“I am coming to Chatsworth to share my passion, not only for baking but also for good family cooking,” said the queen of cakes, Mary Berry.
Speaking shortly before The Great British Bake-Off hit our screens this week, the programme’s judge spoke of her joy at returning to Derbyshire.
“Chatsworth is such a lovely estate and I am thrilled to be coming back,” she said. “I visited the farm shop several years ago because they stocked my range of salad dressings and sauces. It is a wonderful farm shop, with so much locally produced foods.”
She will be doing two demonstrations at Chatsworth Country Fair on Friday, August 30, at 11am and 4pm, as well as signing copies of her book, Mary Berry Cookery Course, the latest in a 70-strong collection stretching back to 1968.
So what will she be cooking at the fair? “I am going to make salmon terrine, steak with wild mushroom sauce and hazelnut and raspberry roulade,” she said.
The family-orientated presenter blew a raspberry at claims in the national press that she’s on a mission to clean up television cook shows. “It’s not true,” she said. “I think there is no need to be noisy and vulgar but I am not criticising anyone.
“I enjoy TV programmes like the Great British Bake-off. They are fun and inspire people to cook.
“My aim is to show people how to bake and how to cook using things from their cupboard.
“I think baking is popular nowadays because it is recession time.”
Mary practises what she preaches with her five grandchildren. “We cook lunches together. ” she said.
Her favourite cake is the versatile Victoria sponge and she’s particularly fond of coffee and walnut or ginger variations.
At the age of 78 and still slim, which she owes to restricting herself to one small slice of her confections and a balanced diet, Mary shows no sign of hanging up her oven gloves. She’s got her sights set on another BBC2 series next year in which she will be focusing on food for families.