Lifestyle: Five minutes with Chef Genevieve Frosch
— Healthy Flapjacks Recipe for Winter and beyond —
Genevieve Frosch is a freelance personal chef who works all over the world. An inspired creative, as well as a culinary genius, Gen’s clients include Plum Sykes, Lulu Guinness and Damien Hirst. Passionate about food made from the heart, signature plates include wholesome, comforting dishes as well as truly gorgeous cakes.
First meeting Ancienne Ambiance Director Adriana Carlucci about 13 years ago, around this time Gen made Adriana some amazing flapjacks. Baked following a recipe Genevieve learned from the first family she ever worked for as a personal chef, read on to discover their delicious recipe.
I grabbed five minutes with the lovely Genevieve, exploring how she became a chef and what her latest brilliant venture entails…
Tell us about becoming a personal chef, when did you know that was what you wanted to do?
It’s not something I ever thought about wanting to do. I have always liked cooking and eating, and I had worked in kitchens, cafes, bars and hotels- you name it I had done it. I loved working and loved having my independence and money from a young age. But how I fell into becoming a personal chef was by complete accident. I was working as PA to someone who owned a chain of bakeries in Gloucestershire and took a second job as a weekend nanny for a family with a country home nearby. After a week or so on the job I was asked to make spaghetti bolognaise for the family and I guess it must have been alright. In fact, the feedback was that it was delicious, but could I put less veg in it.
That’s the thing, I had been brought up in Canada by super healthy parents who hardly ate any meat and I didn’t know a thing about English cooking. I had never eaten English breakfast or a roast dinner and, by the next week, that’s what I was doing. I bought the Leith’s cookery bible and, under the guidance of my employers, I starting cooking all sorts of traditional seasonal English food. When I realised I could make more money as a freelance personal chef, I quit my job and off I went.
Your beautiful cakes are absolutely incredible, where do you find the inspiration behind baking ideas?
Thats really nice to hear, thank you. My earliest memory of baking a cake was when I was about seven. I’d be the first one up in the house, always very early and hungry. In my family we always used flowers and fruit to decorate our cakes. When I think about it, it was probably because it was healthier than sweets and free as my mum had a very good garden and no money.
For me though I love the colour, pattern and vibrancy that flowers and fruit have naturally, I like to use a mixture of bought and made decorations and I like to push the decorating as far as I can till they almost become abstract objects.
When I first started out baking for customers, I was heavily influenced by Fiona Cairns whose recipes are spot on. I also love Lily Vanili, her Instagram feed makes me happy.
Which nourishing dishes are your all-time favourite to make, whether for clients, family or friends?
Dahl or Vegetarian Curry, Greek Lamb Stew and Chicken and tarragon pie and Seasonal fruit crumble. Not all at once though. I have never followed a diet or a food plan or a way of eating, I just don’t think restrictions are in any way healthy for body or mind unless you suffer from intolerances. For me food should be a balance of special and simple, should be made beautifully with love and then no matter what they will nourish you. Love nourishes and beauty nourishes.
My Soul Tribe is your latest exciting business venture, can you share more about it?
Yes! I want the food that I have been making for clients over the years to be available off the shelf for everyone to be able to afford and get hold of. I am starting with a handful of my top dishes and a few puddings which I will sell in a few shops nearby or straight from my kitchen and also through my website.
I am still looking for a suitable kitchen and am finishing off my website as I write this but I have been cooking from home and selling to existing clients and mums on the school run out of the boot of my car.
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How do you like to relax, when you do get a spare moment?
I have a 10-year-old son and the other night after dinner we played catch in the last rays of the summery sun. It was pure bliss. I really enjoy hanging out with him. I am also a big outdoor swimmer and I’m still braving the lake near my house. I also love running, walking, drawing, painting, reading and watching films.
Which is your favourite Ancienne Ambiance buy?
The Rose Rose Luxury Bath Salts in the glass bottle. I love baths and always feel the benefits of using salts and roses are just so luxurious and inspiring. And I love collecting beautiful glass bottles to re-use.
Stay Healthy This Winter
Read on for Genevieve’s aforementioned-flapjack recipe, a delicious iron-rich healthy treat to tuck into this Winter and beyond…
Flapjacks with molasses and mixed seeds
As Genevieve explains,
“I was working for a family as their personal chef when I discovered this recipe. I believe the story goes that when Mrs R had her first baby and was recovering in hospital the doctors noticed she was very low in iron. Her mum made her a batch of these flapjacks which are full of molasses and mixed seeds to help bring her back to health and they have since become a firm family favourite. I’ve looked it up and molasses contains iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin b6 and selenium so there may be some truth in it, however, I can’t say that this recipe will cure you but it is tasty. I have trialed a gluten and dairy and refined sugar free version too which you can find below.”
250g jumbo oats
100g mixed seeds
125g butter cut into small chunks
3 heaped tablespoons of golden syrup
Alternative Version: gluten and dairy and refined sugar free
250g gluten free oats
100g mixed seeds
125g coconut oil
3 heaped tablespoons of honey/maple syrup/agave
1/2 a grated apple
Step 1. Pre heat the oven to 180c and line or lightly grease a 20 x 20 cm baking dish
Step 2. Put all the ingredients into a food processor (not a Nutribullet) and blitz, careful not to over mix.
Step 3. If you haven’t got a food processor melt the butter, molasses and syrup in a pan. Combine the dry ingredients and then pour the melted butter mix into the bowl and stir gently.
Step 4. Scrape all the ingredients out of the mixer or the bowl into the prepared tray and bake for about 15 mins or until the flapjacks have taken on a golden colour.
Step 5. Cool in the dish for 5 mins before moving to a board. I suggest you cut them while they are still warm.
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