>> Charlotte Hawkins, Good Morning Britain presenter and former SKY News reporter, has hosted a News BAFTAS show and has interviewed the likes of Sir Paul McCartney, Matt Damon, Sir Elton John and Johnny Depp.
For her friends, she'll put in considerably more effort than for herself and huddling around the fire pit is her favourite way to eat.
Charlotte first tried her Signature Dish when holidaying on Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands. "We had a Caribbean grilling lesson from the head chef of our hotel and this has since been my absolute favourite summer dish," she explains. "It's so tasty but also really easy to make. I serve it with a big bowl of potato wedges and salad."
Despite having a fairly conservative diet growing up, Charlotte's tastes have been influenced by foreign cuisine through work and holidays.
"At Manchester University I lived close to the CurryMile in Rusholme and had never eaten curry or a kebab before living there, so we had plenty of opportunities to try different curries," she continues. "Through my work, I have had opportunities to present live on location overseas, such as LA to cover the Oscars, but in terms of family, my brother-in-law is from Sri Lanka and holidaying there for their wedding a few years ago really broadened my pallet - in particular, the amazing range of curries.
"I have been training myself to get used to hotter curries but I didn't go as far as trying some for breakfast, which is traditional. Maybe next time!"
Charlotte admits her husbandMark does the majority of their cooking. "He's much more adept at whipping up different dishes at short notice, without recipes! I'm fine when following a recipe but do always need one to hand."
When they do have friends round for dinner, Charlotte's focus is canapés, starters and desserts. She says: "I love creating different desserts, and I like to offer a selection. I confess that I'm a bit scatty though and have been known to nearly put a cake in the oven without the flour, until Mark pointed to the scales and asked if anything was missing!"
Choosing a signature dish that's for the BBQ was an obvious one for Charlotte, who loves to eat outdoors, even if it means covering up in blankets! "One of the reasons we picked our house was because of the garden, and we had a sun deck built with a fire pit. I am always hoping for a nice summer but like to make the most of the outdoors all year round. Being brought up by the sea in Sussex, childhood eating was all about picnics and huddling together behind windbreaks - whatever the weather!We don't eat a lot of Caribbean food but this is great because it's simple and very tasty - and it does go very well with a rum cocktail; essential for the full Caribbean effect!"
Caribbean BBQ Beef
>> Serves 6 (depending how much chicken you like)
- 6 steaks - any cuts work with
this but ribeye is best. You can
also use lamb or chicken.
2½ tbsp paprika
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp garlic powder
2 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp basil
- Rub the ingredients above together. It makes a good amount for a group BBQ and you can store in a jar any you don't use. Tenderise the meat with a hammer or fork, then rub in the herbs and spices thoroughly on both sides. Leave as long as possible, preferably at least half an hour, before cooking. Throw the beef on the BBQ and cook to taste. Serve with any of the usual BBQ accompaniments