An interview with Lesley Waters

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The Anolon Academy is proud to present the esteemed Lesley Waters. Lesley is best known for her chef role, alongside Ainsley Harriott, on Ready Steady Cook. She now appears as a regular chef on This Morning, and is also the head judge for the Teflon Diamond Standard Awards, a prestigious competition which is held at the Waitrose Cookery School. Drawing contenders from all over the country, the Teflon Diamond Standard Awards is open to both keen home cooks and aspiring young chefs.

Based in Dorset, the Chef now runs a highly successful cookery school in the middle of the beautiful and scenic Dorset countryside. Lesley has always been a big supporter of the Anolon brand, and her cookery school is well equipped with the full Anolon range.

At the BBC Good Food Show at the Birmingham NEC last year, she cooked a variety of dishes such as her signature soufflé omelette with Stilton which can be found on the Anolon Academy, in live cooking demonstrations.

We caught up with Lesley to find out what inspires her and what makes her such a brilliant and renowned chef:

What inspires you to cook?

I am lucky to be surrounded by amazing seasonal ingredients and living in Dorset we have so many fabulous local producers. I love to travel to other countries and see what other chefs are doing and I then put my own stamp on it. But most of all I love to cook for my family and friends.

What is the best piece of advice you would give a home enthusiast?

Don’t get caught up in trying to make over complicated food. The best meals I have had are those where the chef has kept it seasonal, simple and stylish.

When did you know that you wanted to be a Chef?

I was introduced to the chef world and great food from a very young age. My uncle’s partner was a great chef and worked in all the famous hotels in the 60’s and he inspired me to be interested in cooking. When I was 12 years old, I remember being taken to my uncle’s pastry shop in Kent and learning to make a Black Forrest gateau and profiteroles and I just wanted to know more.

What piece of kitchen equipment can you not live without?

Good pans and good knives; and that’s about it!

What is the most difficult dish you have prepared?

That was a lobster soufflé which came out perfectly but then the guests didn’t sit down on time and it collapsed! Very frustrating for a chef!

What is your favourite dish?

How long have you got! I have so many dishes that I love. I don’t think I am alone in this but it is probably a really good roast dinner. Either beef or chicken but it has to have all of the trimmings. It may be that it has some many great associations with family getting together and sitting round the table!

The Anolon Academy is thrilled to have such a wonderful chef share her culinary expertise and knowledge in a range of online cookery masterclasses, specifically designed for the home chef enthusiast wishing to take their culinary skills to the next level.