PARENTS

Ella's Kitchen Founder Paul Lindley

14/08/2014 16:54 | Updated 22 May 2015

Ella's Kitchen founder Paul Lindley

At My Table is a new food series on Parentdish, profiling celebrity chefs, cookery writers and food bloggers.

Paul Lindley, aka 'Ella's dad', set up Ella's Kitchen in 2004, and almost two years to the day after leaving his full-time job at Nickelodeon, he - together with his daughter Ella – proudly saw their Ella's Kitchen products on supermarket shelves for the first time.

The Ella's Kitchen cook book is out now, and the new range of products, 'Ella's Kitchen my little BIG meals' is also now available from ASDA for children aged 12 months plus.

Describe your cooking style in three words:

Creative, fun and healthy

The weirdest thing I've ever eaten is...

Scorpions

In my cupboard/kitchen you will always find...

Variety – be that in different fruits and veggies, foods from around the world, or both the safe and the adventurous.

What would you cook for the Queen?

Something the Queen would remember a month later, so something she'd rarely have. Perhaps a stunning outdoor setting with my BBQ chicken and 'special' spicy marinade with signature watermelon, olive, onion and parsley salad followed by BBQ skin–on bananas with chocolate and marshmallow filling.

I would tell parents of fussy eaters...

Never give up! Just try and be creative, adventurous, fun, messy, funny and light-hearted, without compromising on your goal of getting them to try the foods.

I think that eating is a multi-sensory experience, only part of which is the taste, so I'd encourage parents to relax, make the occasion 'chilled' and try and engage all of the child's senses in the experience of eating. Happy, nice, warm, colourful, touchy and full of good smells that a kitchen or the outdoors can bring.

My guilty food pleasure is...

My daughter Ella's and my son Paddy's cooking – or if I am away, a sneaky bag of biltong (cured meat).

My most memorable food experience (so far) is...

We once went to a fantastic restaurant in Camberwell, London called Dan le Noir, where you eat in total, complete and absolute darkness, and are served by blind waiters. The experience is like no other, as it highlights a) how much we rely on all our senses to eat, b) how we need to be brave when expanding our palates, and c) how blind people go about their daily lives. The experience was unique, empowering, and extremely enjoyable and causes you to think.

I would never, ever eat...

Any packaged food where I didn't understand the ingredients that were in there and why they were there.

Roll Mop (picked herrings) – tried it, tried it again, know its good for you but just can't do it. And you know what, that's OK – as I tell my kids. We don't have to like everything.

When I'm home alone I cook...

Something quick and easy from the Ella's Cook Book.

If I had to eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be...

Nuts and bananas – I think most food nutrients are in these.

My kitchen is always...

Warm, full of creativity, echoing with children's voices, well stocked and packed with laughter – or at least I like to think it is!

My must have kitchen gadget is...

Practically I love a juicer and a steamer. Aesthetically I love anything that Joseph Joseph create – beautiful to look at, practical to use, problem solving in design.

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