Katie Mahady Maldon, or perhaps better known as Katie from KatieCooks, is a passionate home cook whose mouth-watering recipes never fail to deliver. From Mint Chimicurri, Jerk Pineapple Rice to Bubble n’ Squeak Waffles, each of her dishes is creative, scrumptious and full of soul. Katie was a quarter finalist on BBC1 Best Home Cook 2020 and these days has quit her day job to follow her love of cooking full time.
If you could give home cooks one piece of cooking advice what would it be?
There is no such thing as a mistake in home cooking, get creative, add some twists and trust your instincts. If it all goes wrong then just pretend that’s what was supposed to happen!! It worked for me on BBC1 Best Home Cook competition!
What meal do you most enjoy the process of cooking?
I love cooking anything that involves chopping or dicing, like a nice chilli or spaghetti Bolognese. I find the preparation part of cooking very therapeutic. The reason I began cooking was because I was suffering with anxiety, constantly worrying about anything and everything, and I found that cooking a meal from scratch really took my mind off my worries… it allows you to switch off even if just for a few hours, baking is also a great example of this because you have to concentrate. Cooking really is good for the soul.
Do you think that British home-culinary culture might change after lockdown? If so, in what way?
Yes absolutely, I think that a lot of peoplethat have been stuck at home have reignited their interest in cooking.People have really been thinking about nostalgic dishes.They have been recreating meals that remind them of loved ones and family gatherings that we have missed so much while being isolated.Things like roast dinners, and desserts that remind them of happier times. I think we will see a lot more home bakers and young children interested in cooking and ingredients.
What’s been your go-to comfort food during quarantine?
The main thing I’ve been craving during lockdown are takeaways… the ones that are more difficult to recreate in a home kitchen, but I have come up with a few recipes that are pretty close to the real deal. My favourite was homemade KFC, or as I like to call it ‘KATIE FRIED CHICKEN’ it really went down a storm with my husband, and when I released the recipe on my website katiecooks.co.uk it proved just as popular with people stuck at home craving the real KFC .
Where will you have your first meal out once it is safe for restaurants to re-open?
As much as I’ve loved creating new meals at home during lock down, I miss eating out, the social buzz and most importantly not having to do the dishes, so the first place I’m looking forward to eating will definitely be somewhere local, its important to me to support local businesses that have struggled during these tough times,we live in a lovely village with a pub just a few houses down the road called The Hurdlemakers Arms, they sell wonderful home cooked meals, so I will definitely be looking forward to one of there delicious home cook pies with a big heap of mash on the side.
How do you approach sustainability?
Buy local and buy seasonal. I’ve recently started to become more aware of food miles, (how far an ingredient has had to travel to get to my fridge), so buying local is a big must for me so I always check the packaging and where I can buy from the uk, if however I do need an ingredient from overseas I always make sure its fair trade. Also by buying what is in season you know that its very fresh and will be super tasty!! And always keep a well organised fridge/food cupboard that way you know what you have to use up and can plans meals around that, there’s nothing worse then going shopping and buying something then finding another one at the back of your fridge or cupboard.