5 minutes with Amanda Belz

by hannahb21

Amanda Belz: the obvious choice for this  ‘5 minutes with…’

Amanda is an Assistant Head Chef Trainer at Oxford Brookes University. She also runs the Cook @ Brookes Cookery courses, for both adults and children.

I recently sat down with Amanda and found out her inspiration and what she would do if she won the lottery. When it comes to all things food she is my inspiration.

Why did you decide to pursue a career in the food industry?

I originally wanted to join the police force but couldn’t apply until I was 18 so went to catering college instead. I had the most wonderful time and loved every minute. The rest is history!

Ready for College

What is it you love about cooking?

The end result and the chance to share the fruits of my labour with family, friends or anyone who will eat it.

with Anton Mossiman

Favourite Restaurant?

Has to be Le Manoir; I have been fortunate enough to eat there many times.  I have also met Raymond Blanc during my time at Oxford Brookes and have cooked for him.

Hannah Belz, Raymond Blanc, Amanda Belz

I also recently dined at Ottolenghi in London and loved it; I adore the Ottolenghi cookbook so it was nice to eat at the restaurant.

Having lunch at Ottolenghi in Islington

Who inspires/inspired you?

My dear friend Sharon Rhind, she is a great cook who probably has as many cookery/foodie books as me.

Having fun with friend Sharon

What is your earliest food memory?

Ock and Dough:  A traditional Wellingborough dish that my Nan used to make every Friday for lunch.

This time waitressing

What is your favourite dish to make? Also to eat?

This is a hard one because I have no favourites but I particularly like making bread and also jams made with fruit from my garden. Tagines and tiramisu are signature dishes of mine that I seem to cook when entertaining large numbers at home.

Sharing her love for making preserves on the Chutney course @ Brookes

Do you enjoy watching cookery programmes? If so what if you favourite?

Sometimes,  I really enjoyed The Great British Bake Off.  I also enjoyed all the Rick Stein programmes, I have been very fortunate to meet him several times at Oxford Brookes.

With Rick Stein (not quite ready for the photo)

What is your ultimate foodie dream?

If I won the lottery I would set up a cookery school in Tuscany and run it with daughters. I would obviously be the boss who made all the decisions and my husband could do all the boring business bits. 

Favourite holiday destination, Italy, with family

Tell me something completely different about yourself…

I was once Miss Junior Pontins in about 1974.  My mum was so proud!  Sadly we didn’t win a free holiday just some vouchers to spend in the gift shop!!!!!