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week’s Londoner is Natalie Coleman, winner of Masterchef 2013. We recently got chance to sample her some dishes from the menu she created for East Village using produce from some of our FAV independent food retailers in East London. We were so impressed we thought you should meet her…

First up tell us where is home for you and why?

I was born and bred in London. I grew up in Hackney, and have never wanted to leave. There’s so much going on here to be excited about, and East London in general.

You are now officially a ‘master chef’, how did you get into cooking?

I moved out when I was 18, so I needed to cook to survive…. I knew the basics but nothing too fancy. When I moved into my second house share it became ritual to have a Sunday roast so I’d cook for my housemates and friends, so normally up to about 10 people. After I moved from there I used to cook when friends or family visited and each time I would try different cuisines to up my game. I loved cooking programmes and would sit for hours on the weekend watching the Good Food Channel. I have a really good memory so somewhere over the years I guess it all sank in.

You’ve just created recipes for East Village. Give us one to cook at home AND make it easy!

All the recipes I created are really simple, I made these with East Village residents and locals in mind that may want to spend more time with their guests than slaving away in the kitchen. I also wanted to show off my favourite East London producers and independents, and encourage people to support their local shops too.

The starter I created is a Gin cured salmon with sourdough and crème fraiche, using gin from East London Liquor Company and salmon from H Forman & Sons, two great independents in East London. It needs to be made a few days in advance to allow the salmon to cure but all you have to do is mix the cure ingredients together, cover the salmon with it, wrap in clingfilm and leave in the fridge for a few days to do its thing. The good thing about the recipe is that on the day you need the salmon all you have to do is rinse off the cure mixture and serve so you have more time to enjoy your dinner party and less time flapping around in the kitchen.

Oh and we can flap alright! You must know Hackney really well, can you give us some secret tips?

Hackney is full of hidden treasures, still to this day I find new places. It is constantly changing everyday… one thing that’s remained the same since I was a kid is Hackney city farm which my grandad used to take me and my sister to every Sunday. Every now and then I’ll visit the farm with friends and see the animals and grab brunch in the café. Columbia road on a Sunday is a must, however be prepared to be a sardine in the crowds. Broadway market is another foody haven on Saturdays which lots of local producers set up shop and sell their finest alongside fashion and homeware stalls, as well as other traders selling cold and hot food to go. A trip to brick lane’s beigel shop should be made compulsory for any visitor to London alongside side visiting Victoria Park to feed to swans.

Some of our favourite spots in London there! And finally what would your perfect day in London entail?

A perfect day in London could be many things. I think I would cram as much into it a humanly possible. It would start with a trip to borough market, followed by lunch with my family. Early evening drinks in Shoreditch, then dinner with friends, then onto a club to listen to some techno/or even DJ myself followed by a salt beef beigel on the journey home and falling into bed before the crack of dawn.

Sounds like someone likes to party! Wanna read more about Natalie’s East London menu? Then hit up here and we can vouch. THAT pork is NEXT LEVEL.