Marie-Clare James

Marie-Clare James

Age: 40ish

Occupation: Chefs@School Project manager

Restaurants: Federation of Chefs Scotland

Project Manager for Chefs@School Marie-Clare also spends as much time as she can volunteering with local schools.

Name 2 of your “food heroes” and tell us why they inspire you?

When I was a child the biggest influence on my cooking was my nana. Every day there was a plate of home made soup when we came home from school and we spent lots of time growing vegetables and making all of our meals from scratch.Food was an integral part of our household not in a modern "foodie" kind of way, but as part of our family you were expected to peel and chop veg, set the table and wash up. I also loved watching TV cooks like Keith Floyd and Rick Stein and was addicted to cookery programmes . Even as a small child as I was fascinated not only by cooking but also where food came from. 

What do you like to cook and why?

I like to cook simple dishes with great fresh ingredients that speak for themselves. I love cooking for family and friends and almost run an open kitchen at home!

When did you decide to become a food educator?

In the last few years I have been working with children in schools and I find it the most rewarding thing that I can do.I learn as much from the children as they do from me!

What do you remember about School dinners?

Green plastic plates formica tables and beetroot with everything.

What was your favourite school dinner?

Corned Beef mashed potatoes and yes beetroot!

What would be your perfect meal?

Seafood straight out of the sea.

What kitchen tool could you NOT live without?

Dishwasher – love cooking, hate dishes.

In your restaurant or premises who would be your ideal diner?

Someone who likes what I cook.

If you weren't a cook what would you be?

A Gardener.

Where do you go when you want to eat at a restaurant?

Having lived in Edinburgh for a long time I love eating out in Leith, but I also like to jump on a train and go home to Glasgow lots of great places to eat and I endeavour to try as many of them as possible.

What 5 ingredients would you choose to have on your desert Island?

Potatoes, fish, onions, garlic and lots of herbs