Jane Curran is the Editor of Feel Good Food Magazine and the Food Editor on Woman and Home. I’ve known Jane for about 10 years now. I can’t believe it’s that long but it’s true. She came to work at Woman and Home while I was on maternity leave with Beau. I was lucky enough to sit opposite her at the magazine’s offices and let me tell you as a baker sitting opposite the food editor is a GOOD thing! Apart from the fact that she would need dishes to be ‘taste tested’, she is a font of all knowledge and I used to grill her all the time! I was lucky enough to be able to interview Jane at this busy time of year.
How did you get into cooking and baking?
Because my Mum could burn water and was an atrocious cook! Then I went to France when I was ten and fell in love with great food.
Who inspires you most in the cooking arena and why?
Probably Simon Hopkinson whose accuracy, attention to detail and sheer brilliance as a (former) chef and writer makes me think I can achieve anything. He also rekindles my love of classic French food. But I also admire Yotam Ottolenghi for his fabulous flavour combinations.
What’s your favorite cook/ baking book?
There are many but I love Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries I and II. Great cook books are as much for me about the writing as they are about the food.
How did you come to be at Woman & Home / Feel Good Food ?
I had worked for the Editorial Director years before as her food editor, so when the vacancy came up she gave me a ring! We launched FGF together 6 years ago.
How long have you worked at FGF?
We launched it as a one-off magazine for Christmas 2006 and it did so well we just kept going! Now we produce six a year.
What does your job entail?
The whole package from recipe development, design concepts, photography, content and commissioning extra features such as table inspiration or gadgets. And being my own PR and marketing machine!
What’s the best part of your job?
Working as a small team to bring out the best and most beautiful magazine we can.
What’s the worst part of your job?
Anything which involves admin!
What recipe should we be making from the latest issue of FGF?
Make the cover recipe – it’s super simple, delicious and looks great – how food should be. (EmmaMT here- this recipe is will be in the very next post! Check it out)
Have you had any big baking disasters?
I did “lose” a rich and sticky chocolate cake which slid off its base to the floor on the way to the table. And failed 3 times to make a simple Victoria sponge in the test kitchen until I finally realised that a freelancer had put plain flour in the self-raising flour container…Oh and I tried to make macaroons on a boiling hot day – the humidity just made them collapse when they came out of the oven!
Will you be cooking this Christmas?
We are 12 this year and are round at my sister’s house – she has a huge table. I am doing the starter (gravadlax with home made rye soda bread), the cheese (actually that’s Harry, my husband’s job as he is the expert) and pudding (traditional Christmas pud plus a frozen chocolate and mocha parfait with salted praline). I am leaving the turkey to her!
Where’s your favorite place to go out to eat?
This does change on a regular basis but as a treat, it’s currently Trullo in Highbury which is the most fantastic Italian restaurant. We have never had a bad meal there, the staff and service are faultless – their food is what Italian food should be; the simplest but the best ingredients put together with care and love.
What kitchen gadget could you not live without and why?
I would have to say my Santoku knife – without a great knife I just can’t chop!
What’s your favorite dinner party meal and dessert?
Hard question for such a greedy person, but possibly spaghetti alla vongole for a starter or main and a classic lemon tart with raspberries and passion fruit cream.
What’s your guilty food pleasure?
Heinz tomato soup with loads of grated Cheddar in it – my poorly comfort food!
Are you a Tea or coffee drinker?
Both. I am a Nespresso addict in the morning then my addiction moves on to Twining’s Earl Grey tea after 11am.
Check out Jane’s White Chocolate cheesecake recipe in the next blog post. It’s perfect for Christmas as she says!