My Glassette

Miquita & Andi Oliver

Television and radio presenter Miquita Oliver and her mum, chef & broadcaster, Andi Oliver have a wonderfully close and vibrant relationship. They share generously the essential lessons they’ve learned from each other and bask in their shared joys: food and music. Home sounds like Stevie Wonder and Dolly Parton and tastes like season rice - with a mix of every beautiful ingredient you can think of. As Andi says, ‘it’s a hug in a bowl.’

What is one of the most important things you've learnt from Miquita?

I think that in the first half of her life, especially because I was a single mother, I spent a lot of time trying to pre-empt what might be wrong, what could go wrong and what I was worried that could be wrong. I spent a lot of time running round in circles trying to put fires out that weren't even lit and eventually she just said ‘Mum, you HAVE to stop asking me what’s wrong’. What I've learnt from her is how to really listen, take a little step back and to listen to what somebody is actually saying to me, whether it’s Miquita or somebody else and not react to what I’m scared of happening.

If your home had a soundtrack, what would it be?

That’s a VERY big question for somebody like me or somebody like Miquita, because it depends on the day. Anything from Brent Fayaiz to Stevie Wonder to SAULT to Dinah Washington to Aretha Franklin to Dolly Parton or apathy Clint. It could be Simon & Garfunkel, it could be anything, it depends on the day, the moment & the energy. We listen to the broadest, broadest music, but I guess the music we have in common is very melodic, very impassioned. That is an unanswerable question!

A scent that makes you think of home:

Vanilla makes me think of home! Cinnamon, nutmeg, all spices…scents like that are really homely for me. I think that's probably because the happiest times in my life were around holiday times: birthdays when there's lots of baking, or at Christmas where there's lots of cooking happening, encompassing all those scents - the smell of warming spices makes me think of home and reminds me of my Mum.

A taste that makes you think of home:

I guess Season rice, the girls call it ‘Nanny Rice’ - that’s rice that's got everything you can put your hands on in it. My mum makes a really great pot of season rice. It's not ‘seasoned’, it's just called ‘Season Rice’. It’s got everything, all the vegetables, the chicken from last night, onions, garlic, chillies, herbs, everything beautiful and it's a hug in a bowl, I just love it! I’ve kind of fancied it up in my later life and I make one now with molasses & rum braised short rib that is pretty lush!

If you & Miquita could swap houses with anyone in the world (real or fictional) who would you choose?

For me, it's not a house but a place, It’s Cafe Nicholson - My idol, my hero, my absolute goddess, Edna Lewis. It was her restaurant in New York that she opened in 1948. A beautiful culinary centre that uplifted African American soul food & cuisine & brought it into the restaurant Arena. The place was packed all the time with incredible, creative, bohemian people, I can smell the food & feel the energy, all these decades & decades later and  I just wish i could've been there. That’s where I’d go!


What is one of the most important things you’ve learned from Andi?

“To not let one ounce of your self worth be determined by others."

If your home had a soundtrack, what would it be? 

Stevie Wonder!  

A scent that makes you think of home: 

The smell of rice cooking. 

A taste that makes you think of home:

The first bite of honey baked chicken. 

If you and Andi could swap houses with anyone in the world (real or fictional), who would you choose? 

Mariah Carey's penthouse from ‘Cribs’. It's a four storey penthouse in the middle of Manhattan. I'd quite like that but in East London.

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