Friday, 14 August 2015

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: Rosemary Shrager

…is an English chef and television personality. She has appeared in numerous programmes including reality TV shows Ladette To Lady and I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here! She was also a judge on Soapstar Superchef. She lives in Wadhurst

What are you working on at the moment?
I’m concentrating on my cookery school and the apprenticeships we run. I’m also filming for ITV , doing lots of demonstrations at The Cake & Bake Shows and headlining at The Great Yorkshire Show. I’ve also signed a contract for a BBC series.

When are you at your happiest?
When I’m working – whether it’s teaching, demonstrating or performing. I also take part in pantomime every year, which I hugely enjoy.

What is your greatest fear?
I have a huge snake phobia – when I was on I’m A Celebrity it was my biggest fear. It comes from living in South Africa as a child. We used to live next to a snake field and they were everywhere!

What is your earliest memory?
Growing up in Buckinghamshire we had a kitchen garden, with chickens and vegetables. I remember picking soft fruit and digging new potatoes. We were a foodie family, so it was always second nature.

What do you most dislike about yourself?
I wish I were thinner! Although I’m quite lucky in that I have an hourglass figure, so I can wear classic clothes and dress according to my shape.

Who has been your greatest influence?
Pierre Koffmann and Michel Guérard. I was brought up on their books and ideas and I love their recipes and styles of cooking.

What is your most treasured possession?
A £2.50 paint scraper, which I’ve had for 40 years, but I recently lost it!

What trait do you deplore in others?
People being opinionated about others without knowing the real story behind things. We can all be judgemental but the one thing I’ve learnt is that before you judge someone, look at yourself first.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I nearly had my nose operated on as I think it’s too wide, but I cancelled on the day because I was too scared! However, if someone in the plastic surgery world got hold of me, I’d love to know what they would do.

What is your favourite book?
Mastering The Art Of French Cooking. I’ve got through three copies.

What is your favourite film?
Doctor Zhivago – with Omar Sharif.

Q A-Aug14-02-590

And your favourite piece of music?

I love Paul Simon – the Graceland album is fantastic. I also adore opera: La Traviata is fabulous. I love Mozart, too – I’m a big classical music fan.

What is your favourite meal?
California prune and cinnamon lamb shoulder. It’s delicious!

Who would you most like to come to dinner?
My children and grandchildren. I love having my family around me. They make me feel relaxed and happy.

What is the nastiest thing anyone has ever said to you?
Someone once told me that I walk like a duck – I actually agree with them!

Do you believe in aliens?
I’m not sure the aliens have made it to our world but one day, when I’m pushing up the daisies, they might just make it.

What is your secret vice?
Crunchy peanut butter.

Do you write thank-you notes?
Always.

What phrase do you most overuse?
‘My giddy aunt!’

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Having more time for my children and grandchildren but I’m not ready to retire, because I love what I do. They love having a celebrity as a grandma!

Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I love being alone.

What would you like your epitaph to read?
‘Always the eternal optimist. She loved life and never gave up’.

Rosemary Shrager is ambassador of California Prunes. For recipes: www.californiaprunes.co.uk


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