GL: What's the best meal you've ever had?
SD: God, it changes a lot, but on my brother's 21st birthday we sat on a dock in Menemsha, Martha's Vineyard, and ate cracked lobster with butter on paper plates, along with corn on the cob and coleslaw. We drank cold bottles of beer, and had brownies for dessert. Really simple, and totally sublime.
GL: You've included a lot of breakfast recipes in Very Fond of Food. Do you always eat it? What's on your ultimate morning menu?
SD: Breakfast would be my last meal if I was heading off to the ax. Savory breakfast, kedgeree, and really hot buttered soda bread and a huge pot of thick, French hot chocolate. I may be killed by the breakfast before the ax.
GL: What's your approach to dieting and staying healthy?
SD: I was pretty disciplined back in the day—a lot of protein and vegetables. These days, I'm not trying to fit into a sample size, so I don't think about it that much, unless my jeans get particularly tight—like after Christmas—and then I exercise more and eat a bit less. Old-fashioned has always worked for me. I avoid anything processed, and I like to use flours like spelt and buckwheat. I use agave in a lot of my cooking, too. But, equally, I am very partial to salted chocolate and a glass of red wine.
GL: You're the mother of a 17-month-old. Do you hope to pass your passion for food on to your daughter?
SD: I don't think about it, I just try and include her in preparation and tasting because it's fun. So I'll hold her hand and let her mix with me, and lift her up to let her look in pans and smell what's happening as stuff is cooking. Then we all eat together.