Felicity, thanks for your time today. I have loved following your trip from San Francisco to L.A. a few months ago. What were your memorable food experiences?
I went on the trip primarily to visit Fiona Bakery, the new restaurant by the amazing baker and pastry chef Nicole Rucker, who I’ve been so fortunate to get to know… and it lived up to every expectation! Her pies, her sesame butter brioche, her strawberry bostock and sourdough toasts… it was all wonderful! I also met up with another amazing pastry chef friend, Dominique Ansel – as well as some stunning pastries at his bakery there, we had dinner with his fiancé and business manager at Felix Trattoria in Venice which was incredible too. Other highlights – visiting every branch of Tartine Manufactory… Gjelina and Gjusta of course, dinner at the wonderful Republique, and in SF and the Bay Area – my favourite scones at The Cheese Board, lunch at Dyafa with Nik Sharma, the fab strudel at the 20th Century Cafe, the banana chocolate almond croissant at b patisserie, rugelach from Wise Sons and a wonderful dinner at the one Michelin star Octavia.
What was your typical breakfast like while out there?
Well – with so many world class bakeries – amazing sourdough, wonderful scones, and the best Californian fruit from the farmers market. I have cream cheese and apricot jam on EVERYTHING.
It’s like my thing.
And the best breakfast you’ve had in London?
Impossible to choose just one. I love the sabich at The Good Egg. The bostock at Dominique Ansel. The chocolate almond croissant at Jolene. The almond croissant at Pophams. The tahini babka at Margot bakery. The cheese scones with egg and smoked salmon at Henrietta Inman at Yardarm. The pancakes at Sunday Barnsbury. The Guinness soda bread with salmon and creme fraiche at The Dairy. The burnt honey cake at Darby’s. I’d be quite full after that lot!
If you have guests staying, what could they expect to have for breakfast at your house?
I have many house guests. There is a proper barista coffee machine and excellent coffee beans. It kind of begins and ends there.
Do you have a favourite cookbook? One that always keeps giving?
So many! The Honey and Co baking book. The Violet Bakery book. Everything Nigel Slater has ever written. Ottolenghi’s Simple and his latest baking book, Sweet. Lots of Diana Henry, Nigella, Jamie Oliver as they always work. And books by friends like Georgina Hayden, Henrietta Inman, Rosie Birkett, Ed Smith, Anna Jones… luckily I love cookbooks!
Felicity Spector summed up in 3 words.
Tahini all day.
You have been a judge for the Great Taste Awards, and have met many chefs and producers. How has this experience influenced your interest in food and food writing?
It’s meant I have made a lot of friends… and gained so much insight and knowledge into all the hard work and innovation out there, what actually goes into getting the food we eat onto our plates – the amazing commitment to the environment and sustainability and zero waste and respect for produce.
What are you most excited right now in the London food scene?
The wonderful bakery scene! So exciting – milling their own flour, sourcing British sustainable grains, making sourdough pastry and breads with so much flavour and imagination and creativity – so much hard work! But what results!
A question that we love: what is your favourite 5 minute meal?
A giant rosemary focaccia sandwich stuffed with either egg mayo or Brie and some kind of herb pesto and maybe thinly sliced grilled courgette if that was lying around.
What are your plans for the near future?
Keep living this amazing food life I seem to have been so fortunate to have fallen into – I am so constantly grateful for every friend I meet and opportunity, I never say no (maybe sometimes I should!) but I’m living for today!