My Kitchen Rules: Manon Lagrève
My Kitchen Rules: Manon Lagrève

My Kitchen Rules: Manon Lagrève

You might remember Manon Lagrève from ‘The Great British Bake Off’ in 2018, when she impressed judges with her classic French cooking. These days, she shares seasonal recipes on her blog while running the lifestyle business Manon & Rose. From her favourite produce to the gadgets she wouldn’t be without, these are her kitchen rules…
By Sherri Andrew

Buy A Quality Vanilla Paste

Any cake will be elevated by the best vanilla paste you can afford. You can easily find the Nielsen Massey one in most supermarkets, which stays fresh for months. It’s more expensive than your average jar but it makes all the difference. Vanilla paste has become pricier over the last couple of years due to the destruction of some of the biggest vanilla farms in Madagascar. It takes a long time for the vanilla flower to sow and be harvested as it needs a very particular climate and terroir, but a quality one will make your cakes taste a little better. I also love to add half a teaspoon of it to crème fraîche with pudding, or with apple purée for my daughter Fleur.

Always Have Eggs In The Cupboard 

Maybe it’s because my parents have an egg farm, but I always – without fail – have eggs in my pantry. As a baker I use them frequently, but they’re incredibly versatile in all forms of cooking. Whether it’s a quick omelette using leftovers in your fridge, fried eggs on top of some vegetables, or a ten-minute shakshuka, they’re my go-to for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus, you can’t beat scrambled eggs on toast with salted butter. Nutritionally rich, it’s the cheapest animal protein available.

I love ODDBOX, which is on a mission to CUT DOWN FOOD WASTE by selling produce (like wonky veg) that supermarkets would otherwise discard.

Invest In A Thermomix

If you invest in just one kitchen gadget, make it a Thermomix. My mum has gone through every single model of the machine and the first cake batter I ever made on my own was with one. It’s an incredible tool for making soups, sauces, risottos, stews, rice, baby purées, cake batter, buttercream – you name it, it does it. It’s an investment, but if cooking is not your forte, it will quickly become your best friend. 

Elevate Desserts With Fresh Flowers & Herbs 

People often forget fresh flowers and herbs can add so much flavour to cakes. Fresh out of the oven, it’s an easy way to make it look a little bit more presentable for your guests too. Some of my favourite combinations include icing sugar with cacao and matcha; daisies, rose petals, jasmine and lilac flowers for decoration; and basil, mint, lavender or rosemary layered into icing. Failing that, fresh berries on top of a cake is always a winner, as is a simple icing of egg whites mixed with icing sugar. 

Subscribe To A Fruit & Veg Delivery Service 

Living in central London, it can sometimes be tricky to find fresh and affordable fruit and vegetables. I get a large box delivered every couple of weeks and it’s been life changing. Not only will it help you to eat and cook seasonally, but it will encourage you to try new vegetables and cook with produce you might not usually buy at the supermarket or grocer. I love Oddbox, which is on a mission to cut down food waste by selling produce (like wonky veg) that supermarkets would otherwise discard. 

Eat Salad In Summer & Stews In Winter

We all know that eating seasonally is so important, and one way to do this is to follow a simple mantra: eat salad in summer and stews in winter. During the colder months I’m all about one-pot meals in the slow cooker with some quick roasted veggies; while in the summer, I love salads with French dressings and seasonal ingredients. Giant couscous, orzo, rice and freekeh make a substantial salad base, topped up with whatever leftovers I have in the fridge – plus feta or parmesan. 

Maximise Your Kitchen Space With Colour & Design 

When you walk into my kitchen, you’ll see a small space full of utensils, pots and pans, and mixers and gadgets – and everything is pastel coloured. My kitchen is small, but we managed to make it look much bigger thanks to clever colours and storage solutions – colour can make the room look and feel a lot bigger. My worktop is a white neolith, the cabinets are light grey with gold handles and we painted the whole room (even the ceiling) in Lick’s Pink 01. My KitchenAid is light green, my collection of Le Creuset pots are all pastel coloured and my grandma’s pots are a light shade of green too. 

Set The Vibe With Music Or Podcasts

I love music, but when I’m baking or cooking, I either listen to a podcast or put on the French radio, which really helps me to focus. My job is mainly coming up with baking recipes, so I need to be precise and concentrate. In the evening, I sometimes put on some reality TV. Very few people cook in silence – even the top restaurant chefs!

Giant couscous, orzo, rice and freekeh make a SUBSTANTIAL SALAD BASE, topped up with whatever LEFTOVERS I have in the fridge – plus feta or parmesan.

Go To French Markets For Classic Tableware 

I’m lucky to be able to go back to France often, and I’ve found many treasures at French markets or brocantes over the years. I have a beautiful selection of plates, bowls, serving plates and porcelain cups which can be mixed and matched with one another. It’s always worth keeping some space in your luggage if you’re planning a trip!

Eat Outside Whenever You Can

I’m lucky to have a beautiful garden, so I take any opportunity to eat outside in the sunshine. I love having afternoon tea and cakes with my friends, early aperitifs on Friday nights and leisurely brunches at the weekend. You’ll need a large tray to transport everything, plus some enamel or bamboo cutlery for a bit of fun. I love to serve canapés, cakes or a selection of cut fruits with waffles for brunch on pretty serving trays.

Follow @ManonLagreve and visit

Inspired? Shop Manon’s Top Picks Below…

Fashion. Beauty. Culture. Life. Home
Delivered to your inbox, daily