Thomasina Miers' Must-Haves: Flat Shoes And A Decent Pestle And Mortar

The chef told us five things she couldn't live without.

Whether you know Thomasina Miers from winning Masterchef in 2005 or her Mexican restaurant chain Wahaca, you’ll know she’s obsessed with all things food.

As a chef, cookbook author, TV presenter and restaurateur – she’s got her fingers in many pies, so to speak. So what are the five things that keep this successful woman going?

We spoke to the Londoner about what she couldn’t live without – and added a few to our shopping lists.

A Decent Pestle And Mortar

If you want to create a tasty meal, you’ve got to have the right kit, says Thomasina – and a good place to start is a pestle and mortar to crush up herbs, spices and chillies.

“I had a lovely old one from a Thai supermarket that was heavy granite, but I broke the mortar the other day – in fact it was my two-year-old,” she says. “She’s always sitting on the worktop, pounding Mexican spices and chillies with me, but she dropped the mortar!”

Thomasina bought a replacement from Borough Kitchen in black marble. “It’s got to be big and heavy,” she says, adding that smaller bowls can be messy, as everything flies everywhere.

And it’s not just her meals that benefit from using the pestle and mortar: “There is something very therapeutic, relaxing and meditative about pounding.”

Her Trusty (Old) Mountain Bike

“I cycle all over London, it’s such a therapy for me,” says Thomasina. “It clears my head. I love waking up, jumping on my bike and arriving at work.”

As someone who has many appointments all over London, it’s the fastest way for her to get around. “It’s so useful because I’m always going around tasting the food [at the restaurants], visiting friends and cycling to the market.”

She’s had her mountain bike for years, describing it as “archaic” – and it’s also incredibly heavy. But she doesn’t seem to notice, unlike her husband. “Who knows, maybe I have super powers?”

Comfortable, Flat Shoes

As someone who’s constantly on the go, Thomasina needs her shoes to be comfortable and flat. But she still likes to have fun with her footwear. “I’m just kind of obsessed with cool, flat, practical, fun shoes,” she says.

Her go-to shops are: Penelope Chilvers, which has a range of brightly-coloured shoes (we particularly love these gold scallop slippers, £259), and The Jacksons, which has a store on All Saints Road in Notting Hill, (we’ve got our eyes on these gorgeous orange ballerina pumps, £200).

A Gold Cacao Necklace

When Thomasina met jeweller Cassandra Goad, she instantly fell in love with her jewellery collection inspired by Mexico – particularly this gold cacao pod necklace, which is her pride and joy.

“It’s such a beautiful necklace,” she says. “For me, it symbolises so much: I love food, I love chocolate and I love the story of Mexican ingredients. It’s one of the most biodiverse countries in the world: it’s given us chocolate and vanilla, tomatoes, chillies, avocado, peanuts and courgette. People have a misconception about Mexican food being heavy, but I think of it as a vibrant, healthy, kind of ingredient-led country.”

The cacao itself is symbolic, too. When writing her last book ‘Home Cook’, she was heavily pregnant. “I couldn’t sleep much and I’d get up in the middle of the night and make myself a hot chocolate,” she says. “I’d melt dark chocolate with cacao in it, and I’d write for two hours, buoyed by this rush and high.”

Yeo Valley Organic Yoghurt

Thomasina starts every day the same: with a healthy breakfast for herself and her family. “I eat what I want when I want – I don’t limit myself in that way – but I do like to start off the day with a little bit of healthiness in the mornings,” she says.

One ingredient she couldn’t live without is organic dairy – namely Yeo Valley Organic Yoghurt. She bakes granola with olive oil and maple syrup to go with it, and in winter she’ll poach apricots or rhubarb to add to the dish.

Not only is it nutritious, she says, it’s also better for the planet, being organic. “The lovely thing about food is that three times per day you get to make decisions that are good for the environment,” she adds.

Thomasina Miers is ambassador for the Soil Association Certification’s BOOM (Best Of Organic Market) Awards. To find out more please visit https://www.soilassociation.org/organic-living/boom-awards/

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