Elly Pear (real name Elly Curshen) owns the very lovely Pear Cafe in Bristol, which serves made-to-order ‘Grandma’s egg’ sandwiches, now famous butterscotch brownies, a daily changing fritatta and plenty of free range roast chicken with jerk mayonnaise. Our kind of cafe. (If you can’t get down there, check out her instagram for a daily dose of breakfast envy.)
We first met her at Abergavenny many moons ago, where we bonded over our mutual love for the festival. We’re not surprised that she now has her own column and a book, Fast Days and Feast Days, on the way, her passion for food really makes her stand out from the crowd.
We chatted eggs and good bread over a mug of builder’s tea:
WHO TAUGHT YOU TO LOVE FOOD?
My parents, I guess. I definitely learnt how to eat out from them!
WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST THIS MORNING?
Seeded soda bread, miso butter, avocado, poached eggs, salt
WHAT’RE YOUR THREE FAVOURITE INGREDIENTS?
Good eggs, good bread, good dairy produce (I know that cheating but I can’t pick. It’s like picking a favourite child)
WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY FOOD PLEASURE?
I never feel guilty about food. What gives me the most pleasure? Being elbow deep in a family sized bag of crisps.
WHAT’S THE MOST UNDERUSED INGREDIENT?
Jars of random pickled things from the corner shop – people should experiment more with all the mysterious things. Everything is better with something pickled on the side.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST JOB?
In the industry, it was as a Seater at Browns Restaurant in Cambridge. A sort of door host role where I learnt a lot very quickly! It was a very big and very busy place and all the staff apart from me were older, worked there full time and took their jobs very seriously. It’s where I really grew up and learnt to work hard and play hard!
WHERE DO YOU GO OUT TO EAT?
In Bristol my favourite places are local joints Bells Diner and The Gallimaufry. In London I love the area around Broadway Market/Columbia Rd/Brick Lane. So many great places to eat.
WHAT DO YOU EAT AFTER A LONG DAY (OR NIGHT) AT WORK?
Really good toast with the best butter I can find/afford and a huge mug of builders tea
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE COOKBOOK?
Again, that’s like trying to choose my favourite child. I have 100s and 100s of cookbooks. If I had to pick one, I’d say Bar Tartine – Techniques and recipes, as it’s packed full of amazing ideas. Ask me next week and I’ll probably say something different!
WHAT DOES HALEN MON GO BEST WITH?
Eggs and tomatoes