16 May 2022

Vanessa Bolosier on flambe bananas, her need for Colombo powder, and still not being able to to do poached eggs

Vanessa Bolosier on flambe bananas, her need for Colombo powder, and still not being able to to do poached eggs

Food writer and cookbook author Vanessa Bolosier grew up on French Caribbean islands Guadeloupe and Martinique, and her cookbook Sunshine Kitchen aims to bring regional Caribbean cuisine to a wider audience – and rightly so.

We find out more about her life in food…

Your death row meal is… So hard. I think I want boudin – it’s in the book. It’s a very, very rustic dish that my mum makes me actually, that one is a mum one. Basically, offal and green plantains and I would want that. So I would have that. I would have Mont Blanc cake too – coconut cake.

You still can’t cook… Poached eggs. It’s so hard. It’s hit and miss. Like, one out of two.

Your favourite store cupboard essential has to be… Colombo powder – even if I don’t use it, it has to be there.

The kitchen utensil you can’t live without is… A blender.

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Your favourite late-night snack of choice is… Oh, it’s so not Caribbean. It’s dark chocolate with crunchy peanut butter – but it has to be ManiLife peanut butter.

The signature dish you’re known for is… Flambe bananas, the dessert.

How do you like your eggs? Very well cooked, I do not like runny eggs. Which is why I can’t make poached eggs.

Your favourite childhood dinner was… The last Father’s Day that I was there [in Guadeloupe and Martinique]. It was the best. We used to do all sorts of really cool stuff. We would read poetry. And I remember my mum made a huge Nutella cake. That was a-mazing. She did the praline herself. She’s so good with desserts. It was beautiful.

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Last night you ate… Prawn gyoza. Made them myself, too.

Your take out of choice has to be… Nigerian food, suya. It’s grilled meats, super, super spicy grilled meat. And I generally have that with jollof fries and fried plantain.

What’s your ultimate hangover cure? A burger, a very greasy burger with cheesy or loaded fries.

And you don’t like… So I eat everything. That’s my problem, it’s why I’ve got a big bum, haha. Chicken, maybe. I guess it’s not that I don’t like chicken. I just feel chicken is boring. I will make chicken, my husband loves chicken, so I’ll cook it at home. And figs. I will have a fig snack with peanut butter. But fig as a fruit, I just don’t like the texture of the skin.

Sunshine Kitchen: Delicious Creole Recipes From The Heart Of The Caribbean by Vanessa Bolosier is published by Pavilion Books, priced £12.99. Photography by Clare Winfield. Available now.

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