BY ALEXANDER MATTHEWS
Karen Dudley is a chef and caterer based in Woodstock. She operates out of the much-loved The Kitchen — where lunchtime masses descend for fresh salads and sarmies — and recently opened a more formal extension, The Dining Room. Dudley has authored two cook books: A Week in the Kitchen and Another Week in the Kitchen.
What are you reading at the moment?
Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch — a superb book.
What is your favourite novel of all-time?
I love the series by Phillip Pullman, and The Sparrow by Mary Russell.
What were your favourite books as a child?
Enid Blyton — The Secret Seven and Famous Five series — and Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.
What’s the last book you gave as a gift?
A Week in a Kitchen and Another Week in the Kitchen. I buy a lot of books for my husband: I gave him the latest Iain Banks. I also give away a lot of copies of the Olivia the Pig by Ian Falconer; it is a children’s book.
Which book have you never been able to finish?
Tolstoy’s War and Peace. And I have never read Charles Dickens.
What book do you turn to for advice?
I don’t turn to books for advice but I devour recipe books.
Do you read mostly paper books? On your iPad? Kindle? All three?
Paper books. Shorter stories I enjoy reading on my tablet.
Your favourite cookbook?
Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen by Chef Edward Lee, a Korean chef in the American South — I love his sentiments. I also love The Art of Living according to Jo Beef: A Cookbook.
If you could cook dinner with a dead writer, who would you cook dinner for, where would you eat with them, and what would you make them?
MFK Fisher who was a food writer, in the ’40s and ’50s. She was a brilliant writer. I would cook her a classic lunch and have her in The Kitchen. I would like her to see what has happened to food, how it has evolved over time… but I would be a little terrified.