A lot of people say you should write what you know. So, with that in mind: food.

Shiitake Mushroom and Chestnut Risotto


Knorr vegetable stock pot, or similar, made up to 1ltr with boiling water

25g butter

1 onion, finely chopped

125g shiitake mushrooms, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

150g arborio rice

Splash of dry white wine

200g jar whole chestnuts, roughly chopped

25g vegetarian parmesan, finely grated


  1. Put the stock in a saucepan over a low heat and leave to simmer gently. Put a sauté pan over a medium heat and melt the butter, then add the onion and cook until soft. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the sauté pan and cook for 4-5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender.
  2. Add the rice to the sauté pan, stirring to coat in the juices, and cook until the edges are translucent. Pour in the wine and bubble for a minute, then add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring between each addition and ensuring the stock has been absorbed before adding more.
  3. When you have about a third of the stock left, add the chestnuts. Keep adding stock and stirring until the rice is cooked but retains some bite – you may not need all the stock, or you may need to top it up a little. Stir through most of the parmesan, season and serve with the remaining parmesan.