The ideal night out is ...

Dinner with my children and a bunch of friends in my house in the west of Ireland. We'll have the last wild salmon of the season and then my son Harry will sing and play his guitar.

In moments of weakness I ...

Buy a pair of Manolos.

You know me as a cook, but in truer life I'd have been ...

A feature film director or a medical herbalist.

The best age to be is ...

Everyone is always envious. The danger is in not enjoying where you are and not living life to the full.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

Push yourself to the maximum of your ability and love people for what they are, not what you want them to be.

Alice-Azania Jarvis

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