Dame Mary Berry: celebrity super-foodie and leftovers lover

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The former Great British Bake Off presenter and celebrity food-lover Dame Mary Berry began her career as food editor of Housewife magazine in 1966 and has since written over 40 cookery books on real fast food, family dishes, easy entertaining and her beloved Aga.

Mary has presented numerous television programmes, including the BBC's hugely popular Bake Off, and makes regular appearances on television and radio programmes. Her easy-to-follow recipes and advice are accessible to chefs of all abilities. Mary's style of cookery is family-focussed and she uses the freshest of ingredients, so she has to be a whizz at using up leftovers.

What’s your favourite leftover meal?
Bubble and squeak shaped and fried like fishcakes, with egg, bacon and Hollandaise sauce.

What’s the best food tip your mum or grandmother gave you?
Before you think what to have for supper, see what there is to be used up in the fridge.

What’s the most unusual food item that you freeze to use later?
Shelled nuts kept in individual poly bags and in one big bag. Freezing them prevents the nuts from going rancid.

If there’s one type off food that you always end up chucking out – what is it and why?
Smelly cheeses.

What’s your best tip for using up food left in the fridge?
I like to use up all the leftover vegetables, cut into pieces. Add chopped ham and pour over a mustardy cheese sauce, pop in the oven to heat and brown… a bit like cauliflower cheese.

The average family throws away around £720 worth of food every year. If you were given the money back, how would you spend it?
On plants for my garden. Either for my kitchen garden or water plants for my pond.

What kind of food do your grandchildren leave on their plates the most?
My grandchildren do not like aubergines.

How do you encourage your grandchildren to eat everything you serve them?
I encourage my grandchildren to eat by serving things in different ways and in different shapes.

What’s the one recipe you would pass onto your children – and why?
My children are grown up, but I have passed on the importance of a good Sunday roast because it is tradition and brings the family together.

What’s your favourite cookery book and why?
The Times Cookbook by Katie Stewart. I worked alongside Katie early in my career and enjoyed her recipes.

If you were stuck on a desert island and could take one meal with you, what would you choose? Freshly laid eggs with toast and marmite.

Feeling savoury? Check our our delicious leftover meal recipes