Darina Allens food philosophy


We start today spoke with Irish chef author and broadcaster Darin Allen who has for over three decades being tempting curious food folk would be shifts from around the world to East Cork. That's where she runs the world famous. Bali mellow cookery school. After twenty or so cookbooks and countless Seles. TV shows Allen has become the face and the voice of a coronary revolution in Ireland. And now she has released yet another cookbook call to one. report feeds or Marcus. Joyce finished meant during Allen to talk about the book but before that they discussed dreariness food philosophy and into why rice cooking and farming practices. Really do matter. Not Enough has changed in that direction because really the message not even subliminal message nowadays is is that the skills that are really important are the academic skills and that the practical skills are of much less importance and this is a big mistake. My goodness sweep Latin now. Two generations at least out of our houses and our schools without equipping them with the basic life skills to feed themselves properly or feeding right into the hands of the multinational food companies. We've handed over complete control over the most important thing in our lives really are food to the supermarkets and it's not their responsibility. Our health is not their responsibility so basically I feel really failing in our duty of care to our children and the next generation by not equipping helping them with the basic practical skills to make a little meal for themselves own. I could really do was actually scrambled eggs or whatever you know With a basic skill. I've had a really interesting life. I now have what I absolutely love. It's actually a privilege to be able to pass on cooking. King skills to the next generation could be teaching algebra geometry or something and of course it's hugely important but you can't flip and Matt's Book and the Look on somebody's face when you teach them how to make a loaf of bread or a super it actually touches their lives at something they're going to use every day so I feel fortunate that I've found something that I totally love doing and feel like jumping out of bed still every day at seventy one years of age. Don't jump on quite desert fossil. Awesome US two years ago but still if we flash forward I mean people wouldn't have to look far to see the success. All of the amazing graduates have come through the school. All of the things that you've you've taught them not to mention as you said your TV shows your books sold in the hundreds of thousands of copies. But I had the good fortune two years ago. I believe to come to Bali demanded to a story for Monocle magazine. And you told me something curious. I'd like to ask you about the first recipe. Teach students is a recipe for soil. And in your clothes. It's actually the recipe. I give them as how to make compost scams where you're very very close. So basically the school operates a whole year round but we do three-month dream on certificate courses on the first day. The first one the first thing I do is I introduce them to the gardeners in the far manager. And maybe I'll have a bunch of carrots or something and I say to them. Look at these lovely carrots. It took I lean three months to grow these carrots three months and don't you dare boilers them. And you get them into the kitchen and then we go out into the fruit garden and Eileen will have a wheelbarrow full of soil there. Actually its humus in fact and they stand around me and a big semicircle in a wondering doing what's coming down the line the feeling a little awkward and I just run my hands to the soil and I say to them remember. This is where it all starts in the good earth in the soil and and looking at me and thinking. Oh my God do myself say. They've visited brochure. thinking some aged hippie on a mission or something but I have to shock them out of thinking that food is just something that comes wrapped in plastic offer supermarket shelf. I need them to think about how it's produced where it comes. I think about the feed for the animals. The breed the the variety such a such a toll. The better if I can find futile worms in this wheelbarrow full of soil. But then it's even more interesting for me. I think because wash is in that wheelbarrow has come from the compost heap and it's now at the final stages of compost which is called Humus when life comes back into it and actually has been made from the scraps from the morning's cooking that have gone onto the compost. It's broken down and in life has come back into it and that is what we feed the soil with. I mean if I come back another time I want to be a soil scientist. 'cause the so much going on because our health everything comes in the soil bill but then one of the many wonderful quote some lady eve how far and say to them remember the health of the soil. The health of the plant health at the animal and the health of the human are all one and indivisible so we're totally dependent on that four or five inches of soil around the world for our very existence. Farmers are really worried about the diminishing fragility of the soil. Because we've racked the soil by very intensive monoculture over the years and we can't go on with businesses usual. We simply have to go back and I mean as a farmer I feel a strong responsibility that whatever I grow you and we have we sell a little of our excess produce Mardell farm shop on the farm farmers markets and. I just feel strong responsibility that I can look somebody straight in the. I know that that food is going to nourish them rather than make them ill. which is what's happening with lots of food nowadays and during the you've been proved right over time I mean these are opinions slowly working their way into the mass media their opinions that people are slowly beginning to agree with? You have held this idea for a long time. How hard is it meant to convince people to even get to this point into the debate where people countenanced the health of the soil? There's a lot of chat about the fertility of the soil. Now because I think people really beginning and not just beginning but realized the connection connection between fertile soil and good health also. There's been enormous amount of work done on the link between the health of our gut bio and both are mental and physical health. And that's when you think of it. It's like so obvious at the school where very lucky we have a little dairy herds so we also have role milk for people if they want to drinker but we notice this is sort of anecdotal. Because I've watched this over thirty years the difference in people's energy level and they're scared and so on when they're with us for three months but now this is all scientifically proven and also the other interesting thing that's happening actually is for the last five six seven courses this is. We've had at least one doctor. Sometimes to an on this course of the moment we have three doctors on the twelve week certificate cooking course these doctors who come they all come for the same reason they tell me that basically they feel because medical training. There's no training in nutrition even still although a lot of the young doctors. There's a now demanding that they're given the proper information so they can answer their patients queries properly and so many of the patients presenting hunting with conditions. That can be at least hot. An often cured by a change of Diet for one of the problems is. Where'd you get this nutrient dense food? I mean a lot. The people don't have time to buy directly from farmers but there are other ways of excel tarnish of routes to market retell routes to market developing over here. You have formed drop and we we have neighbor food and onto you can buy on nine. And then the farmers get eighty percent of the price which is fantastic has so many farmers not being paid enough any longer to produce nourishing wholesome food which is a real problem. And that's as opposed to us was between twenty five and thirty percent of the retail price. If it's going through a supermarket so that's important portent and also I'm encouraging people to try to grow something themselves again and as you mentioned you're concerned about the quality of food that people have access has to and maybe also sometimes I guess the quality of food that people were reached for when they could reach for something else which are believed to be some of the inspiration behind rather fetching new book work in front of me number. Nineteen number nine teams needs another during having good but I I think this one says one feeds all one hundred it new recipes. Tell us about the inspiration for after you've done. Eighteen books hackles up. The ALITA writes her. Another one. Why it took me to write this book? Actually because it's been bubbling away in my subconscious for years. Because we've been I suppose is about five or six years. Now we've been doing a course called one wonders it's a bit of a cheesy name for recourse but it's almost full and of course one can see year after year that everybody's becoming more and more frenetically busy and sort of for an fact have dedicated this book to all the heroic young couples who are trying to keep all the balls in the air and that's for many people. The reality now is so dashing home from work in the UK. Okay here in Ireland to terrible traffic off the time dashing into the supermarkets picking up the kids in the crash trying to get a few ingredients and then coming home exhausted and and really wanting to be able to cook a big part of something or make something that you know will nourish the family and we'll be delicious and wholesome and good and comforting after that long day and it's just time it's almost impossible to keep all the balls in the air and so. I hope that this book will provide a little bit of the solution for so many of the busy people to the title says Israeli. Because it's one part feeds also one pass one low sinton baking tray or one trae Bake I. I hate that word trade bait but there's so many good things loved it desserts. You can do it as well so this book was written for that reason and it's getting a fantastic response. Actually I think it's really touching a nerve with a lot of people in so many people say that's exactly what I wanted. It's exactly what I've been waiting for so I. I'm quite proud of it in many ways because I kept putting the recipes and saying I think left without an they'd love that they'd love letter left out and actually does apart from of course fishing means on there's also lots of vegetarian -tarian dishes and lots of accidentally Vegan things to and during last question for you but number nineteen thirty six years of running the cookery school. What was the one talk tip that you've learned over that time? It can be a technique for boiling an egg could be owning a mandolin. Was the one bit of advice I can ask you. That you think is made life a little bit easier in otherwise hectic schedule. Oh my goodness I think. Sit Down after your days work. Sit Down and enjoy. Enjoy something at the kitchen table. Whether it's just a simple boiled egg little scrambled eggs or nomination it loss of wine but sit down and enjoy us and let the cares on the worries of the days. Slip away as you enjoy a little special moment at the kitchen table during their and her new book one pot feeds all all is out now

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