My earliest food memory is of me eating pizza and enjoying a gelato from a cone in Rimini, Northern Italy.
The street food movement is still trending for me, it’s very popular and affordable. Great places to enjoy this are Hawker House and Dinerama at Street Feast in Shoreditch. The ‘social fine-dining’ emergence of restaurants like Trinity Upstairs, Dabbous, and the Dairy combine a relaxed atmosphere and awesome fine dining.
My absolute favourite place to eat is the Restaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham. I have been twice and the food and service was incredible. From a more affordable point of view, I am a big fan of burger joints including Patty and Bun, Bleecker Burger and Dirty Burger. I also love noodle bars like Koya bar and Wagamama.
My most memorable meal was eating at Sat Bains. On the second occasion I dined there, he had just received his second Michelin star. I ate liquid nitrogen Foie gras, with pickled fruits and savoury granola and a jacket potato and sour cream, which Sat elevated to extraordinary heights.
My ideal dinner guest would be one of my all-time heroes – Bruce Springsteen. I have always wanted to ask him what makes him so driven. I would invite Grant Achatz, a Chicago-based chef, and owner of Alinea, one of the world’s greatest restaurants. Grant is inspiring and has an amazing story to tell. He is also a leader in molecular gastronomy. Derren Brown, could entertain us all with a deck of cards. And finally, my Mum because quite simply she is the reason I have got this far.
Even now after 20 plus years the French Laundry cookbook by Thomas Keller is my inspiration. My most used cookbooks are Indulge:100 Perfect Desserts by Claire Clark (Claire is one of the top two or three pastry chefs in the world) and the Pitt Cue Co. Cookbook by Tom Adams and others. It’s the go-to book for hot, smoky, sticky, spicy grub.
The three items I always have in my fridge are bacon, beer and a good mature cheddar like Snowdonia Black Bomber. After service and the journey home, a cold beer with a bacon and cheese sandwich is the perfect end to the day.