Q&A with The Hairy Bikers for Comic Relief

I really want to use Prettygreentea to support good causes this year. Last week I was asked if I’d like to share an interview with The Hairy Bikers for Comic Relief. I thought this would be the perfect way to get involved. I think the interview is a really interesting read and I hope you enjoy it too. Leave a comment below and let me know how you’ll be supporting Red Nose Day this year.

HomeSense has partnered with renowned fashion and portrait photographer Rankin to create exclusive aprons for Red Nose Day 2017 and help people living incredibly tough lives across Africa and here in the UK. The apron is part of a Red Nose Day 2017 range of products available in HomeSense stores nationwide and online at tkmaxx.com and rednoseday.com. With at least £5 from every adult apron sale going to Comic Relief, the money will help people living incredibly tough lives in the UK and across Africa.

Why did you choose to support Comic Relief this year?

It’s a real honour to be involved in such a tremendous cause and be a part of Red Nose Day. We hope the aprons will carry the Comic Relief message into tens of
thousands of kitchens and help countless lives both here in the UK and in Africa. Being cooks, we’re delighted the range features aprons for adults and children,
inspiring the whole family to bake a difference and raise life-changing cash tochange countless lives.

How can people get involved?

Baking is one of the most popular fundraising activities to support Red Nose Day and this range enables you to not only look good, but raise money too. So we’re encouraging everyone to throw on a HomeSense Red Nose Day apron and make your bake matter!

If you were to bake a cake for Red Nose Day 2017, what kind of cake would it be?

Dave: It would be a red velvet cake because it would feel appropriate with the colour. A red velvet cake with a butter cream filling is one of my favourites.

What’s your favourite recipe?

Si: Mine is the fuits de mer – it’s just the quality of the ingredients, but there’s a particular skill in putting it together which I love.

Dave: One of my favourites is sushi. We actually experimented in cooking the rice to make sushi rice, but a fool proof method. We made our own rainbow rolls and it’s absolutely faultless – the rice is brilliant. I’m really proud of that recipe and when I’m cooking that rice from now on I’d definitely look at that recipe.

What should everyone have in the kitchen?

Si: A good set of knives and a knife sharpener. We’ve come across a number of kitchens on our travels where we’ve found a knife that was like a spade – they have no edge on them. It’s really important because if you have great ingredients, you want to prepare them properly, and for that you need sharp knives.

Dave: One of the things I can’t live without in the kitchen is a coffee machine, but one that grinds the beans per cup. It’s the best. It’s one of those things that when I first got it I thought ‘oh this is ridiculous’, but as the years have gone on it’s just brilliant. Also I couldn’t do without a steam oven now. It’s healthy for your veggies and you can steam puddings for baking. It’s so useful!

What advice would you give to others looking to follow in your footsteps?

Dave: Just give stuff a go, we had several ideas that failed. Be honest to yourself as well – cooking, eating, riding motorbikes and talking rubbish is what we’ve always
done so we haven’t had to invent anything.

Si: Tenacity – you’ve got to keep going whatever. You will get some knocks and you will have to be walking up hill sometimes and you’ve just got to keep going.

Dave: It’s a lot easier if you don’t have to pretend.

Si: And the good thing about it for Dave and I is that we’re best mates.

What can we expect from The Hairy Bikers in the future?

Dave: The thing about us is everything’s just evolved really; we do things that we are interested in. We never lose the thrill of going abroad on our adventures. Let’s see
what happens.

Why are you excited to be working with HomeSense on this project?

Dave: For one it’s a great honour to be asked, we’re both very, very flattered. Red Nose Day is such a big event now in the national calendar, and to be part of it is very exciting. Every year my step children buy the t-shirts and bits and pieces, but this year, guess what kids? It’s us! How cool’s that going to be?!

It’s Shrove Tuesday on February 28th, how do you make the perfect pancake?

Dave: That’s dead easy – flour, eggs, milk, a bit of salt, pepper, that’s it. Remember the first one or two are always sacrificial.

Si: You know what, mine are really really simple, I love a bit of sugar and lemon juice, it’s just really simple, but lush.

How has bringing out diet books changed your approach to food and fitness?

Si: Doing what we do for a living, food is our life, it’s been an interesting journey. We’re more body aware and we’re more food aware, I think actually it’s made us better cooks.

Dave: We tend to work hard at making flavours, it’s stocks and good cooking.

Si: The food that we cook becomes cleaner and what we mean by that is that there isn’t the clawing kind of residue of oil or fat, not that there was particularly it was always balanced, now it’s just clean. It’s the difference between eating a fat, really heavy Indian curry, and eating Thai.

Dave: We’ve just got that balance – our curries have got a lot better, we’re not relying so much on ghee, it’s more about the spices and the pressure cooker, because that way you’re getting all the flavour out of the spices.

What advice do you have for someone who is looking to lose some weight?

Si: Just start it, the hardest bit is starting, and then once you’ve got that momentum, just keep going.

Dave: But you need to get a set of scales. Scales don’t lie and weigh yourself at the same time every day. It’s amazing if you do discipline yourself with the scales you’ll be surprised how quickly initially the weight will drop off, once you start thinking about what you do. Keep a food diary, so you’re not kidding yourself, because it’s that doughnut on the way to the car from the supermarket, it doesn’t count but it does, you think I just snaffled it, it doesn’t mean anything.

It is great that you can still love food and lose weight with your diet books, what would your top tips be to others who are real foodies?

Si: The thing is the diet books that we’ve produced are a direct reflection of our love of food. From the beginning of making the books it had to be great tasting food first and foremost, not diet food, it had to be great tasting. Then the process was actually making it less calorific. The great thing about it is that food is our hobby, cooking is our hobby and our life’s love, so we didn’t want to lose that while we were losing weight. It was a great process to go through to go right, okay, how will we make this spaghetti bolognese or this tray bake or curry as tasty as possible, but bringing the calories right down, and we achieved that, and that’s been the legacy of the books.

Join the conversation – #RedNoseDay @HomeSenseUK