The Steeple Times asks the chef, author and television personality Sophie Michell: “What’s on your mantelpiece?”
The Steeple Times shares “wit and wisdom.” What’s your guiding force?
“Independence and the life choices that come with it.”
“Never regret, never explain, never apologise” is, in our humble opinion, a great motto. What’s yours?
As Virginia Woolf once said: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Kerry Katona was unacceptable in 2007. Who is unacceptable in 2012?
Samantha Brick: She gave women a bad name by writing so many self-serving articles implying that all women are as shallow and as vacuous as she, and that we as a gender make judgements solely on looks.
Tony Blair misses being Prime Minister. What do you miss most in your life?
Friends and family who I have loved and lost.
What might you swap all your wealth for?
A simple life living by the sea and working in a job that involved the ocean and it’s stunning environment and creatures.
What phrase or word do you most loathe?
I hate the abbreviated text language that people use, it makes people sound very moronic
In the UK, some people consider charity to “begin at home.” What’s your view and what causes do you personally support?
I try and support charities as much as possible within my means and I think we should all do the same. Time is also as worth as much as money in many cases. I generally support Breakthrough Breast Cancer, but I am very keen to get involved in a charity that works for abused women and children. It’s a bigger issue than people think, routinely ignored and sadly it’s on our doorstep.
Have you ever been arrested and if so, for what?
Hahaha, nope! But that could just mean that I’ve never been caught… Only joking.
If you could fill a carriage on The Orient Express, who would be your fellow passengers?
Definitely Marie Antoinette as she knew how to party and I love the clothes of that era. Cleopatra was a glamorous and formidable woman so she must come too. I’d also like Gregory Peck as he seemed like a real gentleman and my great grandfather Admiral Godfrey, who was head of Naval Intelligence in World War II. Ian Fleming was his PA and apparently the James Bond books were based on Ian Fleming’s time working with him. In fact, the character ‘M’ was based on my great grandfather and I would just love to hear the stories in person. There are many more people too, but those four would make an interesting start.
If you were unfortunate enough to end up on death row, what would be your last meal and where would you eat it?
It would be a classic seafood platter by the sea somewhere possibly on the French Riviera. I suggest this mainly because with all the shells you have to crack open to extract the tasty morsels taking such a long time to get through, it would give me time to plan my escape.
What time is it acceptable to consume the first drink of the day?
Any time after noon if on holiday. Any time after 6pm if at home. Failing those terms, you can always bend the rules by proclaiming loudly that it is always cocktail hour somewhere in the world at any given time. This works for me.
A Negroni, a martini or a cup of tea?
A dirty martini every time.
Whose parties do you enjoy the most and why?
I love private house parties as they are personal and always great fun. I entertain a lot when I can for both work and pleasure. I think it enables one to be quite creative and I love seeing an event come off well. I also love really chilled out beach parties, when everyone is glowing from a day in the sunshine and you can hear the sea.
Who is the most positive person you know?
My darling friend Miss Emma Nettleton. Nothing seems so serious after some dancing and giggles with her.
What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Ha ha ha: Guilt is a pointless emotion, so a pleasure should be left at that and basically if you feel guilt creeping in, then just don’t do it.
What was the first bone that you broke?
An ankle bone due to my first foray into ridiculously large platform shoes, aged 14. I haven’t stopped wearing large heels, but I have since mastered the art.
If a tattoo were to sum you up, what would it be of?
Probably a dolphin. I am happier in the sea than anywhere else. Although for the record I think tattoos are vile.
If you were a car, what marque would you be?
God knows. I don’t drive and have never tried. I am not adverse to beautiful cars, but also not attached to them either.
Cilla Black presented “Surprise, Surprise.” Tell us the most surprising thing about you.
I am actually quite shy and have faint OCD according to my friends. I think it’s otherwise known as being tidy.
What’s currently sitting on your mantelpiece?
A French antique mirror, a beautiful fluorite crystal, a Dyptique blackberry leaf candle and a couple of out of date invites that will soon be removed.
Sophie Michell is a chef with a true passion for nutrition and healthy eating. She was the private chef for Claudia Schiffer for two years and has cooked for various other famous names including Leonardo DiCaprio and David Cameron. She has presented and appeared on a number of television shows including Cook Yourself Thin, Market Kitchen and Ready Steady Cook.
Sophie Michell’s official website can be viewed at: http://www.sophiemichell.com and information about her latest show, BBC America’s Chef Race: U.K. vs. U.S., can be seen at: http://www.bbcamerica.com/chef-race
Purchase Sophie Michell’s latest book, Love Good Food, at: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Good-Food-Sophie-Michell/dp/1848990103/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_3