An interesting article on Tana Ramsay:Tana Ramsay, Wife Of Noted Chef Gordon, Has A Cooking Style All Her Own
Tana Ramsay couldn't be more different from her husband, world famous chef Gordon Ramsay.
For one thing, unlike the notoriously foul-mouthed Hell's Kitchen host, Tana doesn't drop a single curse word in her interview with CityNews.ca. For another, though she's a published cook in her own right she freely admits it takes her forever to chop an onion.
That's why the recipes found in Ms. Ramsay's third cookbook, Home Made, are relatively simple, targeted at families who have to get food on the table with little time to spare.
"I've never been trained as a chef. I take forever to chop an onion or a carrot compared to (Gordon) but it's my way of real family food," Ramsay outlines in a sit-down chat at the Park Hyatt in Toronto. "Our dishes are completely different, and it's the home cooking he wants when he's at home."
And when the Ramsays are at home with their four children, 11-year-old Megan, 9-year-old twins Jack and Holly, and 7-year-old Matilda, it's Tana who does most of the cooking. She explains that while feeding the family healthy meals seven days a week is challenging, a little planning makes a world of difference.
"Buy your fruit and veg totally unprepared, that's the cheapest way to cook for your family," Ramsay notes. "Planning ahead, not wasting any food, and turning dishes around so your leftovers become part of your next day meal."
With Gordon away shooting his television shows, among them Kitchen Nightmares and The F Word, the kids are now helping out more in the kitchen, something Tana feels is important.
"Megan's begun to take on some of the responsibility of helping prepare the evening meal. Not so much with baking at my elbow, as kids like to bake cookies and that, but more actually helping and beginning to take more of an interest in preparing a simple meal," she says. "Which is great, because then I can pass on some of the responsibilities to her which I think is important at that age to learn, so that when she leaves home in, gosh, probably not so many years, that she has a really good basic knowledge of how to cook for herself on a budget and healthily."
Healthy comfort food is at the heart of Home Made, with recipes such as Rosemary-Infused Monkfish, Cinnamon Beef Stew, and Sweet Potato And Carrot Soup With Thyme Chili Oil. For Ramsay the decision to take up cooking was one of necessity when she and Gordon started a family - she wanted to ensure her kids were eating nutritiously, a lesson learned from when she was a child.
"I remember going home and having a home-cooked meal on the table - just the comfort that gave me as a child and the security it makes you feel. That's what I want to do for my family," Ramsay explains.
The Ramsay kids all have their favourite dishes - Tilly likes soup, Megan's into Thai food, Holly devours salmon and prawns, and Jack likes it all - so it's inevitable they're not all going to agree on what's on the menu any given day. But the busy mother-of-four says she's firm with them if they're picky, and advises parents of choosy eaters not to give up.
"They all go through a stage when they're really quite picky. You've really got to stand quite strong," she says. "My kids were very close together so I didn't have time to fuss around, and if they didn't want it, didn't like it, well there was nothing else. I knew they'd end up eating it and then they don't bother to be fussy again. But I think every child goes through a stage where mealtime can be a bit of a battlefield. You've got to persevere. "
One of the popular meals in the Ramsay household is Bobotie, included in Home Made (find the recipe below). It's a South African dish Tana's brother-in-law Jonty introduced her to.
"It's actually a very simple quick dish. It's lamb mince, slightly curried, and it's got flaked almonds, apricots, sultanas, mango chutney in there," she outlines. "It's almost like a really light shepherd's pie because the top is egg and milk and it sets like a custard. It's really light and so delicious."
Along with promoting her new book, Tana's getting ready for Christmas with the family, which she says will be a modest affair this year.
"Just the six of us, we tend to scale it right back now because all of our siblings have their own kids and it's just really nice to enjoy Christmas with our own kids and actually get a chance to realize it's Christmas Day instead of entertaining all the time," she explains. "Low key, lots of fun, lots of food, lots of drink, a beautiful Christmas tree, and lots of Christmas carols, I'm obsessed with Christmas carols. I play them all day on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day."
Home Made is now available in book stores and online.Link: http://www.citynews.ca/news/news_29369.aspx