In our regular Q&A, Shopping with a Foodie, Celebrity Chef Gizzi Erskine browses the shelves and picks her must-have items....

 

SRIRACHA

My family call me the condiment queen because I want every sauce! If you open my fridge, it’s full of jars. Sriracha chilli sauce is my favourite – I put it on everything.

 

CHEESE
I’m a massive cheese fan. One of my favourite things to cook is a whole feta wrapped in vine leaves, with loads of chilli, lemon and herbs. You open up the leaves and it’s infused with all the gorgeous flavours.

PEA AUBERGINES

These are like peas but with the seeds of aubergines. Pop them in a Thai green curry, and they just burst in your mouth – really delicious.

SALT
I’m the biggest salt fiend. It’s a toss-up between Cornish and Maldon sea salt, but I tend to go for Maldon because I live closer to Essex!

INSTANT NOODLES
A naughty secret of mine. Perfect if I can’t be bothered to cook. They’re full of MSG and not great for you, but I adore them.

GOCHUJANG

I’m mad about Korean food: I once worked in New York and spent time in Koreatown – a bit seedy, but very rock and roll! This is a rich, earthy chilli paste, which is basically in every Korean dish. It’s great on chicken wings.

 

FRESH STOCK

I make my own stock, but if you don’t have time, you can buy really good ready-made stock in the chilled section. Unlike stock cubes this contains gelatine, so when you reduce it to make a sauce, it becomes really sticky and lovely. I promise this will transform your gravy!

BLACK RICE
This is lovely cooked with coconut milk and brown sugar and vanilla. Finish it with some coconut cream and it makes the most amazing rice pudding ever!

KIKKOMAN SOY SAUCE

I grew up in Thailand and Bangkok, so I’ve cooked Asian food since I was about 13. Soy sauce is a must, but I prefer Japanese to Chinese. It’s light and salty, whereas Chinese ones can be syrupy and overbearing.

ANCHOVIES

I’d kill for anchovies. If I’m in a hurry, a staple dinner is loads of chilli, garlic and anchovies fried down, then whizzed with kale and cavolo nero to make a sort of pesto, which I toss through pasta.

YORKSHIRE TEA
I love tea more than life – I drink about five of cups of this every day.

PASTA
The whole carb-free thing has never worked for me! After a roast, my favourite food is pasta. A good tip is to buy pasta that looks matte – if it is very shiny, it has been heavily processed and isn’t good quality.

 

About the author

Leah Hyslop
Leah is our lovely food director. You'll most likely find her scoffing cake in our test kitchen...