Food writer and author of 'Eat the Week' Anna Barnett invites us around to her gorgeous East London home to discuss her favourite dishes and what inspires her recipes
Having worked in the fashion industry for many years Anna has a natural flair for creativity and design. 'Cooking is very creative process for me and its something I've always loved doing. Its a great feeling to bring my friends and family together around the table to enjoy a good meal and conversation'
As we enter the large kitchen we are met with a host of cookery books on the shelves and lots of beautiful crockery and serving dishes. 'I’m constantly buying cookery books, they’re my pride and joy. I’m currently having some overspill issues.' She smiles as we flick through her debut cook book which launched last year, Eat the Week. The book is all about creating recipes depending on your moods as you navigate the week, from weekend brunches, comfort carbs and zesty salads. 'I currently can’t get enough of watermelon. Combining it with salty cheese makes for a winning combination, feta or halloumi are both great options,' she tell us as Ted the dog comes bounding into the kitchen
Growing up in a big family, sitting down for dinner every evening was always a big event in the Barnett household. 'Sundays were always huge roasts which I’d cook with my Dad for fifteen people - or more. The benefit of cooking is that you also get to eat as you go!'
Being au fait with cooking for large groups led to Anna setting up her supper clubs which she hosts in the dinning area of her home. The house, which is a Victorian pub conversion boasts a large living and dining space, a separate TV nook and even a recording studio. Anna along with her fiancé and housemates have filled the gorgeous space with vintage and retro furniture, alongside modern trinkets and art, creating a cosy home full of character and style. We're still thinking about the olive green velvet sofas that make the large room feel inviting and comforting
The social home has become host to number of parties and get togethers. 'The Kitchen is my domain, I love spending time in here cooking for dinner parties. Having a load of us regularly sit round the table and eat together is the best thing'
Creating delicious dishes also requires serving ware to match. 'I’m a sucker for a pie dish or anything pretty to serve in, I also love gold utensils at the moment too, they look fab on display in the kitchen'
Its been an honour to explore Anna's stunning home and it has inspired us to get creative in the kitchen. Why not try out Anna's perfect brunch dish, it takes under 20 mins to make!
Whipped Feta, Poached Egg with Sticky Shallots on Sourdough
Feeds – 4
Preparation Time – 5-10 minutes
Cooking Time – 5 minutes
1 small clove of garlic
150ml natural yogurt
Generous sprinkle of sea salt flakes
2 sprigs of parsley – roughly chopped
Several turns of freshly ground black pepper
2 banana shallots – finely sliced into rings
½ loaf of sourdough – sliced then toasted
1 Clove of garlic
4 free range / organic eggs
Begin by placing a large pan of water on the hob and bring it to the boil. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, transfer your eggs to individual small bowls or espresso cups ready to pour into the boiling water - this will help For the whipped feta, simply blitz together the yogurt, garlic and feta until smooth, taste then add/adjust seasoning if necessary. Black pepper is a great In a small frying pan add a glug of oil, gently heat then add in the chopped shallots and cook over a medium heat until they begin to turn golden. Slice the sourdough and toast (or griddle for a more smokey flavour) Cut a garlic clove in half and, once the sourdough has been toasted, rub the clove of garlic. Make sure you have all your other elements ready to go before poaching your egg. That means prepare your parsley ready to garnish, make sure your feta and yogurt has been blended and make sure you’ve toasted your sourdough and once the water is boiling use a spatula and stir the water fairly vigorously then gently drop the egg into the water as close to the water as possible so to not spread the egg white too far. The swirling of the water should keep the egg together. TIP if cooking a few eggs, you can also keep them in ice cold water to stop them from over cooking before serving, then just drop them into the boiling water again for a minute to re heat them. Poach your eggs for two to two minutes. Once ready to serve spoon on the whipped feta then add on the poached egg, garnish with parsley and a little extra black pepper and you’re done.
Photography: Amanda Nelson