The guy with the big red clock asks: “Are you a good cook?”
We find out Damian Lewis is a good cook.
It turns out that Damian started to cook after he had kids. In an interview with the Evening Standard, he says: “I only really started cooking when I became a dad. Helen was flat out breastfeeding and sleeping, exhausted all the time. I realized that if I didn’t cook, we wouldn’t eat. Now I love to cook Gary Rhodes‘ fishcakes with a lemon butter sauce and green beans. I’m no food connoisseur, though; foodies have palates that can speak hundreds of different languages — mine can only manage about one.”
Haha, mine can only manage about one, too! BUT… I have one of those food connoisseurs at home who can distinguish every single flavor in a dish… which is certainly a gift. But it could also be annoying at times, in particular when he asks if you could taste the dried apricot or sunflower seeds in a dish and you just cannot how hard you try 🙂
Anyway, in case you are inspired to cook Gary Rhodes’ dishes, his “keeping it simple” is available on Amazon.
In a recent interview with The Times, we have found out Damian is not just a good cook, but also, in his own words, “an enthusiastic cook.” Not just that but he recently had some some eight-legged FUN in the kitchen! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Damian Lewis cooked an entire octopus! And, all due respect to professionals, I would call this interview “Damian Lewis on crowns, codpieces, Wolf Hall and cooking Octopus!”
Here is an extract from the interview:
“I cooked an entire octopus for my kids on Sunday. It was so gratifying. I’ll show you …” He produces his iPhone, locates a picture of a huge octopus, lying in a pan. Wow. [Ah, I really wish that octopus pic made it to the article!]
“Because we’ve got the posh new fishmonger [in London’s Tufnell Park, where Lewis lives – and I almost live], haven’t we? And because my children are such awful north London children, and we’ve taken them to Carluccio’s once too often, they like octopus and squid and all that. So I went to the fishmonger, said, ‘I want some octopus,’ not knowing that he’d just throw an entire octopus into a plastic bag. It’s very heavy, floppy, stringy. From top to bottom, like this.”
Lewis measures out a distance of about a foot and a half between his hands.
“With tentacles! Head, two little black eyes, still there, the body, and then its tentacles falling down off here. I said, ‘That looks enormous.’ They said, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll lose about 40 per cent, because a lot of that’s water.’ So you simmer it for an hour. Really soften it up. Then you stick it in the pan with butter and paprika, and some salt and pepper, and it’s lovely! Fantastic! And you chop it all up. I nearly cocked it up, by showing my daughter, who doesn’t allow moths to be killed. I showed her the octopus the night before, long and stringy and huge, and she went, ‘Oh!’ And then she totally forgot about it, and ate it.”
Are you a good cook? “I’m an enthusiastic cook. And I have children who … Look, (a) I should stress they don’t come home crying for octopus; (b) even if they did, they wouldn’t get it, because it’s too expensive. But very early on, because we didn’t want to cook mush all the time, we thought it was quite funny, taking our children to nice restaurants that we went to. My kids have tried everything: octopus, snails … Half of it, they’ll hate. Half of it, they won’t get again because we won’t pay for it. And then, calamari is kind of everywhere now. It’s fish fritters. Isn’t it?”
A few days after the interview was published in the The Times, we found out, thanks to Kentishtowner, that the “posh” fishmonger in Tufnell Park is Jonathan Norris at 140 Fortess Road — in case you happen to be in London, and want to cook an entire octopus! As an octopus lover household, we are inspired to cook octopus and I promise to report back here 🙂
And, not because Damian is doing it, but… please support and stay LOCAL!