Victorinox Chef’s Knives

I find these indispensable in the kitchen and use them every day. I first came across these knives when I worked at the River Cafe in London, the head chef had one knife only, a small chopping knife in this range. They come in a large range for different purposes in a variety of sizes and an array of lovely bright colours. And the good news is they won’t break the bank!

Linwoods Milled Organic Flaxseeds

Flaxseeds are loaded with nutrients and are a particularly good source of Omega 3, an essential fatty acid. I sprinkle these on porridge, bircher museli and add a spoonful to a smoothie on days when I need an energy boost or am going to a spin class and don’t want to eat lunch beforehand. For the smoothie I use KoKo coconut milk or Rude Health Almond milk, one glass plus one banana, a handful of fresh raspberries or blueberries – ideally only when they are in season – and a spoonful of protein powder along with the flaxseed. Whizz together and enjoy!

River Cafe Cook Books

I have and love all of the River Cafe cook books and it was seeing their first book over twenty years ago that made me want to go and work there. Jamie Oliver was working here when he was ‘discovered’ and was still there when I fist went. The books are not particularly practical for home cooking but are an inspiration. When I worked there we did use the books all the time as guides for the recipes which are truly wonderful. Luckily for me my good friend Sian is one of the head chefs for many years now and I still go there when I can.

Hederman’s Wild Smoked Salmon

Wild Irish salmon is a rare treat these days. I first heard of Frank Hederman when I went to Ballymaloe Cookery School in East Cork. He is based in Co.Cork and can be found there in numerous markets including the wonderful English Market in Cork city centre. Hederman smoked salmon is smoked in an authentic timber smokehouse, one of only a handful worldwide. I hope to be serving this as a starter on Christmas day, very simply with a drizzle of really good olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Natural Umber

Apple Cider vinegar with the mother ( the beneficial bacteria ) is renowned for it’s myriad health giving benefits. Natural Umber is made by Mackle Apples, my uncle Micheal’s company which based in Co. Armagh and has been in the apple business for over 50 years. I’m not biased, it is by far the best one I have ever tried. It is naturally fresh and sweet tasting and I add it to a glass of water at any and all times of the day. Apparently French women swear by apple cider vinegar for keeping one’s stomach flat.. I’m all for that!