Celebrity chef Lisa Faulkner recently spoke to HELLO! all about her delicious summer dishes, what mealtimes are like at home with her husband, Masterchef's John Torode and their five children, Billie, Casper, Jonah, Marselle and Lulu, and her top tips on how to keep food fresh in the heat when dining alfresco.
The 49-year-old has partnered with Volvic for their new campaign to encourage people to go 'beyond their expectation' to create beautiful picnics to enjoy with friends and family, and has even come up with some amazing recipes for you to try out for yourself.
RELATED: John Torode and Lisa Faulkner's family home is a cosy London retreat
We sat down with Lisa to find out all about how to host the perfect picnic…
Lisa Faulkner shares her top tips for hosting a summer picnic
Picnics have been a huge part of lockdown for people. Do you have any fond memories from your alfresco meals?
"We're still having them! A lot of my friends have vulnerable people around them, so as much as possible, we are spending time outside and have eaten outside more than ever.
"I've done a Muffuletta recipe for the Volvic Touch of Fruits campaign. It's a massive sandwich all in one big roll which is filled with ham, cheese, olives and peppers. Then when you take it to your picnic, you can cut it into wedges and everyone can have it. We're always trying to take things to the next level and make things exciting because eating outside has become the norm now for a lot of us."
The celebrity chef has created a scrumptious sandwich recipe in partnership with Volvic
What is the inspiration behind the Volvic menu, is there any nostalgia behind it?
"With the big strawberry centrepiece, it was the Volvic strawberries that inspired me. The tempered chocolate sphere is decorated like a strawberry, and when you cut into it, it's got strawberries, little meringue kisses and fresh mint. It's really quite a showstopper."
Do you have a favourite picnic location?
"I have to say that Richmond Park is one of my favourite places to picnic. I grew up around there so it has huge memories of my childhood, and I had picnics growing up there all the time. It's lovely to be in that park. It's one of my favourite places."
MORE: Lisa Faulkner's kitchen mishap leaves John Torode and fans in hysterics
What tips would you give to someone preparing a picnic who isn’t confident in the kitchen?
"I think that the tip is to keep it as simple as possible. If you're meeting friends, you could all bring one dish, and whether it's something you've picked up in the supermarket or something you've made yourself, I don't think it really matters. It's about everybody getting together and enjoying some food."
Lisa Faulkner's new dessert was inspired by Volvic strawberries
If you're hosting a picnic, how would you recommend keeping your food fresh in the heat?
"If you're hosting and you're making a salad and cooking stuff, I would say prepare it as close as possible to the time you're eating it so that it stays fresh. If you can't you just have to keep it in the fridge. With hot food, you just have to be careful."
What is your go-to favourite summer drink?
"Of course it's Volvic Touch Of Fruit. Me and Billie, my daughter, was beside herself when she knew I was working with Volvic because she loves it! She drinks it all the time. And her favourite is the strawberry flavour. What I really like about it is that it has some fizz to it. I also don't drink very much alcohol because I get migraines so it's one of those drinks that I love."
DISCOVER: Lisa Faulkner's daily diet: the TV cook's breakfast, lunch and dinner revealed
Is home cooking a huge part of your daily diet at home with the family?
"Huge! We tend to cook pretty much everything from scratch. Of course, there are days where we get the odd takeaway and restaurant boxes have been amazing over lockdown, but I do love going to a restaurant and being served food. I feel that I'm very lucky to be served food and I never take that for granted when you go to restaurants, especially after being stuck in for so long.
"I am very lucky to have John. I do live with an incredible chef and all my friends are great cooks. So yeah, we tend to eat at home a lot."
Lisa is married to famous chef John Torode
Would you say that the cooking is shared at home between you and John?
"It's completely 50/50. It actually depends on who's working, or who's filming at the time. And also who wants to eat what. We always say the kids are so lucky. If we say to them, 'What do you want to eat?' Whatever they say, we cook!
"They say, 'Can we have Korean fried chicken?' and suddenly, it's whipped up. 'Can we have Chicken Milanese?' and then that's what they've got. They just say 'thanks', eat it and then throw stuff in the dishwasher and go back upstairs on their phones. It's hilarious because they take it for granted! They're very lucky in the fact that whatever they ask for usually gets cooked."
Lisa Faulkner has collaborated with Volvic Touch of Fruit as it launches its competition to win the ultimate ‘Beyond your Expectations’ picnic experience. Volvic Touch of Fruit has also revealed the Top 10 Picnic hotspots to reconnect with nature. Head to the Volvic Instagram page to enter and find out more.
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