Hardie Grant UK chats to Dr Bryan Mendelson about his new book In Your Face?
Hardie Grant: What inspired you to write In Your Face?
Dr Bryan Mendelson: The inspiration came from my frustration that what’s in the media, what people read about plastic surgery, is so different compared to the reality. And it’s only plastic surgeons that know the reality and therefore it’s the responsibility of plastic surgeons to get the message out there.
HG: Have people’s perceptions changed once they’ve read the book?
BM: Some people have such strong opinions that they wouldn’t be tempted to look at the book but secretly I think people with strong opinions are fascinated. It’s a common comment of people who have read book to say ‘it’s changed my opinion’ - so I don’t think there can be many people who read the book and still think all the prejudices that they’ve obtained from the media.
HG: The first few chapters of your books are a fascinating account of the beginnings of plastic surgery. Why did you want to include this?
BM: I put them there for two reasons. The first is showing the human desire, the motivation for surgery was there 600 years ago or before, whereas there’s a misconception that everything has happened in the last century, that it only goes back to the 1960s and 70s.
Most surgery is to make people look normal, so they can just get by. If you look abnormally attractive, it can be a disadvantage but if you look abnormally unattractive that’s terrible. People get fixated. Children will look at you, you just can’t hide away – that’s the sad thing. A lot of these unattractive people don’t come out in public.
HG: Once they’ve been fixed can people get over the mindset of being ‘an unattractive person’?
BM: Most people can get over it. Surgery is not smoke and mirrors for the rich and famous. I mean that is the deal breaker for the media. The media tend to portray it as that, or if they’re not rich and famous, they’re trying to be seen as rich and famous.
Plastic surgery gives self worth. In other words their lives have changed. Our faces are the windows to who we are. And if the window is wrong we still judge them by it. And that determines how we are seen in the world.
HG: You write about the startling findings of an economist who calculated that the advantages of being beautiful can be as great as US$230 000 over a lifetime. What do you think about our society’s fixation on beauty?
BM: I don’t have an opinion other than it just is. We live with this. We are born into something. It’s a fact of life whether we like it or not.
A girl goes to school and there’s one girl who’s the most attractive in the class and gets preferential treatment. You can see it – it’s a fact of life. So we all grow up seeing these examples of unfairness based on appearance, so that’s the beginning of it. And then you see the beautiful girl gets the wealthy husband and that’s the scenario.
So this is the financial expression of it. Since the book’s been published there’s been an article about how men with less attractive appearances are penalised and how much it costs them. In other words they have a to succeed more to get the same income. It’s appearance in action in the marketplace.
HG: You write that plastic surgery is ‘the surgery of the psyche’. How important is your relationship with your patients?
BM: Terribly important. The relationship between the doctor and the patient is fundamental – that’s the real concern about plastic surgery tourism, where people fly in.
There are several reasons it’s so important. What is the patient looking for? Because not everyone wants the same thing. If you have a sixty year old woman who is happily married in her life with children and grandchildren – she doesn’t want a dramatic change – she wants to slow the clock down on ageing.
If you’ve got a woman whose husband has left her who is single and wants a new life and to start a new job, then she’ll often want to get some glamour that she might not have had before. Yet she won’t want to look as though she’s had surgery – just like she has freshness.
So you have to work out the motivation and then you have to work out which part of the face, and that takes time, time to consider all the important information.
And after the surgery you have to hold their hand. Their husband isn’t going to hold their hand, because they didn’t want it in the first place, so she can’t really express her doubt and fears to him. And she may not have told her girlfriends so her usual network of support isn’t there.
So if the surgeon’s office doesn’t provide support then they feel abandoned and you hear horrible stories.
HG: If you were writing this book in 100 years time what chapters do you think the book would include?
BM: Non-surgical treatments have a very serious place because it’s the early preventative treatment that didn’t exist before. A big thing will be skin tightening with lasers, which has become enormously refined, doing things like creating heat inside the dermis which changes the collagen. People will be having that done in their thirties – working away from the surface.
It terms of surgery itself – I don’t know if we’ll ever get away without the need for incisions. If skin tightening can be improved perhaps minimal incisions will mean less bruising and a quicker recovery. The other thing will be agents to reduce post operative swelling.
I’ve tried a facelift through the mouth. It hasn’t worked yet but with skin tightening it could. And a maintenance programme for the skin should become more widespread, reflecting the rising levels of affluence.
In Your Face by Dr Bryan Mendelson is available to buy here.
Celebrate National Vegetarian Week (20th - 26th May) with some delicious meat-free recipes from our veggie-loving authors! Who says meat-free is boring?!
Beet Bourguignon from The Green Kitchen by David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl
(Vegan and gluten free)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 brown onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
8 small beetroots (red beets), peeled and quartered (we used Chioggia beets)
6 carrots, sliced in large pieces
3 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp tomato purée (paste)
250 ml (8½ fl oz/1 cup) red wine, use vegan wine if you are vegan
500 ml (17 fl oz/2¼ cups) vegetable stock
400 g (14 oz/2 cups) puy lentils
a pinch of sea salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2–3 portobello mushrooms, sliced
10 crimini mushrooms
10 pearl onions, peeled
2 tsp arrowroot, dissolved in 2 tbsp water
a few springs of thyme, leaves picked, to garnish
Heat the olive oil in a thick-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and garlic and sauté until soft. Toss the beetroot, carrots, bay leaves, thyme and salt and pepper into the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the tomato purée, red wine and vegetable stock and simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse the lentils under running water. Bring 1 litre (2 pts/4 cups) of water and the lentils to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes. When almost cooked, add the salt. Drain off any excess water, cover and set aside.
Now heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, lower the heat and sear the mushrooms and pearl onions, stirring occasionally, until tender and golden in colour. Season to taste and set aside.
Taste the stew and add more wine, stock or herbs if you like. Add the arrowroot mixture. Stir gently, just until thickened and clear. Add the mushrooms and onions and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove the bay leaves and thyme sprigs before serving. Spoon the stew into 4 bowls together with the lentils, and sprinkle with fresh thyme.
Harissa Ravioli from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson
1 garlic clove, smashed
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tablespoons harissa
60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
340 g fresh or frozen cheese-stuffed ravioli or tortellini
225 g broccoli florets or broccolini, trimmed into bite-sized pieces
30 g pepitas, flaked almonds, or pine nuts, toasted
30 g feta cheese, crumbled
5–6 oil-cured black olives, pitted and torn into pieces
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. In the meantime, make the harissa oil. Sprinkle the smashed garlic clove with the salt and chop into a paste. Transfer it to a small bowl and stir in the lemon juice, harissa, and olive oil.
Taste and add more salt, if needed.
When the water boils, salt it generously, add the ravioli, and boil until they float and are cooked through, usually just 1–2 minutes. About 30 seconds before the ravioli has finished cooking, add the broccoli to the pot, boil for the remaining time, then drain.
Put the ravioli and broccoli in a large mixing bowl.
Toss with a couple spoonfuls of the harissa oil and most of the pepitas. Taste and add more salt, if needed. Turn out onto a serving platter and top with more harissa oil, the remaining pepitas, the feta cheese, and olives.
World Baking Day is this Sunday 19th May. Celebrate by whipping up a scrumptious Chocolate Toffee Cake.
This easy recipe is from Margaret Fulton’s Encyclopaedia of Food and Cookery.
Chocolate Toffee Cake
125 g (4½ oz) butter
155 g (5½ oz/⅔ cup) firmly packed
75 g (2¾ oz/½ cup) self-raising flour
55 g (2 oz/½ cup) ground almonds
75 g (2¾ oz) dark chocolate, grated
extra grated chocolate (optional)
60 g (2 oz) butter
155 g (5½ oz/⅔ cup) firmly packed
2 tablespoons golden syrup
125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) cream
sifted icing (confectioners’) sugar (optional)
Cream butter with sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then fold in flour and ground almonds. Add chocolate and mix well. Pour into a greased and lined 20 cm (8 in) cake tin. Bake in a preheated moderate oven (180°C/350°F) for 1¼ hours or until firm to a light touch. Leave in the tin for 5 minutes, then turn carefully onto a wire rack to cool.
To make toffee icing, put butter, sugar and syrup into a saucepan. Stir over a gentle heat until sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, reduce heat immediately and simmer, without stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly pour in cream in a steady stream, beating well with a wooden spoon. Leave to cool and thicken. If you prefer a thicker icing, add sufficient icing sugar to give the desired consistency. Spread over cake and swirl surface with a spoon. Decorate with extra grated chocolate, if wished.
Bone Ash Sky (out July) is the story of an American journalist who goes home to unravel three generations of war and genocide, love and renewal, in Armenia, Beirut and modern-day Lebanon. When Anoush Pakradounian steps off a boat and feels Levantine heat on her cheek, she thinks she knows where she’s going: she thinks she knows who’s right and who’s wrong. Yet nothing about her family’s past is black and white.
In 1915 one million Armenians were marched into Syria by Turks and killed in the first genocide of the twentieth century. In 1982 Beirut came under Israeli siege for three months and 18,000 civilians died, while another 30,000 were wounded. Anoush’s quest for answers is interwoven with the memory of ruined cities and vanished empires: Lake Van before the genocide, Beirut in civil war, Ottoman villas and desecrated churches, Palestinian refugee camps and torture chambers turned into nightclubs. Her search to find out the truth about her father, her grandparents, and her own place in the story spans four generations and massive upheavals in the Middle East.
Today is ANZAC Day, where Australian and New Zealanders celebrate by eating Anzac Biscuits, delicious crunchy golden syrup flavoured biscuits, that became popular during World War One.
In the Hardie Grant office we used author Margaret Fulton’s classic recipe from her new book Encyclopaedia of Food and Cookery.
Crunchy and economical – an Australian favourite, made popular during World War I when there were egg shortages. Sent in food parcels to the troops who became famous as Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps).
125 g (4½ oz) butter
1 tablespoon golden syrup
2 tablespoons boiling water
1½ teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
100 g (3½ oz/1 cup) rolled oats
65 g (2¼ oz/¾ cup) desiccated (shredded) coconut
150 g (5½ oz/1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
220 g (8 oz/1 cup) sugar
Melt butter and syrup over low heat. Add boiling water mixed with soda. Pour into mixed dry ingredients and mix well. Drop teaspoonfuls of mixture on to greased baking trays, leaving room for spreading. Bake in a preheated slow oven (150°C/300°F) for 20 minutes. Cool on trays for a few minutes, then remove to wire racks. Store in airtight containers. Makes about 48.
Celebrate England’s day next Tuesday by baking some traditional English scones.
Try the recipe below from our new book Margaret Fulton’s Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery. If you want to flex your culinary muscles have a go at one of her variations.
A Crusted Orange Scone or a Cheese Topped Scone Loaf is surely the perfect way to celebrate the slaying of a dragon!
The fragrance of freshly baked scones promises a treat that is never out of style. These most popular of quick breads can be mixed and baked in 15 minutes to enjoy with tea or coffee, or to provide hot savoury snacks or even the basis of a casual meal. Hot scones with cream and a good berry jam make that delight known the world over as Devonshire Tea. The original West England version uses clotted cream, but whipped cream does very well.
450 g (1 lb/3 cups) self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
60 g (2 oz) butter
310 ml (10 1/2 fl oz/1 1/4 cups) milk or buttermilk
Sift flour and salt into
Sift flour and salt into a bowl. Rub in butter. Add nearly all the milk at once and mix in quickly with a knife. Add remaining milk only if necessary to mix to a soft dough. Turn onto a floured board and knead by turning and pressing with heel of hand 3 or 4 times. Pat out to a round 2 cm (¾ in) thick and cut into 4 cm (1½ in) rounds with a floured pastry cutter. Place scones close together on a lightly greased baking tray. Brush tops with a little milk and bake in the top of a preheated very hot oven (230°C/450°F) for 10–15 minutes or until well risen and golden. For soft scones, wrap in a dish towel as soon as they come from oven. For crusty scones, do not wrap; cool on a wire rack. Serve warm with butter or with jam and cream.
FRUIT SCONES: Follow recipe for Scones, but stir in 1 tablespoon sugar and 60 g (2 oz/½ cup) sultanas (golden raisins) or other dried fruit after
rubbing in butter. A little grated orange or lemon zest, or mixed spice, may also be added.
CHEESE SCONES: Follow recipe for Scones, but stir in 40 g (1½ oz/¹⁄³ cup) grated well-flavoured cheese, ¼ teaspoon dry mustard and a good grinding of black pepper or a pinch of cayenne after rubbing in butter. Bake scones in a preheated hot oven (220°C/425°F) for about 10 minutes.
CHEESE-TOPPED SCONE LOAF: Prepare dough as for Cheese Scones, place on a lightly greased baking sheet, and shape into a round or rectangular loaf 2.5 cm (1 in) thick. Mix together 45 g (1½ oz) softened butter, a pinch of salt, 60 g (2 oz/½ cup) grated cheese, and a pinch of cayenne, dry mustard and nutmeg. Spread mixture over loaf. Sprinkle with a little paprika and bake in a preheated hot oven (220°C/425°F) for 12–18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Serve cut in slices and buttered.
HERB SCONES: Follow recipe for Scones, but add 1 tablespoon chopped mixed fresh herbs, or 1 teaspoon dried herbs with 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, 2 teaspoons finely chopped shallot and 1 teaspoon sugar after rubbing in butter. Serve with morning coffee or as a savoury alternative at tea time.
CRUSTED ORANGE SCONES: Follow recipe for Scones, but add 1 tablespoon sugar after rubbing in butter, and use 60 ml (2 fl oz/¼ cup) orange juice
and 190 ml (6½ fl oz/¾ cup) milk for the liquid. Press a piece of loaf sugar dipped in orange juice
on top of each scone before baking.
SPICED FRUIT PINWHEELS: Prepare dough as for Scones. Roll out to a rectangle 5 mm (¼ in) thick, brush with melted butter and sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle with mixed dried fruit, roll up and cut into 2 cm (¾ in) thick slices. Place, cut sides up, in a greased, shallow baking tin and bake in a preheated hot oven (220°C/425°F) for 10–12 minutes or until browned.
The first book from the writers of the stunning Green Kitchen Stories blog is out now! With 100 delicious and healthy vegetarian recipes for every day and beautiful photography, this is one book you’ll want to get your hands on, fast.
Here is a short video from David Frenkiel and Luise Vindahl to celebrate the launch of their book, featuring a lazy Sunday morning in their Stockholm home and a few of their favourite breakfast recipes from the book. (Directed and shot by Albin Holmqvist and styled by Belen Vazquez Amaro).
The long weekend is nearly here! And, of course, we have our mind on what to cook for our family and friends this Easter. Never fear, the Hardie Grant shelves have offered up some delicious Easter-inspired recipes to help you out. Start your morning with some freshly baked Greek-inspired cardamom and cinammon rolls, have a late lunch of racks of lamb with cumin crust and roasted stuffed tomatoes, and polish off a refreshing bowl of limoncello sorbet for dessert - if you have room! Happy Easter from us all at the Hardie Grant office.
Cardamom and cinnamon rolls
These fragrant rolls are lovely for breakfast or brunch and are also ideal for school lunches. If you want fresh rolls for breakfast, make the dough the day before, cut it into bun shapes and leave them on a tray in the fridge overnight. The next morning, bring them to room temperature before baking. The delicious aromas will have everyone out of bed and waiting at the breakfast table!
5 teaspoons dry yeast
180 g sugar
310 ml warm water
155 g unsalted butter, melted
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon powdered milk
800 g plain flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
125 g sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons ground cardamom
Mix the yeast and sugar with the warm water and 90 g of the melted butter and leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes until it starts to froth up. Stir in the eggs and powdered milk until well combined.
Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Pour the yeast mixture into the flour and mix well to combine. Knead for 10 minutes to form a smooth, elastic dough. You can do this by hand or with an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl. Cover with cling film and leave in a warm place for about 1 hour until the dough has doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 180.C and lightly grease a baking tray.
Scoop the dough out onto your work surface and knead for a few minutes. Roll into a 30 cm x 40 cm rectangle. Brush with the remaining melted butter and sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon and cardamom. With the longer side facing you, roll the dough up like a Swiss roll. Cut into 5 cm slices. Lie the slices flat on the baking tray. Using your thumbs and forefingers, pinch each slice gently, so you push the centres up a little, like a rosebud. Leave in a warm place for 15 minutes to rise.
Bake for 25 minutes until golden and fragrant. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for a few minutes before serving,
Recipe taken from À La Grecque by Pam Talimanidis
Racks of Lamb with Cumin Crust
4 small racks of lamb, consisting of 3 or 4 cutlets each
1 1/2cups fresh white breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roasted Stuffed Tomatoes
4 roma tomatoes, halved
2 sun-dried tomatoes or red capsicum, quartered
4 black olives, pitted and finely chopped
1 teaspoon capers
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Trim the racks of excess fat and score the fat in several places. Mix the breadcrumbs, parsley, cumin, garlic and oil in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Cover the scored side of the lamb with a thick layer of the crumb mixture, pressing onto the meat.
Place the halved tomatoes on a baking tray and top each with a the quartered sun-dried tomato or capsicum, sprinkle with the olives and capers and set aside. Place the lamb in a baking dish and roast for 15–20 minutes, until the meat is pink and juicy. Allow a further 5–10 minutes for well-done. Leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the stuffed tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Place in the oven to roast while the lamb is resting. Transfer the meat to 4 heated plates and surround with the roasted tomatoes. Serve if liked, with roast potatoes.
Recipe taken from The Margaret Fulton Cookbook by Margaret Fulton
Limoncello Sorbet or Granita
In many of the restaurants along the Amalfi coast you will see lemon sorbet served in a hollowed-out lemon shell. But lemons aren’t the only fruit they use in this way – you can see strawberry sorbet served in large strawberries, walnut ice cream scooped into walnut shells, etc. A selection of these makes a stunning dessert. This recipe also works for granita – the frozen ice that is scraped into little ice crystals with a spoon. There is a bar in Positano where they make the refreshing L’Albertissimo, named after the owner, which is lemon granita mixed with peach vodka and grenadine.
200 g (7 oz/7⁄8 cup) caster (superfine) sugar
400 ml (13 fl oz/13⁄4 cups) water
100 ml (31⁄2 fl oz/1⁄2 cup) limoncello
juice of 5 lemons
pinch of salt
To make sorbet:
In a small pan, heat the water with the sugar. As soon as the sugar dissolves remove the pan from the heat and pour the liquid into a refrigerated bowl to cool. Stir in the remaining ingredients, then churn in an ice-cream maker. If you don’t have an ice-cream maker, make a granita instead.
To make granita:
In a small pan, heat the water with the sugar. As soon as the sugar dissolves remove the pan from the heat and pour the liquid into a refrigerated bowl to cool. Stir in the remaining ingredients, then pour the cooled mixture into a shallow container and freeze until solid. Use a spoon to break the mixture into large crystals and refreeze.
Recipe taken from The Amalfi Coast by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi
It is time to transport ourselves to a sun-drenched land bursting with lemon trees, breathtaking scenery and food that resonates with simplicity, flavour and sunshine. The Amalfi Coast is a new cookbook from the owners of London’s Caffeé Caldesi, the Marylebone La Cucina Caldesi cooking school and Caldesi in Campagna in Bray. With a passion for Italian food, Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi have completed their fourth book and it is beautifully littered with gorgeous photography from Positano to Ravello. They tackle the daring driving, precariously perched restaurants and hidden back alleys in search of defining dishes of this picturesque part of the world - crispy pizzas garnished with clouds of mozzarella and fresh basil, delicious pastas drenched with tomato sauce and seafood and homemade tarts and limoncello granita. This book will make your mouth water and is guaranteed to bring the tastes and flavours from this stunning coastline into your own kitchen. The Amalfi Coast by Katie and Giancarlo Caldesi £25, published by Hardie Grant, available online here.
Video taken from the TV show Jonathan Phang’s Caribbean Cookbook courtesy of Food Network. For more recipes from Jonathan Phang, check out his cookbook, The Pepperpot Club, out April and available here.
This week sees the excitement mounting in the capital for the renowned London Fashion Week (Friday 15th to Tuesday 19th February). Fashion’s biggest names will be crowding into the city to see what Britain’s best designers have to offer for Autumn/Winter 2013. From House of Holland to Mark Fast, Clements Ribeiro to Erdem, the fashion pack have plenty to be getting their teeth (or claws) into this coming weekend.
We’re looking forward to the round-ups of the Autumn/Winter collections in the glossies and on the top fashion sites - not forgetting the street style snaps of London’s best known movers and shakers who step out daily in ensembles most of us only dream of wearing. Street style is just one of the ways Fashion Week overflows with inspiration and excitement for fashion’s new offers. The schedule for the weekend sees catwalks from established, renowned designers, but also the top picks of dynamic new talent and graduates from London’s prestigious art and fashion schools.
On the topic of London’s top fashion colleges, Central St Martins lecturer Rod Judkins has compiled 57 tips on how to unlock the creative genius within, in his new book Change Your Mind. This little hardback is full to the brim with quirky graphic illustrations and insider knowledge on how to become more creative at work, at home and at play. Change Your Mind also shares nuggets of wisdom from some of the most creative people in the world - from Picasso to Paul McCartney, learn how experts of the creative industry keep their artistic juices flowing.
We couldn’t mention London Fashion Week without a mention of our author Jonathan Phang, who has worked in the fashion industry for over two decades. He has managed the career of models such as Jerry Hall, and you’ll also recognise him from his appearances on TV as a fashion expert - noticeably as a judge on Britain and Ireland’s Next Top Model. As well as his fashion credentials, Jonathan has a long-standing passion for cooking delicious family recipes from the Caribbean. His new cookbook The Pepperpot Club, is a collection of his family recipes from the six races of the Caribbean, alongside which he recounts a childhood defined by tales of the homeland and his mother’s spicy aromatic cooking. Watch Jonathan’s trailer for The Pepperpot Club here and catch his cooking programme, Jonathan Phang’s Caribbean Cookbook on Food Network UK this Spring.
Whilst the rest of London are in full-frontal fashion frenzy, we certainly need some art and design inspiration to keep us up to speed with the city. That’s why we’ve been flicking through Le Snob: Shoes and Le Snob: Tailoring to swot up on our essential sartorial stats. And Sharmadean Reid’s much-loved book, The WAH Nail Book of Nail Art, will be an essential for all fashionistas this weekend. With all that jetting from one fashion show to the next, there’s no time for a Saturday manicure, which is why you’ll need Sharmadean’s DIY nail art projects to make sure your talons are looking suitably slick in time for the Vivienne Westwood Red Label show. Oh how we wish we could say, ‘see you there’!
Rod Judkins, author of Change Your Mind, takes time out of his busy schedule to talk to us through the inspiration behind his book and share some tips on being more creative.
Please can you tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I work as a painter (see rodjudkins.com). I teach drawing and design at Central St Martins and other universities. Central St Martins is recognized as the art college with the highest reputation in the world. It employs lecturers who are the most successful and important practitioners in their field. I work with and am surrounded by some of the most creative people in England and the world. I therefore see at first hand how the creative think and create. As a tutor, you see so many students and meet so many artists you start to notice they all have certain traits.
What gave you the idea for Change Your Mind?
Looking at the meager bookrack in a motorway service station on the M3 one evening, I noticed there were many books that made astrophysics, economics, physics and other obtuse subjects popular and accessible. They explained to the public how those subjects were relevant to everyday life. There were none that made art and creativity appealing and relevant to truck drivers and travelling salesmen. What’s more, I’ve never seen one. Change Your Mind is an attempt to rectify that.
This is your first book – how did you find the process of writing a book?
I think writing is fairly easy because you only have to put down what you think onto paper. The visual elements of the book – the layouts and illustrations – were something I really struggled with. Nothing is harder than creating an image that communicates something. I turned to a lot of the habits I describe in the book for help. With a lot of help from the team at Hardie Grant the visual look of the book is exciting and original.
Did you enlist the help of your students/colleagues/family at all in compiling material for the book?
They were an influence. As a lecturer at universities you meet many remarkable students. You also come across many great artists and designers who work professionally but are also drawn to teach in universities because they are a source of energy and new ideas. As an artist I meet many other artists and also writers, actors and film directors who collect art. You cannot help but wonder why some of these creative people are so successful and others fall by the wayside. It seems to me that success in the creative world has little to do with ‘talent’ but a lot to do with the factors I discuss in the book.
There are quite a lot of famous creative types mentioned or quoted throughout the book. Who do you find the most inspiring and why?
Andy Warhol because he had so many of the qualities described in Change Your Mind. He did the opposite to everyone else. In New York in the sixties, Abstract Expressionism was dominant. Warhol felt alienated by it and set out to do the exact opposite. He used assistants and encouraged them to help him with his work. He treated ‘low’ and ‘high’ forms of art equally. He had many of the habits described in the book.
Do you think anything in particular hinders people’s creativity today?
The pressure from society and our culture to be sensible and reasonable and to distrust creativity.
Is there one tip from Change Your Mind which you find yourself practicing on a regular basis?
I think the advice to be open minded. It is quite hard to do. It is easier to become entrenched in ideas than be open and flexible.
If you had to choose one tip from Change Your Mind to pass onto people who want to become more creative, which one would it be?
Chapter 27 – ‘Do What You Like’ – do what makes you feel most alive then you will be more energized and put the most effort into what you do.
Change Your Mind, by Rod Judkins, is published today, Friday 1st February. Click here to buy Change Your Mind.
Peter Kuruvita wowed us with his culinary adventures around Sri Lanka, Indonesia and the Phillippines in Pacific Island Feasts. We caught up with him to find out how to bring a touch of sunshine to the UK with some of his recipes. Here are Peter’s top tips:
Part of the fun is exploring new ingredients. Asian supermarkets are like a brand new world of discoveries where you’ll find cassava, ghee, annatto oil, tamarind, palm sugar and mace but don’t worry if you can’t find these, you can use replacements - instead of cassava try sweet potato. Can’t find annatto oil? Don’t worry - the oil is used for its red colouring so normal oil works too. If a recipe needs tamarind you can use lime juice to get the same acidic quality and dark sugar will work just as well as palm sugar.
It is important to have some key ingredients at home to add flavour to any meal. For me salt is a must-have and worthwhile investing in a good quality sea salt if you can. Citrus adds life to other ingredients, spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric and chilli are a good base, garlic, onion and ginger add flavour, while fresh coriander is a great compliment to all Asian cuisine.
The best meat to absorb strong flavours is white fish like turbot or cod, as they keep their own strong flavour too, and chicken thigh fillets, as they are moister, more tender and have so much flavour of their own too. It’s also good to unearth new cuts of meat like hanger steak which is lean and full of flavour yet so underrated in the UK. You can ask your butcher or fishmonger about the best cuts and not just the popular ones that everyone else uses.
To get the best flavour out of your recipes you should have a balance between ingredients - add spice for sweetness, bring life to the dish with fat, cut the fat with the acid from lemons or limes, bring flavour with chilli, enhance flavour and bring everything together with salt. A lot of my recipes follow this mantra, like my pork belly skewers made with garlic, onion, sugar, soy and lemonade.
Happy New Year from all of us here at the Hardie Grant office! We hope you had a great Christmas and that Santa brought you all those books you asked for!
With the start of a new year, it seems like everyone, from your neighbour to your Granny, enthusiastically embarks on a health kick to shed those extra few pounds that creep on over the festive season. If you, like the rest of the western world, feel like you may have indulged in one (or four) mince pies too many, then we have the answer for you – some healthy and nutritious recipes from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Every Day. Drastic detoxes and juice fasts are so 2012 - instead, nourish your body with Heidi’s wholesome recipes, which include energy-boosting wholegrains and in season fruit and vegetables, jazzed up with some delicious flavour combinations. These simple recipes from the queen of vegetarian eating will delight meat-eaters and non meat-eaters alike (who needs more meat after all that turkey anyway?!) and help us over-indulgers give our digestive systems a bit of a TLC in the new year.
You can buy Super Natural Every Day here.
Primrose Bakery cupcakes and champagne for a Christmassy celebration in the office!