Cook Profile on Hannah McCollum

Hannah McCollum - ChicP

Hannah McCollum has been working for Book a Cook clients for several years now. In between freelancing for my clients she has set up her own business, ChicP, selling speciality hummus and we have several pots to GIVE AWAY to the first clients who book a cook for Christmas!

Hannah says: “The inspiration behind ChicP is my passion to change attitudes to the way we approach cooking and waste… a chef turned entrepreneur. Food waste is part of modern life, but it need not be this way. ChicP’s ethos is to be part of the drive to encourage people to think differently about the way they eat. Over the last seven years, I’ve cooked for families in the UK and all over Europe, predominantly as a private chef. I would often convert leftover Middle-Eastern inspired vegetable dishes into dips for the next meal. Every day the question would be “what’s the dip of the day Hannah”?! While working for catering & events companies, I would witness the co-lossal volumes of food wasted. This combined with my love for healthy, fresh food, using local ingredients and creating new dishes from the food we already have in our homes, gave me the clear vision for ChicP.” Visit her website at www.chicp.co.uk

We asked Hannah some questions…

1. What was your inspiration for becoming a cook?

I studied at the Grange Cookery School and found inspiration from cooking everything from scratch, using as much produce we could from the farm. I love creating and putting different foods together using what you have in the cupboard or what’s grown in the garden.

I’m a huge fan of Ottolenghi and healthy cooking as well as reducing food waste.

2. What do you like about autumn?

I love the colours of Autumn, the smells in the countryside of fresh crisp air and also the beginning of more hearty, warm meals and fresh apple pies! I love coming up with lots of new dishes from our wonderful fruit trees.

3. What is a typical day in the life on a private chef?

Getting up usually relatively early… and putting away the dishwasher contents from the night before. Preparing the breakfast table and getting the breakfast ready.

Once breakfast is over, a bit of a clean, some menu prepping and perhaps the shopping.

The preparing lunch, serving lunch and putting away lunch.

If you’re lucky, a break in the afternoon – If I’m in the countryside or abroad, I love going on runs and exploring the local area before getting ready for the dinner.

4. What ingredients could you not live without and why?

Olive oil, lemon juice, tahini and herbs. These are my staples – they can be used for nearly every dish I cook, they add the flavour, they’re fantastic for cooking with, they garnish the dish to give are extremely versatile to cook with.

5. What are your interests outside of cooking?

I love sport (running, tennis, skiing and swimming especially), dancing, working on my business ChicP and travelling.