Starting her culinary career at Leiths, Libby Silbermann is the face behind our Maldon Salt recipes. Excitingly, Libby has just released her second book ‘Foolproof Fish’. This Q&A sets the scene at her at home, where we talk about what it is like to work as a Food Stylist & Recipe Creator and where she draws inspiration from.
When did you know you wanted to work doing what you do?
I’ve always loved cooking from a young age. I was equally creative at school too and nearly went to art school, but I never realised there could be a career which combined the two. I first had a taste of Food Styling and gained an insight into how shoots work when I assisted at Jamie Oliver’s with his in-house food team, and I was hooked. I then went on to study at Leith’s with the end goal of styling and writing.
Is there a favourite project you’ve worked on to date?
‘Foolproof Fish’ (my most recent cookbook) has been a real highlight. It was so lovely to fully focus on Fish and Seafood – which are some of my favourite ingredients to cook with. Seeing people post about cooking your recipes is both surreal and exciting!
What is your favourite way to enjoy a pinch of Maldon Salt?
Maldon salt is a fundamental ingredient to nearly all my cooking and recipes – salt is key to enhancing and balancing flavours. I love a good pinch across a simple tomato salad, on top of a dark chocolate cookie or brownie and across a well toasted, (very) well buttered piece of toast.
Any meal, anywhere, what is it?
I love Asian flavours and dishes and so that salty, savoury Unami is often what I crave. Dumplings with crispy chilli oil, steaming chilli chicken ramen and some garlicky soy greens and I’m sold.
Is there a favourite recipe in your new book Foolproof Fish?
I love the crab linguine – it has crab, chilli, tomatoes, and lemon but instead of parmesan it is topped with a garlicky sourdough pangrattato which is common in Italian cooking. The crunchy topping alongside the silky pasta is a must try!
Do you have a favourite cuisine?
I really do love all food cuisines but probably Italian or maybe Sri Lankan.
What does a Friday night in look like?
In my 30s I seem to have adopted a new rule of ‘Saturday nights out, Friday nights in’ (or vice versa). Usually, I’ll cook whatever I have been craving that week and normally it’s a little of a fridge forage situation – often, it’s pasta.
Libby’s new book ‘Foolproof Fish’ is now available to buy, where you can also enjoy all of her recipes available on our blog.