Thursday, 2 May 2013

A Night of Food Chat With Gizzi Erskine at the WI

Gizzi Erskine Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts
Last night I attended my first ever meeting of the Women's Institute to hear the delectable Gizzi Erskine talk about her new book, Skinny Weeks and Weekend Feasts.  Having trained at Leith's School of Food and Wine Gizzi certainly knows a thing or two about food but for me the thing that's most engaging about her is her obvious enthusiasm for creating dishes that she really wants to eat.  With an eye on nutrition, balance and a refreshing refusal to view carbs as the devil's food, Gizzi's approach is all about flavour and pleasurable food.

Gizzi has travelled extensively and influences from the Far East in particular are peppered throughout her recipes.  This is definitely my sort of food and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her talk about her experiences of Thai, Malaysian and Korean cuisines.  I have made the Lamb and Butternut Squash Tagine from Channel 4's Cook Yourself Thin several times, a show which Gizzi presented and threw her firmly in the spotlight.  Now I'm looking forward to trying more of her recipes and finding things that taste far more sinful than they are.

We all know that old fashioned perceptions of the WI just don't apply any more but I had no idea what to expect from my first (yet inevitable!) foray into the world of the Women's Institute.  I was invited to this meeting of the Dalston Darlings by a friend whose friend is a member as she was going along and knew that I'd be up for anything food related.  I hoped there would be cake.

There wasn't cake but it was still a lot of fun.  The group are all really friendly and delighted to see any potential new members.  There is a good mix of ages with the majority of attendees being in their 20s and 30s.  The atmosphere was inclusive, open and I expect I'll return so thank you ladies!

I'm looking forward to the bank holiday weekend and hope to do some baking.  There is a very rough plan in my head involving something apple related but it could easily change twenty times before I actually make a final decision.  Whatever it ends up being, I hope it turns out tasty.

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