Paul,Nancy And Arlen Enjoy The Basketball At The Olympics Park

Stella McCartney's London 2012 Olympic Diary

Paul McCartney's daughter Mary talks about her new cookbook, Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking

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Mary McCartney pictured at Liverpool Cricket Club as she signs copies of her new book and takes part in a questions and answers session about her famous family
Mary McCartney at Liverpool Cricket Club as she signs copies of her new book

Dawn Collinson talks to Mary McCartney about her new cookbook
TESTIMONIES to Sir Paul McCartney’s musical genius are hardly in short supply, but to his cooking skills? Considerably less so.

In fact there may just be the one, affectionately offered by his daughter Mary.
It turns out Sir Paul has quite a deft hand in the kitchen, although he knows his place in the great scheme of McCartney culinary job-sharing.
“Dad can cook, he likes to make the lasagne out of mum’s first cookbook, and he makes a very good mashed potato,” she reveals. “If we’re all having Sunday lunch, he’s in charge of mash. He doesn’t put any special ingredients into it, I think it’s just because he takes the time; he mashes it and then spends ages whipping it with a fork ... and he’s not shy with the butter either.”
Photographer Mary, the eldest of Paul and Linda’s three children together, is very much at home discussing both family and food.
They are two elements which feature strongly in her life, and which merge beautifully in her new vegetarian cookbook, Food.
The book, a year in the making, is punctuated with photographs from the 42-year-old’s personal album. They date back to her childhood, an evidently relaxed and unpretentious time despite the external furore of fame, to present day and her own four boys.
But more than the grainy illustrations, she says, it is the recipes contained within which evoke most memories.
“I grew up around food, my mum was an enthusiastic cook and she got into cooking by being in the kitchen when she was young,” says Mary.
“At home she didn’t want to be cooking on her own so the kitchen had a nice table in it, that was the hub of everything, and everyone used to come in and hang out or help chop things.
“As we got older we started cooking things for her and it was fun, because she’d request something that she fancied, like a pesto sauce or the corn fritters in the book which she loved.
“We didn’t have cooks in our house, we grew up very much with my mum’s home-cooking and we did things together. It was always informal and nice.”
The family, of course, were all brought up as vegetarians and she recalls her parents often having discussions about ways to create inventive dishes.
But it was their varied heritage which really influenced meals most. Linda had a repertoire of American favourites like brownies and blueberry pancakes, while Mary’s stepgrandmother was French American.
“She taught me about oven thermometers and about pastry and measuring more, whereas mum was very informal and instinctive,” says Mary.
The Liverpudlian side of things was rather less cordon bleu, she admits.
“I remember scouse being on the stove at my Auntie Gin’s and thinking ‘what’s that?’ but it had the lard on the top so it didn’t really appeal to me,” she laughs. “For me, Liverpool food is more about having chips out of the paper ... about coming up here and going to the chippy!
“I do love chips, the little crunchy ones that are probably the worst for you.”

The one downside to Linda’s casual approach to cooking was there were few recipes actually written down, says Mary.
So when she was approached to do the book while promoting Meat Free Monday with her dad and sister Stella – another excellent cook, Mary confirms – she wasn’t initially too keen.
It was her husband, director Simon Aboud, who convinced her it would be a good idea.
“Then all the homework began,” she laughs.
She had to rely on memory to recall ingredients, trying out recipes on friends before photographing each one for publication.
“I cooked each dish and used it as a way of testing things out,” she says. “I’d invite someone over for lunch, make something and then photograph it. There was no varnishing the food or anything like that, I shot them all in natural available daylight, and I borrowed lots of cutlery from a friend who has a vintage shop because you can’t have the same fork in every photo.”
Food photography, she adds, was a departure from her regular, more animated, subjects – her celebrity portraiture has captured Lily Cole, Kate Moss and Helen Mirren amongst others – but an interesting one nevertheless.
“I do like variety, it’s nice to do something completely different, so doing the cookbook has given me that,” she says.
“I’m glad I did it, I did really enjoy it, and one of the reasons for that is because food can be so nostalgic. I’d think of a recipe and remember the first time I learned how to make it, or where we were when mum made it for us. I can still picture her teaching me how to make French toast for the first time, which was the easiest thing even though it looked quite complicated.
“I do like to remember my mum like that. It can be sad, obviously, but she was such a unique, strong, funny, quirky character that I can imagine what she would say about things. I have such wonderful memories of her and I think she’d be proud of the book and hopefully quite impressed. It’s a nice memory of her and very much inspired by her style.”
Since they lost Linda to breast cancer in 1998, Mary and the rest of the family have continued to be hands-on with her vegetarian food range. They are involved too in the Linda McCartney Centre, the cancer unit at Liverpool’s Royal Hospital opened two years after her death.
In Liverpool for a book event organised by House Beauty Spa in Allerton, Mary spent time at the centre on a private visit, chatting to patients and staff.
“I don’t get up here very often, but I’ve been reconnecting and I’m definitely going to be here more in future,” she says. “My husband was born in Clatterbridge, he’s a Wirralite, and I’ve got loads of family here obviously. I always used to say when I was a kid that I was half Liverpudlian and half American, even though I don’t have the accent.”
Everyone, of course, wants to talk about Sir Paul when she’s here. But Mary doesn’t mind, she is generous with family anecdotes and happy to talk about what it’s like to call a Beatle dad.
“I see my dad in two very different ways,” she smiles. “When it’s family, it’s family, and when he tries to tell a story everyone talks over him. Then when he’s on stage I think, wow. He’s pretty amazing.”
Food: Vegetarian Home Cooking by Mary McCartney is published by Chatto & Windus, priced £20.

Read More liverpoolecho.co.uk


Olympics Dispatch: Stella McCartney on the Opening Ceremony in London

From  Vogue.com

by Stella McCartney | Photographs by Mary McCartney

On Friday evening, we drove past the Tower of London and arrived at the stadium—I was so amazed by it. From a fashion perspective, I went for a total gold look. I am so honored and proud of this great island of Great Britain, and the opening ceremony lived up to all expectations; it was breathtaking. The Shire horses and the Kenneth Branagh parts were brilliant, and then Daniel Craig did his James Bond bit with Her Majesty—a perfect example of great British humor. And what history! I never thought I would be a sucker for an Olympic ceremony moment, but when the trees were raised from the ground as they stripped rural England and the floor was dismantled to reveal the Industrial Revolution (which started in England), I was so gripped. 
Then came the Suffragettes (here to remind us all of the sacrifices that were made to change womens rights) before an homage to the sixties—Yellow Submarine! Sgt. Pepper's! I am a proud daughter. The Olympic rings floated over my head, and then exploded into a light show... 
The section dedicated to the midwives made me think of my grandma Mary, who was Irish—she would have loved it. The NHS was represented as well as the Great Ormond Street Hospital, one of the most incredible children's hospital here in London. A very dear friend of mine's child just had a bone marrow transplant there. It's so important that they are being recognized in this ceremony, they deserve it!
Just when I thought designing the uniforms for Team GB was hard, imagine what working on the wardrobe for this ceremony must have been like?!
Suddenly it dawned on me that my dad was about to perform. I just looked over at him. "You're going to be down there soon!," I said. I was so proud.
My daughter was so happy to see Mary Poppins while I was getting a bit interactive by swinging my light paddle in the air—that was a good workout. There were lot of paper mache and velcro in da' house, and then Mr. Bean came in and the kids were completely engaged! I could see the torch was coming—and close behind it is none other than David Beckham. He did tell me he was a tad busy and would be late—a tad busy indeed! 
I must admit, when Danny Boyle showed me the plans for this opening ceremony concept about a year ago, I had no idea how he would pull it off, but he did it brilliantly.  When, at last, Team GB came into the stadium, Chris Hoy was holding the flag; he is such an inspiration. Other favorites: The Blur moment was a stand out and the Artic Monkeys basically rule, love the lead singer's Elvis rockabilly look—go Alex go! I had to rush out just before the end ofHey Jude in order to beat the traffic and do a good old fashioned runner. Our group (about 20 of us) caught a golf buggy and were dragging on its little electric engine. As we drove away, we saw that all the Olympians who had just walked around the stadium were now milling around. It was amazing to be surrounded by them and all mixed in together. A truly peaceful moment with everyone so happy, running with smiles and waving flags. It was quite different to anything that I had ever experienced. Everyone was high on pride and everyone had come together as one. The Olympics really do stand for something magnificent. 
July 29, 2012 12:28p.m.

Behind The Scenes At The Olympics Opening Ceremony

The London Olympics Opening Ceremony


Sir Paul at LIPA graduation celebrations

Sir Paul McCartney has led graduation celebrations at the "fame" school he set up in his home city.
Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (Lipa) opened in 1996 after a long campaign by the former Beatle.
Sir Paul, 70, was accompanied at the graduations for the first time by wife Nancy Shevell, 52, who he married in October last year.
Around 260 students from the UK and 15 other countries attended the ceremony alongside the music legend to collect their degree and postgraduate certificates.
Sir Paul also presented Lipa Companionships to Olivier Award-winning choreographer Matthew Bourne and Grammy-nominated musician and music video director Kevin Godley.
Lipa companionships were also presented to production manager Jason Barnes, UK pantomime producer Michael Harrison, choreographer and creative director Gary Lloyd, sound engineer and sound designer Owen Lewis, and reminiscence arts pioneer Pam Schweitzer. The institute awards companionships for outstanding achievement and practical contribution to students' learning.
Lipa's founding principal and chief executive, Mark Featherstone-Witty, said: "This year, just shy of 200 practitioners contributed to our learning - a solid total for us in the provinces.
"No institution is better than its teachers. There's no substitute for learning from the best - people like Sir Paul, who answered students' questions. These generous professionals shared their knowledge, engaging all the disciplines we teach."
Lipa, located in the former Beatle's old school - the Liverpool Institute for Boys - was founded by Sir Paul and Mr Featherstone-Witty with the aim of providing the best teaching and learning for those who want to pursue a lasting career in the arts and entertainment industry.