Like father like daughter – this culinary star is taking over the kitchen and primetime TV! Tilly Ramsay spills the beans…
How old were you when you started cooking and who got you into the kitchen?
I started cooking when my Dad was filming in the kitchen when I was around five or six. He used to ask me to help and then I wanted to do my own food that was fun to make and that I enjoyed eating. My brother and sisters would eat it too and they preferred it to Dad’s! Since then I have just enjoyed making food for them and for friends.
Did school play a role in helping to shape your career?
I did home economics at school and I enjoyed it – they did not offer it as an option for GCSE’s so it did not really take me any further.
Do you think all schools should teach cookery?
Yes! For children to understand that it does not always have to be complicated and that it is cheaper and healthier to prepare food yourself rather than fast food or takeaways – my friends and I love to have dinners where we pair up and each pair cooks a course – it’s social and it’s competitive and we all love that!
How did you combine filming while doing your GCSE’s?
We always do our filming in the school holidays – some episodes are filmed in the Easter holidays in London, others in the summer in Cornwall and Los Angeles. It is sometimes tricky and I have to be careful to make sure I keep up with coursework and revision.
Are you taking A Levels or are you at school in America?
Yes! I am doing A Levels in England – I am studying Biology, Psychology and Physical Education. We did look at schools in America but it is so different and difficult to change to their syllabus when you are already so far along with GCSE’s and A Levels.
Do you find cooking in England and the USA very different?
I love cooking in both countries, the only real difference are the ingredients – I find in LA I get more fish and fruit and tend to cook outside on the barbecue with salads as side dishes.
How did Matilda and the Ramsay Bunch come about?
It started from seeing the fun we had in the kitchen whilst cooking. We then thought we’d cook around set themes and I would cook something for everyone to enjoy after a challenge! It is so fun to film.
Favourite part of filming?
We get to do such great things – I loved zip lining, banger car racing and always seeing the others enjoy the food. Although they do also criticise too…
Funniest TV moment?
Has to be either drawing on Dad’s face with a Sharpie when he was sleeping or the time we went on James Corden’s The Late Late show and Dad set off the fire alarms when he cooked bacon on the stove.
Do you have a favourite recipe?
My Rainbow Cake!
How do you come up with your recipe ideas?
From watching others cook, eating out and looking in books. I try recipes and make them personal by taking out bits and changing to my favourite foods and experimenting. You can never go wrong, having confidence is also very important.
What should everyone be able to cook?
A good breakfast! Especially scrambled eggs (everyone does it differently) they certainly do in our house!
What advice would you give to all aspiring young chefs?
Have confidence and listen to your critics.
“…my friends and I love to have dinners where we pair up and each pair cooks a course – it’s social and it’s competitive and we all love that!”
What have you learnt from Mum and Dad?
Food is fun and social and eating is the very best family time.
How do you relax?
I love to go running and to also spend time with my friends.
Plans for another cookbook or TV series?
I would love to do more but right now I have to focus on my A Levels for next summer.
Where do you see yourself in 20 years’ time?
Wow, that is ages away, hopefully cooking and still having fun!
Tilly’s Kitchen Takeover by Tilly Ramsay is published by Hodder & Stoughton
(Photography by Jemma Watts 2016 Copyright Hodder and Stoughton)