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Profile of a celebrity food lover...Tommy Walsh

File 146Tommy Walsh became a household name after appearing in the BBC gardening programme Ground Force. Tommy met the executive producer of Ground Force whilst doing building work on her house, she asked his opinion on various pilots, and was so impressed by his knowledge that she invited him to screen test along with Charlie Dimmock.

Tommy has since gone onto present DIY shows for Discovery and the BBC, in 2002 he appeared in Celebrity Fit Club and was named Celebrity Dad of the Year in 2004. Tommy has published several DIY books, the first of which, DIY Survival, made it into the UK's bestseller list.

What’s your favourite leftover meal?

There isn't one because I eat everything put on my plate, a leftover from my childhood - you couldn't leave the table until the plate was cleared!

What's your signature dish?

Boiled bacon with cabbage, swede and potatoes - the Irish way!

What’s your favorite cookery book and why?

I enjoy Ainsley Harriott’s cooking book - outside cooking is great fun.

What’s the best food tip your mum or grandmother gave you?

Don't eat before meals.

If you were stuck on a desert island and could take one meal with you, what would you choose?

It would be boiled bacon cabbage, swede and potatoes again!

What’s the most unusual food item that you freeze to use later?

I don’t really freeze items, but I might chill some cans for later use.

If there's one type of food that you always end up chucking out - what is it and why?

Salad ingredients. If you don't eat salad fresh it goes a bit iffy around the edges and doesn't look too appetising, hence me usually throwing it in the dustbin.

What’s your best tip for using up food left in the fridge?

We use cold meats for sandwiches or mix cold meats into salads for a lunch to take to work the following day. Leftover cabbage and potatoes make a lovely bubble and squeak for breakfast!

What’s your strangest food combinations - and will anyone else eat it?

Corn beef hash: corned beef, potatoes, tomatoes, onion fried together with garlic and chillies and topped with a poached egg. Everyone I serve it to loves it!

The average household with kids wastes up to £700 a year on food thrown out. If you were given the money back how would you spend it?

I would put it in the holiday pot!

What’s the one recipe you would pass onto your kids - and why?

My mum’s recipe for the Irish way of cooking boiled bacon, cabbage, swede and potatoes. It’s very easy, tasty and healthy and they love it!

What kind of food do your kids leave on their plates the most?

Very little as we tailor their meals to minimize waste, however, the down side means my wife may have to cook 4 different versions of a meal in order to appeal to everyone!

How do you encourage your kids to eat everything you serve them?

My wife creates stir fries, which they absolutely love. These includes lots of vegetables that they might not normally eat. She also spices up the recipe and adds heat or sweetens it to encourage them to eat what’s good for them (even if they don't know it!).

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