Le Cordon Bleu alumni and cook book author of The Hostess, Stephanie Conley has an effortless approach to easy recipes made from everyday ingredients to be enjoyed at home. The celebrated chef and entertaining authority has attributed an early love and learning of cooking and entertaining to her mother and hopes to instill these same philosophies in her children. Living in Italy for several years, also read Stephanie’s Rome city guide, after diving into our interview for the X-FILES below.  

With your professional background in fashion, what was the driving force behind moving away from your fashion label, and into food?

I have an advanced diploma in Fashion Design at The Whitehouse College. Food is another creative outlet that I have enjoyed since I was a child. It was something that was very natural for me.  

Tell us about your experience at Le Cordon Bleu.

It taught me the basics of good cooking as well as discipline and order in the kitchen. I’m spotless when I cook!

Was it always a dream to author your own cookbooks?

It was always a big goal to achieve this, it wasn’t an easy task looking back on it with two young boys and shooting from home, but I’m so happy I did it.  

What is the process of recipe development and creating a cookbook?

I wanted the book to reflect myself as a cook and how we eat and entertain at home, so it came very much from the heart. The recipes are always inspired from my travels and Mediterranean food plays a big part in our lives. Not only is it healthy but delicious.  

What has been the most rewarding moment for you to date?

It’s very rewarding when a stranger tells you they love your cookbook, I’m always very taken back.  

What is your favourite dish to create?

I love pasta and seafood, simple to make and good for a crowd. Paccheri with scampi  

What are your top tips for entertaining at home?

Make food you feel confident about cooking. Cold drinks and fresh flowers are key.

What words do you live by?

Be present.  

How would you describe your style?

Classic femininity.  

What projects are next? Is there another book on the horizon?

Hopefully another book and a new house so next year is busy!   ‘At Home with the Hostess’ by Stephanie Conley is available now and keep up with Stephanie’s recipes via @thehostess
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