get fruity with tv chef phil vickery

Chef Phil Vickery. Picture: PA Photo/Handout.
Chef Phil Vickery. Picture: PA Photo/Handout.

Phil Vickery may be the professional cook in the family, but it’s Fern Britton who serves up some of the most popular meals in their house.

The TV chef tells us about his wife’s famous tats and the Bramley apples campaign he’s involved with.

If you lived at the Vickery residence, you’d certainly be spoilt for choice at dinner time.

As well as This Morning chef Phil Vickery’s tasty bread and butter puddings (made using his dad’s recipe) and apple crumbles, you’d also be treated to his wife Fern Britton’s peerless potatoes.

“My wife does a brilliant roast, and the best roast potatoes in the world,” says Vickery, 52.

“Even after so many years cooking, I still can’t get them like hers.”

The TV cook, who is busy writing a cookery book about British game, is currently supporting a Bramley apples campaign, celebrating the juicy British fruit.

Last month, he launched The Great Bramley Bake In, a nationwide search to find the best Bramley apple recipe, with foodies posting their fruity offerings on the Bramley Apple Facebook page.

The winning dish will be decided by public vote, taking place on the social media site until March 23.

Vickery may not have his TV presenter wife’s knack with spuds, but there’s no time for chips on his shoulder in the kitchen when the four children are all at home.

While most of the time, the kids (twins Jack and Henry, and Grace, from Britton’s previous marriage, and youngest daughter Winnie) can’t be “bothered” to whip up meals for the family Vickery has noticed that when there is a compelling reason to, they do step up to the plate.

“I think the lads thought it was quite cool to cook for mates and prospective girlfriends,” he explains. “The girls are pretty good at cooking.”

But the rest of the time, it’s him and Britton who take on the bulk of the meals. Not that Vickery minds.

“I went through a stage of not wanting to cook,” admits the chef, who says that his dream dinner guests would be Harry Redknapp, Victorian chef Alexis Soyer, Mrs Beeton and Frankie Howerd.

“But now I really enjoy it again. I think all the years of pressured cooking gets you down a bit. Now it’s just good fun. Plus cooking on telly is great.”

He says his wife is a “very good cook”, and the couple like to keep the atmosphere light in the family’s home in Buckinghamshire.

“I like the radio on in the kitchen, so does Fern,” says Vickery. “It’s all very relaxed and informal, but we do like to be organised and hate rushing.

“With the children growing older and the twins at university, the chance for family mealtimes is scarce, but when they can all get together, they like nothing better than a tasty roast with all the trimmings.

“A roast is one of the few meals all the family will eat, so it’s perfect,” says Vickery.

“We try to eat together as much as possible.”

Visit www.facebook.com/BramleyApple‎to find out more and cast your vote on the Bramley Apple recipes before Sunday.