The Sweet Life of Renata Carrillo
Renata Carrillo can still vividly remember the smell of the «torrijas» she made every Sunday morning with her mum.
«My mother, who’s an excellent cook, has always been my teacher.» Renata Carrillo, who hosts the BTV culinary program «Life in sweet», has recently launched a book -edited by Ara Llibres- in which all the program’s recipes are demonstrated. The third season will soon be premiered.
Let’s talk about the Vintage look you showcase both in your program and book.
The «look» is essentially important, for it is a way to reach a wide audience. Food has to be «attractive», as we eat with our eyes before actually tasting the product. Thais why we took great care of the overall look of the program and the book.
Why did you chose «sweet life» as your title (and theme)?
We find ourselves in difficult times (economically and socially speaking). Sweet pastries may not be the solution but they sure bring joy to life. You certainly see things with a more positive perspective after eating something sweet. I like the English saying: «happy go lucky», which is the sort of philosophy we want to promote in the program…. If you live through optimistic eyes, things will certainly go better.
Who are your recipes aimed at?
Everyone, as the necessary ingredients are easy to find and reasonably priced. The program is aimed to an audience of all ages, including children. Age doesn’t matter, what matters (and what we want to achieve) is that you feel encouraged to cook. Anyone can cook my recipes… You don’t even need that much time to bake a cake. Ten minutes to prepare, twenty in the oven and you’re done!
Each recipe has a story behind it.
Yes, the book can be approached as a cookbook, or in a more «narrative» way because there is a story that unites all my recipes. There is a recipe for all kinds of moods and emotions. For example, there is a section in my book where I express my homesickness while living in London and my longing for Barcelona. To boost my energy up (or anyone’s) I propose a good English dessert.
You’re half English. Your roots are evidenced throughout your recipes, for they all have an Anglo-Saxon touch.
We think of English cuisine as «fish and chips», but we need to discover all the richness and diversity it has to offer. I like using basic ingredients to make very effective desserts, such as a «bread and butter pudding», using dry leftover bread which would, otherwise, be thrown away.
What about Catalan cuisine?
I’ve tried to approach traditional desserts, such as the «bizcocho», to give them a dash of life and proposing exciting new possibilities.
What is never lacking in your fridge?
Milk, butter, flour, chocolate, which is better to have hidden away… Another ingredient that always comes in handy is peanut butter.
What kitchen utensils could you not live without?
The more utensils you have the better, but the one I use the most is called a «cat’s tongue». It’s the typical spatula which works wonders when mixing and scraping off the dough from pots and bowls. It is also important to have a good blender and all kinds cake molds. I’m also a specialist at improvising imaginative solutions for when I don’t have a necessary tool in the kitchen.
Here’s a simple snack made out of strawberries and chocolate: