Interview With Justine Drake

When I was asked to give away tickets to the Taste of Christmas event I immediately said yes, as I have been going to the Taste of Cape Town events since the very beginning. The first year we went, we were given tickets by a friend of mine, and each year I have been lucky enough to have been given tickets and so my agreeing to hosting a giveaway on my blog is my way of paying it forward. I included a biography on Justine Drake in my most recent give away and this prompted me to ask her to complete the interview questions. It is really great to learn more about her.

Justine Drake
Justine Drake

Who has been the most influential person in your life?
Whew, that’s a difficult one. Probably my sister who brought me up, for her generosity of spirit and my partner, Marc, who has taught me not to sweat the small stuff and loves me through it all, always.

What started you on the path of cooking?
My family – they were/are all food mad!

Which three ingredients could you not live without?
Tomatoes (I adore them), olive oil and lemons

Which of your kitchen tools would you take with you anywhere and everywhere?
A good chefs knife, a wok and a hand held blender.

Do you have any pet peeves in the kitchen?
No, I’m pretty relaxed. Although I do get a bit irritated when I see people overcooking a good piece of meat!

Which meal is your all time favourite?
A really good salad nicoise, roast chicken, boiled crayfish, caprese salad – the list is endless, I could never have a favourite

Which restaurant could you visit over and over again?
St John in London and Retho Mathis’ alp-top restaurant in St Moritz – it’s on the top of a ski slope – the whole affair is beyond pretentious, the food wildly unaffordable but fab, the views utterly and completely breathtaking and the people watching ever fascinating. After that just about any hole in wall on the streets of Vietnam will do.

If you could only have one recipe book, which one would it be?
Ugh…it would have to be Kylie Kwong’s Simple Chinese Cooking – because I don’t seem to be able to cook Chinese very well without it! But to be honest I could really never choose just one.

If you could work alongside one chef for a day who would that be?
Probably Jamie Oliver – his food is wonderful – clever and innovative while still simple, he’s funny, down to earth and I have great respect for his school eating programme.

Which ingredient will you not eat or cook with?
I’m not mad about cream – but there’s really nothing I don’t eat or won’t use. Wait, maybe lard!

What is on top of your bucket list?
Mexico – for a myriad reasons…and New York for a myriad more.

What is your food philosophy?
Keep it simple, fresh and cook it with love.

Any parting words for the readers?
Don’t take yourself or your food too seriously.

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Rating: 3.0. From 2 votes.
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30 thoughts on “Interview With Justine Drake

  1. Hi Justine,
    I love your programme and I also love cooking. I have just purchased a Halogen Cooker (The round one with glass). The trouble is that I can’t find any suitable recopies and because it is a new concept I am not sure how to use it!
    It would be wonderful if you could do a programme or a video on cooking with Halogen power. It is all the rage at the moment – but no recipes!
    Please consider this.’
    Kind regards,
    Doreen Maree

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    1. I will tweet Justine so she can see your message!

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  2. Have been watching Just Cooking by Justine Drake AND have tried many of the recipes. Fabulous, easy and affordable. Would love for her to visit PE.

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    1. I shall pass the message on!

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  3. Please can you ask Justine Drake to send me her cabbage salad, the one which she said all her friends love. I simply cant find it on her recipe list.
    Many thanks and appreciated
    Pam Murray

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    1. Hi Pam, I will alert Justine to this query and hopefully she will get back to you directly.

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  4. Could Justine do a long weekend with keen cooks like me who live in the outback ‘Transkei’. Teach us new tricks. I am a caterer but would love new ideas. I am very thirsty for method of cooking new dishes.etc. I am willing to pay for the classes and my accomodation. I am a traditional xhosa wife who has graduated to cooking outdoors with the senior women and want to bring my pizzazz to these gigatic pots we cook in.

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    1. Hi Pumla, I am going to tweet the link to this post to Justine and ask her to get back to you about this. Thanks for visiting my site, Tandy 🙂

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  5. I buy the Fresh Living every month, but never knew she is soooo beautiful!
    Zirkie sharing the blog ♥ In my kitchen in December 2012My Profile

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    1. She is indeed Zirkie!

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  6. I really enjoy your interviews Tandy! You ask really good questions! 😀
    Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella sharing the blog ♥ The Three Week Christmas Spice CakeMy Profile

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    1. thank you Lorraine 🙂

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  7. I’m a sucker for tomato sandwiches, myself so I couldn’t agree with her more!
    The Squishy Monster sharing the blog ♥ Gochujang FAQMy Profile

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    1. tomatoes are a must have in my kitchen 🙂

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  8. Great interview with a lovely lady. I’m totally with her on the lard issue, and I would love to meet Jamie. :)Well done, Tandy.
    adinparadise sharing the blog ♥ Free Custom Design with a Premium Theme Purchase on Black FridayMy Profile

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    1. I doubt I would ever cook with lard either 🙂

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  9. What a great interview!
    yummychunklet sharing the blog ♥ TwD: Baking Best Ever Brownies with JuliaMy Profile

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    1. thank you yummychunklet 🙂

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  10. Justine is lovely Tandy. Thanks for sharing this interview. I loved her reaction to favorite restaurant – a couple of over the top spots and then any great Vietnamese.
    Tammy sharing the blog ♥ Infusing the SpiritMy Profile

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    1. I thought that was great as well 🙂

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  11. What a wonderful interview and i just love the interesting stuff you come up with:::well done!
    usha singh sharing the blog ♥ Belated Diwali Day PostMy Profile

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    1. thank you Usha 🙂

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  12. Very good interview. Very interesting and smart person. Always good to see someone who chooses the St John as favourite restaurant, simple roasted chicken amongst her favourite dishes and doesn’t take herself or her food too seriously. 11/10 on my scorecard:)
    Roger Stowell sharing the blog ♥ Gone fishing….. an update with more picturesMy Profile

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    1. thank you Roger 🙂

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  13. Nice interview, Tandy! 🙂
    celia sharing the blog ♥ Christmas SucculentsMy Profile

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    1. thank you Celia 🙂

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  14. Always enjoy these interviews Tandy.
    🙂 Mandy
    Mandy – The Complete Cook Book sharing the blog ♥ Roasted Tomato & Chicken PastaMy Profile

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    1. me too Mandy 🙂

      Rating: 5.0. From 1 vote.
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  15. Another awesome interview with such an inspiring cook 🙂

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru sharing the blog ♥ In Vogue: Coconut OilMy Profile

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    1. she is very inspiring 🙂

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