Singer-songwriter, Megan McKenna, Talks Celebrity Masterchef and the Future for Coeliacs.
When and where did your love of cooking start?
Megan McKenna: I’ve always been around cooks growing up with my nans and my mum. We always grew our own vegetables at our chalet when we were little, but my real love for cooking started when I left home and had to cook for myself.
Who has influenced you?
Megan McKenna: Mum was a massive influence for me and then growing up my sister has turned into an amazing chef and baker, so she inspires me too.
Tell us about having coeliac disease. What is it and how do you manage it?
Megan McKenna: From a young age I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. I’ve managed to just deal with it day to day.
Coeliac disease is a lifelong autoimmune disease, which can affect you in the long run so it’s best to keep away from gluten. Now it’s getting much easier as a lot of places have started to do gluten-free food and it’s started to taste a lot better too.
This is the whole reason behind me making food from scratch and cooking, because this way; I know exactly what’s going into my food, so it doesn’t make me ill.
Do you think restaurants are getting better at catering for people with different food allergies?
Megan McKenna: It’s definitely got better over the years but there is so much room for improvement. A lot of restaurants don’t cater for people with food allergies and I feel a lot of restaurants are scared.I believe they can up their game! I always get offered a salad or lettuce but I don’t want to eat that, I want to eat good food. This is why I showcase on Masterchef that you can do that AND be gluten-free.
Do people see you as just being faddy when you talk of your sensitivities and don’t understand how awful it can be for you to eat the wrong food?
Megan McKenna: People definitely think I’m being fussy or snobby about the type of food I’m eating, when actually it’s really serious. I think people should have a bit of sympathy, instead of thinking that I’m trying to be difficult or go along with a diet trend. Coeliac disease is something serious and it’s not my choice.
Do you develop your own recipes or are you able to adapt existing ones?
Megan McKenna: A bit of both really. I do create a lot from just the food in my kitchen and you can make ANYTHING gluten free.’
Pre order my new cookery book ‘Can you make that Gluten?’ coming soon.
What is the best vibe for you to cook? Do you have music playing or someone to chat to?
Megan McKenna: I actually like to have the TV on! I watch programmes whilst I cook, it’s kind of like relaxation for me. At the moment I’m actually rehearsing whilst I’m cooking so I’m playing my own songs and going through my set lists whilst I cook.
What are your favourite kitchen gadgets and why?
Megan McKenna: My favourites are the potato slicer – it’s just brilliant – and my garlic crusher. I love it… it’s a pain to clean though!
What is the top cooking tip you have learned?
Megan McKenna: I learned that you need to add all elements to your dish such as crunch, a bit of soft, a bit of sauce, sour, sweet, it has to have it all!
We see your beautiful food creations on Instagram. You make everything look amazing! Do you have other creative talents as well as cooking and singing?
Megan McKenna: I love interior design. I designed my whole house and I’m planning on designing another one soon!