TV Quickfire: Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain on new show Nadiya's American Adventure
Nadiya's American Adventure finds Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain uncovering how migrants are influencing modern American cuisine. We found out more about the two-part series
WHAT WAS IT THAT RESONATED WITH YOU ABOUT MAKING THIS PROGRAMME?
AS A British Bangladeshi woman, born and raised in Britain to immigrant parents, being British wasn't important to my parents, but understanding our Bengali roots was. From the way we behaved, to the way we ate, to the way we interact to the way we dressed. It was all a part of who we were raised. As a child I never understood its importance but now, as a grown-up, I do.
DID YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE LOCATION ON THE TRIP?
It's hard to pick one place, but if I had to pick one it was the Roots of Music. In an area forgotten after Hurricane Katrina, it was just beautiful to see hope in these children's eyes as they are freed through the music they play. I have never seen a marching band and to be able to walk with them and hear their music play was out of this world.
YOU ALSO VISITED A GUATEMALAN NIGHT MARKET
People, mostly women, were cooking all sorts of delicious food, some off stoves and gas, but mostly makeshift grills, popped on top of shopping trolleys. There was something quite saddening about the situations that these people are in that has forced them to cook in a night market, but they also get to cook the food from their home countries they have fled from and they get to socialise, eat and have a great night and feed many, many people who are on their way home from work or out just to eat authentic Central American food.
WHAT WERE THE MOST MEMORABLE DISHES YOU TRIED?
The Vietnamese crawfish boil was my absolute favourite amongst others, but the fact that is their equivalent of a Sunday dinner totally blew my mind. Anyone who goes to San Francisco has to go to Golden Gate Fortune Cookies. Fortune cookies were invented in San Francisco and this family-run factory still makes them the old-fashioned way by hand.
WERE THERE ANY SURPRISING MOMENTS?
The rodeo girls really surprised me. The need to use their culture of girls riding to keep in touch with their Mexican heritage was something that really touched me emotionally. Plus I got to ride a horse, which was thrilling.
DID THE STORIES OF ANY OF THE INDIVIDUALS REALLY CAPTURE YOUR ATTENTION?
Burnell's story really stood out to me. He is a real beacon of hope for his community, constantly trying to build up and recreate the hub of his community through his grocery store. Whilst the area was very quiet and very few people returned after Hurricane Katrina and the floods, he came back and stayed and has been rebuilding ever since. Total inspiration of a human being and we can all be a little bit more like him.
WHAT DID YOU TAKE AWAY FROM FILMING THE DOCUMENTARY?
Immigration has changed the food landscape in a way we don't really even realise. When people move and set up home in foreign lands, it becomes their home and with them they bring a wealth of knowledge, culture and of course food.
As a daughter of an immigrant, I hold my recipes from my parents' homeland dear to my heart, but also appreciate the recipes that being British has taught me. Being a part of two worlds has meant I love nothing better than to fuse the two parts of who I am to create food that represents me! That is what immigration does – it gives us the freedom to fuse.
:: Nadiya's American Adventure starts on BBC One on December 10