13 Questions With Elly Curshen AKA @EllyPear

Elly is a completely self-taught recipe writer, columnist, teacher and now isolation kitchen advisor! Find out why she's our favourite person to follow for quarantine food!

How long have you been cooking and how did you start?

I’ve been cooking professionally for the last 14 years. I’m entirely self-taught.

Describe your cooking in 3 words!

Inventive, meat-free, modern

What are some really underrated ingredients?

Lentils, beans and pulses – you can do SO much with them!

What do you create most of, and what is your favourite thing to make?

I am mostly Team Savoury – simple weeknight cooking is my bag

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

My second book going to number 1 on the WHOLE of Amazon after an appearance on Sunday Brunch on Channel 4!

Tell us about some of the books you’ve written.

I’ve written three books, Fast Days & Feast Days (2016), Let’s Eat! (2017) and Green (2019). The first two are pescatarian and Green is all veggie/vegan. They are all inspired by world cuisine but with a constant eye on the local greengrocers too!

You’ve been such a good follow for self-isolation cooking content! Have you got 3 good tips?

Do a stocktake. Look at what you already have in your fridge/freezer/cupboards. Don’t panic buy and grab things off the shelf you don’t need. There’s enough food for all of us if we shop sensibly. Next, make a meal plan so you know what is allocated for when. Lastly, be open to having to make amendments and substitutions.

What is your advice for someone panicking about cooking during self-isolation?

Please try not to panic. If you’re reading this then you have internet access and that means access to more help and advice than you can imagine. This is a very challenging time but so much positive is coming out of it. We will all come out the other side better cooks, that’s for sure!

Can you tell us three great things that will always make a good meal if we can get them in the supermarkets?

Eggs, pouches of lentils, bread flour (now could be your time to learn to make sourdough from scratch! All you need to start making a sourdough starter is flour and water!)

What is the benefit to meal prepping?

Reduced waste, reduced stress and you can look at the week as a whole and keep an eye on your nutrition and try to ensure you’re eating as balanced a diet as possible.

What do you usually always have a good stock of? 

Oils and vinegars. I have a LOT of both!

If you could only eat one meal again what would it be? 

That’s a hard one! I could happily eat dhal for every meal though!

If you could give one positive message to our followers what would it be?

This is a time to grow and learn. We all need to support each other as much as we can. Try to relax and take joy in small things. If that’s watching YouTube videos and teaching yourself to chop an onion properly or learn how to make sourdough from an expert via Instagram or watching my Stories (@ellypear on Instagram) for daily help and advice, there’s so much to take pleasure in doing while we are all staying home.