Rosemary Shrager is one of the UK’s favourite TV chefs, stealing the show as the vivacious food expert in Ladette to Lady and Aussie Ladette to Lady.
Her background in running a popular cooking school in luxurious castles made her the perfect choice for teaching the girls how to make soufflés and sponge cakes in pearls and heels. She continues to teach at her cooking school at Swinton Park in north Yorkshire, focusing on classic technique and preparation.
What etiquette rules do you believe are the most important?
“Plain good manners. Saying thank you and please. Having respect for your elders.”
How do Australian ladettes compare to British?
“The British Ladettes were slightly more streetwise. Australian Ladettes are not so jaded.”
What has been you most memorable moment on the series so far?
“Probably a few memorable moments. Seeing the girls when they realise they can change and feel good about themselves.”
What has been your favourite food challenge on the show so far?
“Teaching them how to make souffles.”
What dish do you still find challenging to cook yourself?
“Marmalade. Mine is always runny. I think everybody makes better marmalade than me.”
Some people say you’re too harsh on the girls and allow no fun, how would you respond to that?
“I would say that is completely wrong because you know there is fun and there is fun. They have to learn to have fun without drinking. It’s a fast track trying to make them into ladies and they do have fun of course but it’s limited at the beginning. It’s a serious position for me to be in and it’s not about fun.”
Do you still keep in touch with any of the ladies from previous series?
“Yes, we email each other and it is a real honour they want to stay in contact with me.”
What are you most looking forward to about coming to Australia?
“I love coming to Australia because first of all I love the friendliness of the people and I also love the informality of Australian life.”
Where is your favourite place to holiday?
“Italy, most especially Tuscany. I love it.”
What has been your career highlight so far?
“You know I think I would say there have been loads of high lights. Imparting my knowledge and what I have learned to other people. That to me is the most satisfying thing. My life is full of highlights. I love it.”
What are you top three tips for budding chefs?
“First of all when you start do something like start at a hotel in an apprenticeship. You get a chance to get your teeth into things section by section.
Just keep it simple and keep your head down and put the hours in.
Don’t try to know it all too quickly. Take it step by step. There’s a lot of information out there.”
What is the chef serving in heaven?
“Chicken and potato pie.”
What is one question you are always being asked by people in the street?
“’Were the girls really like that?’ The answer is yes!”
What mantra do you live by?
“Good food, good wine, good company!”
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