Andi Oliver, the host of Great British Menu and a well-known British chef, TV and radio host, has launched her debut cookbook, ‘The Pepperpot Diaries,’ which highlights her life journey and Caribbean culture.
She discussed her path and the factors that led her to where she is in an interview with the Independent.
Andrea “Andi” Oliver was born in London and began cooking when he was seven years old. She recalls being fired from her home economics class for questioning her teacher’s cooking technique. Oliver learnt to cook from her mother and took charge of meals for herself and her brother when her parents worked. Despite her parents’ divorce, Oliver claims she had a happy childhood.
Speaking on her expectations for the cookbook, which combines recipes and stories from different heritages, Andi said, “One of the things I really hope [with this book] is that people start to think about that difference and celebrate it.” In one of her entries, she discussed how slavery influenced the Caribbean’s food culture.
She discusses her encounters with racism, claiming that individuals in England advised her to “go home” despite the fact that she was a citizen. She admits to having gone through a “big angry phase” in her twenties, and recalls how her rage and fury used to ‘work against’ her quite a bit.
She was a part of the band Rip Rig + Panic, which appeared on an episode of The Young Ones before becoming the great restaurateur that she is now. She was also a member of the African-inspired band ‘Kalimba.’ She did, however, make the move to television, making her debut on Backstage at The Brits.
Andi has been on shows such as Badaas Tv with Ice T, as well as the award-winning documentary Crazy Sexy Cool. She worked for the BBC for six years, covering Glastonbury and other BBC festival programmes. Since then, she has worked with the BBC in addition to her personal projects.
The 59-year-old attributes age and experience to shaping her. “As an adult woman who’s about to turn 60, I understand who I am and my power and where I come from and where I belong – where I have the right to be and where I want to be.”
Advising her fans, Andi says it is good to redirect and channel negative emotions into a form of strength, and “not the storm that wearies you.”