The ‘Grand Tour Supper Club’ sets sail for Japan tomorrow evening and our guests will be looking forward to enjoying an authentic Japanese menu, as well as listening to expert speaker Jennipher Marshall-Jenkinson lead the way with her fascinating experiences of Japanese food and culture.
Jennipher is a healthy eating guru and inspirational cook who has the fabulous job of travelling the world lecturing on cruise ships. She is also the UK’s leading microwave cookery expert and Chairman and Finance Officer of the UK’s Microwave Technologies Association (MTA) since 1996 to the present time, and her book, ‘Microwave Magic- The Art of 21st Century Cooking’ won The People’s Book Prize in 2009.
In anticipation for tomorrow’s event, we sat down with Jennipher to sneak a glimpse into some of the interesting topics she’ll be covering on our Journey Through Japan:
1. As someone who is very knowledgeable about Japanese food and culture, what first got you interested in Japan?
I’ve always loved travelling and have visited most countries in the world- so of course, Japan was high on my list to explore. Since I began visiting Japan, I was surprised to learn that although each major city is very different, they provide the same experience of Japanese culture.
2. What is your favourite Japanese dish?
I love tempura batter. Fresh fish lightly fried in a tempura batter is lovely- the contrast in textures between the crispy coating and delicate fish filling is delicious.
3. You have travelled to plenty of exotic locations around the world, do you have a favourite place to visit?
I want to see every country before I die, so I’m unlikely to visit anywhere twice- but in order of preference- trekking to the North Pole and becoming one of the very few members of the North pole swimming club (swimming 20 meters with only your swim suit on!!), has to be top, then camping in Antarctica and talking to the penguins was special. For absolute fun, swimming with the turtles and fish in the Maldives can’t be beaten- I think I’ll stop there for now!
4. You are a champion for microwave cooking- what are your top tips for tasty microwave meals?
Get to know your own oven, as you would your conventional oven.
Never over cook any thing.
If you do nothing else, cook your vegetables in the microwave oven- you’ll retain more vitamins than in any other cooking method and make your sauces in the microwave too, you’re guaranteed never to make a lumpy sauce ever again.
5. Did you grow up in a cooking family?
I have 4 brothers and 3 sisters, and I am the oldest girl, so I learnt how to cook at a very young age – always helping my mother!
6. What kitchen tool couldn’t you live without? (other than the microwave!)
Lightweight microwaveable cookware- with lids- unbreakable and easy to wash up!
7. What is your culinary philosophy?
Keep it simple- a simple meal, well cooked, is much better than serving a complicated one that doesn’t quite go as planned.
I have made a simple Chilli Con Carne for a dinner party in the past- all prepared in advance so I spent all my time with my guests and not in the kitchen cooking while they were talking in another room!
8. What was the biggest culture shock you experienced on your first visit to Japan?
The many high rise buildings!
9. Japan is famous for being one of the world leaders in innovative technology- what one gadget is used in Japan that you wish we had in the UK?
Well, the world is a small place these days, when I was last there I didn’t find anything that we don’t have in the UK!
The Japanese kitchens are small, but they are always full of gadgets- bread makers, microwave ovens, juicers, blenders, nutri-bullets. There is hardly any work surface that isn’t covered- then the owner goes out to eat
10. Who would you invite to your own fantasy supper club?
Wow – a difficult one!
I live in Windsor – and am a Royalist – so I would love to have a chat with the Queen. I also praise people that have been through adversity- so if Nelson Mandela was still alive, I would love to chat to him to find out how he turned South Africa around. I’m also a Scout leader, so would love to meet our Chief Scout Bear Grylls and find out how he inspires young people today- maybe I could get some ideas…