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Lorraine Pascale - Live webchat on Today 12 September at midday.

(102 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 10-Sep-12 17:22:49

Lorraine Pascale is joining us for a live webchat on Wednesday 12 September at midday until 1pm. Lorraine's latest book Fast, Fresh and Easy Food aims to help solve the dilemma of what to cook for the family after a busy day. Each main dish has an accompanying side dish and all recipes can be prepared in real time with no prepping or chopping work beforehand. We're delighted that Lorraine has agreed to share two of the recipes from the book with us; Sri-Lankan Chicken Curry and Lemon and poppy seed cake. Lorraine's series to accompany the book is currently running on BBC2 at 8.30pm on Mondays.

Lorraine became a model at 16 and was the first black British model to appear on the cover of American Elle. Keen to ensure a future career after modelling, she signed up for a diploma cookery course at Leighs School of Food and Wine. She's since graduated from Thames Valley University in Culinary Arts with a first class honours degree. Lorraine established herself as a specialist cake maker and has her own shop, Ella's Bakehouse in Covent Garden.

Having been adopted as a baby and lived for some time with foster parents, Lorraine is patron of TACT, the UK's largest fostering and adoption charity. She now lives with her daughter in London.

Join Lorraine for a chat on Wednesday at midday or post a question to her in advance here.

gazzalw Mon 10-Sep-12 18:49:10

Hi Lorraine, our DS (11) is transfixed by your recipes as are we ;-). We particularly liked the Crouching Tiger hidden Zebra in the first episode and were very disappointed it wasn't detailed in the recipes on the BBC website. So please, please, please could we have it.....

Also, we regard you as the Nigella of the 21st Century ;-)

As our question: where did you develop your love of cooking and at what stage in your career, and why, did you decide to pursue your culinary pursuits....? And also, congrats on your first from Thames Valley Uni....

TheLazyGirlBlog Mon 10-Sep-12 19:07:55

Hi Lorraine- didn't know you studied at TVU! (I live in Maidenhead)

I'd like to ask as a blogger with an alternative to the normal cooking sites and books (its for people who really cannot cook, I used to burn holes in pots and gave up until my Partner taught me in very basic terms!), how did you get yourself noticed to release your books and win your wonderful show?

ethelb Mon 10-Sep-12 19:55:29

You are obviously very entreprenurel as you set up a business from scratch. Do you have any tips fir other women wanting to do the same? Did you make any mistakes when you started?

ShatnersBassoon Mon 10-Sep-12 19:56:55

Hi Lorraine, thanks for some great recipes and a really enjoyable programme.

Just one question though: why don't you wear an apron when you cook? I wince when I see you in your uncovered white T-shirts stirring away with gay abandon grin.

Frontpaw Mon 10-Sep-12 20:06:25

I'd love to see more 'healthy' cooking on your show. I love the food you do, but find it a bit heavy on the salt and fats (except the sweets, which look gorgeous).

Why do you use so much salt? I never do (using Tuscan recipes where they don't use it), and find that my break keeps absolutely fine for up to a week in my breadbag. I find chefs say 'use salt or your food will be rotten' but don't find this to be the case.

DamnDeDoubtance Mon 10-Sep-12 20:31:35

Not a question, just to say, we eat your baked camembert with the baked garlic and your no knead bread on Sunday evenings.

Toast the bread and pour the garlicy butter, spread with a clove of squishy garlic then dip in the melted camembert, 'tis lovely.

Thank you.

PS. I have loads of cook books and your one is the one all messed up with the pages stuck together as I use it so much.

mrsvilliers Mon 10-Sep-12 21:17:57

Hello and congratulations on your new book, we've really been enjoying your programme!

I have always been a keen baker but now I have a fussy eater of a toddler I am trying my hand at low or no sugar baking. I have successfully used mashed banana and apple juice in one recipe but beyond that I am clueless. Internet searches tend to bring up sugar substitutes so I wanted to ask if there was anything particular you would recommend trying?

Thank you!

NettOlympicSuperstar Mon 10-Sep-12 21:21:35

Hi Lorraine.
What will you be cooking for Christmas dinner this year?

MmeLindor Mon 10-Sep-12 22:00:13

Hi Lorraine. Welcome to Mumsnet.

Did you always want to be a chef/baker and modelling was just a detour, or was modelling your dream?

And if MNHQ will let me squeeze a second question - after your experience as a model, would you advise your daughter against choosing modelling as a career?

msrisotto Tue 11-Sep-12 08:23:49

Hi Lorraine,

I love your desserts, they always look so impressive and easy to do. I also wonder how many white t shirts you must have on standby!

I too am interested in the modelling - cooking link. What do you think about modelling? Would you be happy if your daughter wanted to be a model?

blackcatsdancing Tue 11-Sep-12 09:09:13

Hi Lorraine,
really impressed with how you changed careers and have been so successful both as a model and as a cook and entrepreneur. I guess you must always have had a lot of self confidence to just go for it.
I'm a good baker but have always found Genoise cakes so hard to make. Is there anything you found very hard to master but finally succeeded at?

Dumbledoresgirl Tue 11-Sep-12 09:45:43

Hello Lorraine

I want to know how you stay so slim given all the goodies you bake. Obviously youth is on your side, but do you also have a strict exercise regime that allows you to eat all you want? <hopeful> grin

shrimponastick Tue 11-Sep-12 10:20:03

If you went out for a 3 course meal, but could only choose two courses - would you pick :

a) starter and main
b)main and dessert

Basically, do you prefer sweet or savoury?

TunipTheVegemal Tue 11-Sep-12 10:38:58

Hi Lorraine.

I am grateful for the very clear puff pastry instructions in your first series. I made it with great success after that (having previously failed) and it turned out to be way nicer than even the highest quality bought puff pastry. Thank you! Do you agree that more people should having a go at making their own puff because even though it is a bit of a faff, it is really really yummy? smile

My kids sneaked downstairs and watched the episode of this series with the tiger cake and the lemon jelly, and they were completely entranced! I think you should do a cooking show for older kids.

zen1 Tue 11-Sep-12 10:58:44

Hello Lorraine

I am rubbish / not interested in cooking (it's more of a chore for me!), but your programme actually makes me believe I could give it a go (you make it look so easy smile).

I just wondered if you actually get to eat the food you cook on the programme?

SingSingSing Tue 11-Sep-12 11:05:28

Could you do a vegan book please!?
And - how do you stay so slim?!

princesschick Tue 11-Sep-12 11:44:40

Hi Lorraine, I love your shows and your book. I've made some really lovely things from your Baking Made Easy book, so thanks for that smile ! I'm an avid baker and have been making cakes since I was really little, however, I've recently been placed on a restrictive diet to help with a hormone imbalance. I'm not supposed to have any refined sugar, white refined flours or dairy. We've made a couple of cakes using agave, einkorn flour and olive oil as the base with veg / fruit / nuts and cashew butter and coconut topping. Do you have any other hints or tips that you can pass on re ingredients or method? thanks xx

chipsandbeans Tue 11-Sep-12 11:50:27

Hi Lorraine, my daughter & I have loved the programmes and enjoy looking at the books and trying recipes together.

My question today is do you have a totally fail safe meal that you can always cook either under pressure or at short notice that you use as your reliable regular?

MarianForrester Tue 11-Sep-12 11:56:51


My daughter loves your show and your books- in fact she has been inspired to bake because of them, and has discovered a real talent for it.

This is great as she struggles at school and is very happy to have something she's really good at.

My question is, did you like school and when did you discover your talent for cooking?


Iwannamovenow Tue 11-Sep-12 12:16:41

Hi Lorraine,

I've got your first 2 books and love the recipes, our favourite is the 21st century bread.

My question is... I loved the grey kitchen in the first 2 series, was it filmed in your home?

metrobaby Tue 11-Sep-12 12:31:27

Hi Lorraine,

I have a couple of questions.

From your books, what is your favourite recipe?

Do you find that as you are such a good cook, your friends are nervous inviting you over for lunch or dinner?

GoingForTheGold Tue 11-Sep-12 13:11:50

Hi Lorraine,
My problem is very, very basic: everything I cook, ends up very bland and tasteless . I cannot flavour my food (I only use salt, pepper and three to four herbs like parsely, basil and dill, and nothing else). I would love to be able to do a very simple and easy cooking, with easy-to-find, common ingredients.
I am also not very good at combining different tastes to create a tasty meal. It is as if my ingredients do not combine well . Hope I am making some sense...
Therefore my very basic questions:
1- How can I tenderise meat to make it soft as well as tasty . Meat usually comes up hard and it tastes like cardboard so I try to cook it in the slow cooker in which case it comes out soft and chewable yet still very, very bland.
Any fool-proof basic sauces to tenderise as well as give flavour to meat?
Same question for casseroles: anything to add to make it tastier?

Thank you very much in advance.

beujolais Tue 11-Sep-12 13:33:41

Hi Lorraine, i absolutely love your show and always have my notebook handy when watching. Quick question is that i tried baking that lovely twister bread with the poppy seeds the other day and it was so hard that it could have been used as a door stop! I thought i followed the recipe to the letter but obviously went wrong somewhere, do you have any thoughts? My friend who bakes suggested that i may have had the oven on too long therefore it was too hot. what do you think?

herethereeverywhere Tue 11-Sep-12 13:36:32

Hi Lorraine, I love your programme! My question is you are obviously highly qualified to talk about and demonstrate food so how to you feel about celebrity's and tv personalities releasing cookbooks without having any background in food? It annoys me so wondering if it annoys you!

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