On top of creating delicious recipes, former Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain loves nothing more than putting a pen to paper. And, to celebrate World Book Day on 1st March 2018, the star baker has penned Nadiya’s Bake Me a Story (Hodder Children’s Books), a one of a kind storybook and cookbook, which can be bought for £1, or exchanged for a World Book Day token. Here Nadiya tells us how this tasty tale came about, and gives some top tips for budding chefs and authors…
Why did you decide to add recipes to your World Book Day children’s story?
I love to cook and I love to read, and so do my children. They said to me, “Mum why can’t we do both at the same time?” And so the idea for Bake Me a Story was born. I think cooking is just as an important a life skill as reading and I love how you can read a story that incorporates food, and then actually make what’s being written about – as my daughter says, it brings the story to life. I hope other families will enjoy the book as much as we do.
What sort of recipes can we expect to find in Bake Me a Story?
The recipes featured are those that children can easily make on their own, or with an older sibling or grown up (it’s clearly highlighted when an adult needs to be involved). You’ll find a combination of sweet and savoury recipes – I’m a big believer in letting children try all kinds of flavours.
Do your children like recipe books?
My older son is a great cook and will follow recipes or things he has learned from me. He cooks a mean Spag Bol! My middle son is not interested in cooking at all, but my daughter creates her own recipes books. She’s planning on launching her own cup cake and glitter tattoo café when she’s older!
Which inspires you most – cooking or writing?
It has got to be both! When I’m recipe designing and testing, I’m being creative. I’m writing the recipes down and describing what they mean to me. Just like food, words have a way of comforting people. I’ve always written, and I still find it a great form of stress relief.
What do you think it is about cooking and stories which captures the imagination?
Food is vital for life; it’s part of every culture the world over. Recipes are passed down through generations, just like stories are. Food and stories are at the heart of families and of communities. When people come together to meet up or to celebrate, food and stories are always shared.
Can you remember the first dish you ever cooked?
Simple white rice. It’s a staple in our culture and we had to master that before we were allowed to cook anything else in the kitchen.
Any top tips for budding writers and recipe creators?
Write every day! Keeping a diary is a good way to practice your writing. Children should have a go at entering writing competitions like the BBC Radio 2’s 500 Words. And my biggest encouragement to budding recipe creators is not to be worried about the mess – it can be cleared up! It’s all about trying things out in the kitchen and having fun.
World Book Day marks the world’s biggest celebration of reading, where the nation’s entire book industry comes together to work proactively to address falling literacy levels and create readers of the future, encouraging children and young people to discover, read and love books. Full information about everything going on around World Book Day can be found at worldbookday.com