A one-basket wonder that works magic
Watching Ian Haste take his debut cookbook, The 7-Day Basket, in his hands for the first time, practically hugging it to his chest, you can see the big kid in him – he made this, it’s real.
At 42, ‘cookery book author’ is the latest in a string of different careers he’s bounded into.
Haste’s Kitchen, his YouTube channel, launched in 2014 and happily combines his cheffing knowledge with his business presentation skills, backed up by some heavy-duty social media nous: “I’ve got a YouTube family,” he says which is something of an understatement. Dubbed the “first family of YouTube”, Haste’s wife, make-up artist Nic, her sister Sam (the two of them run make-up channel pixiwoo), and their twin brothers John and Jim Chapman, have a colossal combined YouTube, Twitter and Instagram following of around 21 million.
Haste found his own niche in an era pre-Deliciously Ella. “There was nothing online focusing on nice, easy, healthy home-cooking,” he remembers. “So I did a couple of videos – which were terrible, don’t watch them, ever!”
And now here he is, with 70 recipes bound in print, 92,000 YouTube subscribers of his own and 59,000 on Instagram, producing sponsored content for major supermarkets to boot. The 7-Day Basket isn’t a diet cookbook, its crux is Haste’s 7-day basket concept: have your cupboards stocked with essentials at home, then make a week’s worth of dinners from one basket of shopping. The idea is to help cut household food waste, vary up meal planning, put twists on staple dishes, and encourage people to open the fridge and make connections between what they’re eating tonight, and how they’re going to eat later on in the week.
“I want people to be able to look at a bag of spinach and think, ‘I’m going to put that in a chicken saag for Monday, and I’m also going to tie that in with some pomegranate seeds on a Thursday with a lamb kebab’, so you’re using every last bit along the way,” says Haste.
The idea came to him while living with his mother-in-law during the six months it took to renovate his house in Hethersett, Norwich. Limited to a Tesco Metro populated largely by University of East Anglia students, he’d see them filling up their baskets “with the most random eclectic mix, and I’d see them the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and I thought, ‘They obviously don’t know how to join ingredients together to make more than one dish’.”
Haste obviously adores food and is faithful to the cause. “I always swore for my kids that every Sunday would be a roast-type meal, and I’ve stuck to that, for seven years I’ve committed to that, whatever the weather as well.”
The 7-Day Basket by Ian Haste, photography by Al Richardson, is published by Headline, priced £25. Available now.