Introducing Susan O'Donnell
Spud-loving Susan is an experimental cook that is forever trying out new things. You can expect her cooking classes to be filled with fun and laughter – especially if she has to put on her onion googles.
Where does your love of cooking come from?
Susan says: “My love of cooking comes from eating! I love to eat and to entertain, and I wanted to learn how to recreate what I eat. Whenever I found something I liked to eat, I would research and try to recreate it. I didn’t always get it right the first, or second or third time, but that’s how you learn, and it’s fun trying!”
What are your favourite dishes to cook?
“I tend to hop from obsession to obsession. At the moment I’m all about Middle Eastern food and cooking. However, I love cooking Indian, Turkish, Vietnamese and proper rustic Italian food. I always tend to come back to classic French cookery for comfort.”
What are your top tips for budding cooks?
“Don’t be afraid to experiment. Try, try, try. There is no right or wrong way for food to taste. There are just predictable results and flavours, and sometimes getting it wrong leads you to unpredictable and very tasty results. Just have fun. You can’t go wrong!”
What can people expect from your class and teaching style?
“I like my classes to be fun and relaxed. I like to have a laugh and enjoy myself, and I want you to do the same. Be warned, onions make me cry really badly. If we have to chop them, you get to see me in my ridiculous onion goggles!”
What’s your favourite restaurant?
“My favourite restaurant is St. John, run by Fergus Henderson and Trevor Gulliver. They pioneered the ‘nose to tail’ concept of cooking, in which no part of the animal is wasted, and which favours ethically raised meat and poultry. I don’t eat a lot of meat, but when I do this is my favourite place to go. They also work miracles with both unusual and ordinary vegetables. It’s very relaxed and fun, and they have top notch in-house wines! The Welsh rarebit is to die for.”
If you could eat only one dish, what would it be?
“I’m Irish. It would have to be a big pile of lovely, buttery spuds.”