ELLA Walker meets the YouTube cooking royalty to find out about his debut cookbook, The 7-Day Basket.

By some strange organisational alchemy, I have a finished copy of Ian Haste's debut cookbook, The 7-Day Basket, before he's even seen it.

Watching him take it 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.

In his 20s, the irrepressibly buoyant dad-of-two was a Norfolk gastro pub chef ("I put parsley on everything"), via the traditional route: He went from pulling pints to prepping for the chef, to covering said chef when he didn't turn up for a lunch service, to taking charge.

His mum had taught him from a young age about the staples - "so I'd survive," he says with a laugh - but he eventually realised cheffing wasn't for him (blame those "horrendous hours"). And no, he doesn't miss it, although he's quite keen to own a pub one day.

Next came a decade-long stint as a business development manager with a gruelling commute into London every day, before Haste and his wife, Nic, decided to start a family, and Haste "put my hand in their air, stupidly" to stay at home with their babies. He says the "stupidly" with a huge, proud, luckiest-man-alive grin on his face.

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, 92k YouTube subscribers of his own and 59k on Instagram, producing sponsored content for major supermarkets to boot.

But, like any shiny, seemingly perfect social media visage, there's always more to it, and Haste's food, fitness (he's a total gym bunny) and eating habits are all intrinsically connected.

"[I'm a] very health-conscious individual anyway, had to be," he explains. "My wife, going back a few years ago, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, so we looked at all the aspects that are food related."

While The 7-Day Basket isn't a diet cookbook, wrought undeviatingly from nutritional advice, eating well, healthily and with the seasons is important throughout (it's thoroughly cheerful though, there's still mac and cheese and steak and ale hotpot in there).

Its crux though 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'."

Cooking practicalities aside, 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," he says with a shake of his head.

Go for dinner with him and he's likely to disappear for 20 minutes to cajole a recipe out of the chef too. His Maldivian chicken curry for instance was magpied on holiday in the Maldives ("I ate this curry five out of seven days," he says, laughing at himself. "It was that good"), while he's still trying to extract the king prawn pathia recipe from his local curry house.

"It's incredible," he says, arms thrown in the air excitedly. "It's the witches' potion, I haven't got a clue how he's made it, but I can usually taste things and within reason I can make it again. [But] no, I've made it so stupidly hot, so stupidly limey...

"I always say, if you like something a lot, compliment the chef, say to them, 'That was absolutely amazing', and also say, 'Can I have the recipe?' There's nothing wrong with that."

And when you're as open and affable as Haste, who could say no?


A quick mid-week supper.

"This is such a beautifully simple recipe and is ready in under half an hour," says YouTuber and chef Ian Haste. "It is the perfect dish for using up any spare vegetables you have."

Here's how to whip it up...


(Serves 2)

1/2 onion, peeled

10 coriander leaves

Zest and juice of 1 lime

3/4 red chilli, finely sliced

4 kaffir lime leaves

1tsp peeled and grated ginger

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

1tsp vegetable oil

400ml tin of coconut milk

2tsp fish sauce

1 lemongrass stalk, lightly smashed or cut to release flavour

1tsp brown sugar

200g basmati rice

500 ml water

1/2 red pepper, deseeded and thinly sliced

250g frozen/raw king prawns, defrosted, cleaned and deveined

150g sugar snap peas, halved


1. Add the onion, three-quarters of the coriander, half the lime zest, the red chilli, two kaffir leaves, the ginger and garlic to a pestle and mortar and smash into a paste (or use a food processor).

2. Add the paste to a heated frying pan or wok with the oil and cook for 20- 30 seconds, then add the coconut milk, fish sauce, the remaining lime zest and two kaffir leaves, the lemongrass and sugar and bring to the boil, stirring regularly.

3. Meanwhile, add the rice with double the amount of water to a pan and bring to the boil. Once boiling, cook for three minutes, turn off the heat and put a lid on the pan so the rice can carry on steaming for seven to eight minutes. Do not stir as you want the rice to steam, absorb the water and fluff up.

4. Add the pepper, king prawns and sugar snap peas to the hot coconut milk and cook for two to three minutes until the prawns turn pink. Serve the rice and curry in separate bowls with a scattering of the remaining coriander and a final squeeze of lime.


A new pasta dish to add to your repertoire.

"These lighter meatballs use lean chicken and feta to create extra crust and flavour," says Ian Haste, YouTuber and chef.

They're pretty simple to chuck together too...


(Serves 2)

2 chicken breasts, chopped

1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed

15g basil leaves, finely chopped

20g chives

80g feta

1/2 slice of wholemeal bread

4tsp olive oil, plus a splash for the spaghetti

200g spaghetti

Juice of 3/4 lemon

30g Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 lemon, cut into wedges

Salt and pepper


1. Add the chicken breasts, half the garlic, three-quarters of the basil, salt and pepper, chives, feta and bread to a blender and mix into a rough mince (don't overmix and add a dash of oil if sticking).

2. Take the mixture and roll into small balls around a ping-pong ball size. Add the oil and chicken meatballs to a heated frying pan and cook for about 10 minutes, turning regularly to get an even colour and cook all the way through. Remove and keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, add the spaghetti to a pan of boiling salted water and cook until al dente. Drain (reserving a little of the cooking water) and add to the frying pan over a high heat with a splash of oil and the lemon juice, the rest of the garlic and chopped basil. Add a splash of the reserved pasta water to loosen the sauce, then add half the grated Parmesan.

4. Serve the spaghetti with the meatballs, lemon wedges and a scattering of the remaining grated Parmesan.


"This is a proper Sunday roast with pork, roasties and veg, but it takes less than an hour in the oven and is perfect for two," says YouTuber and chef Ian Haste.

So there you go - a roast with all the trimmings that doesn't take all day.


(Serves 2)

150g chestnut mushrooms, very finely chopped

50g butter

30g sage leaves

1 slice of wholemeal bread

1 peach, peeled, stoned and finely chopped

600g pork fillet (in one piece)

80g Parma ham

400g Charlotte potatoes

2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

Splash of olive oil

10 cherry tomatoes

200g cavolo nero, chopped

Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7. Add the mushrooms and 10g of the butter to a hot pan and season, then add three-quarters of the sage and cook for two to three minutes.

2. Roughly chop the bread into crumbs and scatter into the mushrooms with the peach. Cook for a further two minutes until soft and brown.

3. Cut the pork fillet down the middle horizontally to create a pocket for the stuffing, then add the mushroom stuffing and tightly close together. Lay out a sheet of foil about twice the size of the fillet and cover the foil with layers of the Parma ham, creating a wrap effect ready to cover the fillet. Lay the fillet on the ham and tightly pull the ham over the fillet, then use the foil to tightly wrap the pork into a Christmas cracker-type cylinder. Twist both the ends of the foil and place into a heatproof tin.

4. Add the potatoes to a pan of salted boiling water and cook until starting to soften, drain and place in the same baking tin as the wrapped pork. Add the garlic, remaining sage and a splash of oil to the potatoes, season well and bake for 30 minutes, turning the potatoes every 15 minutes.

5. Take the pork out of the oven and unwrap, adding the roast potatoes back to the oven whilst you do this (do not lose the juices created from the pork!). Add the fillet to a hot frying pan and cook along with the cherry tomatoes until the ham is crispy and dark and the tomatoes start to pop. Leave the fillet to one side to rest on a warm plate. Add the cavolo nero to a separate pan with the remaining butter, season and cook over a high heat. If it starts to smoke, add a few splashes of water to start steaming it. This takes about four to five minutes.

6. Add the pork juices to a small pan and reduce them, then serve the fillet cut diagonally into circles and drizzled with any juices, along with the cabbage, tomatoes and crispy roast potatoes.

The 7-Day Basket by Ian Haste, photography by Al Richardson, is published by Headline, priced £25. Available July 11.