StyleNest take Five Minutes with TV personality chef Silvena Rowe to bring you cooking top tips and find out how the Bulgarian chef looks so youthful.
Inspirational chef, Silvena has cooked for high profile diners from Royals to rock stars. StyleNest find out more and talks to Silvena about her introduction to cooking and her future plans. From secret ways to hide those veggies (for the kids and for the other half) to economical ways to shop, Silvena shares all.
From This Morning to Saturday Kitchen, you have become a household face. What first inspired you to start cooking?
I have always been very greedy with food. So I started to cook from an early age back home, just quick and simple fast meals, such as meatballs. Then when I arrived in Britain, I realised for the first time that there were other ways of cooking, other cuisines so I started to cook what I ate in restaurants too.
Timesaving appliances are being launched every day with cupcake makers and chocolate printers. Do you welcome modern tools of cooking in your kitchen or do you miss the former more traditional approach?
I don’t like appliances that take or replace creativity. I only use a Magimix and Kitchen Aid, as they save time; I love traditional methods and believe that if you have time you should stick to traditional ways.
It’s so easy for kids to go out and pick up fast food that many don’t even know how to cook. How would you advise mums to introduce cooking at an early age into the family?
Try and make tasty meals. Delicious soups, meatballs, pasta dishes, simple dishes but with lots of fresh herbs and flavours that children will get to love and want to recreate at a later age. Ready made meals will never be able to replace those flavours of a home cooked meal.
Any top tips for mums who aren’t confident cooks? Any secrets how to get little ones to get excited about veggies?
Keep everything simple, start with simple vegetable soups adding grated carrots, adding all sorts and pureeing at the end. In potato mash you can add celeriac too, no one will know the difference and pasta add fresh tomatoes and fresh basil.
When you are not busy working and cooking away, what do you like doing to sit back and relax?
I go to the gym, 4-5 times a week and I love sleeping but most of all I love travelling and looking at foreign markets.
What’s your ultimate comfort food?
Pilaf rice with dry fruits, nuts and herbs.
You are inspired by Mediterranean and Eastern European cooking, how can mum’s best incorporate your recipes in daily meals?
Hopefully my recipes add a little colour to meal times as well as different flavours. Simple touches like using a little cumin on a roast lamb or adding nuts and dried apricots to boiled rice transforms a plain everyday dish to something tasty.
What advice would you give mums to help prepare time efficient, nutritious and tasty meals for the family?
I shop around, go to the market, butchers, then finish off at the supermarkets. I know its time consuming but I make time as I love it. I would suggest shopping around to find the best value and quality. Avoid frozen or even fresh ready made meals. Those kinds of foods are almost from an unknown entity. Yes, you read labels but at least when you cook your own meal, you are in control of fat, salt and so on.
As a chef you spend hours in the kitchen, do you still get pleasure cooking at home or would you prefer to go out to dinner?
I cook at home only on Sundays, when working during the week I haven’t got the time, so I do miss it.
Which are some of your favourite restaurant haunts in London?
I love the best, Nobu on Old Park Lane, Cut at 45 Park Lane and Ladurée to satisfy my sweet tooth.
Can you give StyleNest any exciting inside news on any current or future projects you might be working on?
I have a BBC2 cookery TV show starting on 1 April which will be airing 18:30 and there is also more TV in the pipeline.
The food industry is known for being somewhat of a male dominated industry, what advice would you give women who want to break into the profession?
Work and think…like a man.
You look absolutely amazing and SyleNest are desperate to know your flawless skin beauty secrets?
Thank you, I guess its genes but also never having smoked and drunk alcohol and also helps – plus lots of sleep.
What is your inspiration? And who inspires you?
I am inspired by people with energy and vision. I also love people who have preserved their integrity despite having made it to the top.
Do you have a motto in life?
Work hard, never look around you and others.