5 Minutes With Best-Selling Author And Cook Melissa Hemsley
Melissa Hemsley is a chef, best selling cookbook author and sustainability champion. After trying some of her fuss-free flexitarian recipes, we were eager to ask her about her favourite meals, restaurant recommendations and the women she looks up to.
When did you first become interested in sustainability and reducing food waste?
My parents always encouraged my sister and I not to be wasteful growing up. Then my interest grew more whilst working on my cooking books and I started to focus on low-waste recipes – not just for sustainable reasons but to get more for your money.
What’s always in your fridge?
Leftovers of some kind, butter and greens. Actually I challenge people to think about what to put in the freezer more than the fridge – that’s an important habit to get into to make ingredients last longer.
Your favourite meal of the day?
Any meal! I’ll eat anything at any time – I really like a brinner.
Two outside of London are The Ethicurean which is just outside of Bristol and River Cottage where I’m cooking soon for Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall. In London 26 Stoney Street, which is run by two women, as well as Skye Gyngell’s Spring at Somerset House – which is completely free from single-use plastic and she’s sharing her sustainable knowledge with other restaurants.
The women who inspire you?
Chrissie Rucker, who is the founder of The White Company. Not only is she incredible in business, but she also dedicates so much of her time to Women Supporting Women which is part of The Prince’s Trust. She invited me to get involved and I’m so grateful for that. Also, Grace Graham, who set up WorkSpa, goes into offices and offers massages and meditation to busy, stressed-out people in their workplace. Finally, Anita Rani. She is so inspirational at challenging businesses and supermarkets to cut back on plastic.
Advice you’d give to women considering a career change or starting their own business?
Get brave with networking. I recently spoke at an event organised by Step Up Club, where I learnt to think of networking as conversations with a purpose. Be confident in approaching people and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Think about skill swapping too.
Favourite European city for food?
London – we could all staycation a little bit more. My dream for 2020 is to eat at as many delicious places around the UK, we are very lucky to eat incredible diverse food here.