My earliest food memory is eating globe artichokes for the first time in southern France, on a school French exchange. It was a pivotal moment for me where food became a thing to behold rather than just fuel.
I’m anticipating a very exciting rise in casual, mainstream Japanese cuisine throughout the UK – most notably the Izakaya (Japanese Gastropub) style of dining. Yakitori hotspots have only just begun to spring up in London, but with the popularity of Japanese food gaining more and more traction each day, destinations of a more accessible nature are inevitable.
I tend to eat locally normally: Petersham Nurseries, Peckham Bazaar or May 15th for dinner anyway. I love Chez Bruce for a long, wine-fuelled lunch, and drinks-wise I tend to head to Spuntino in Soho before heading east to Happiness Forgets – being sure to write off the next day…
I have this great attribute where I can only remember amazing food. My mind deletes memories of mediocre food, which is actually quite useful. I ate at Noma in 2008 before it became the force it went on to be. I can remember all of it. But I also remember the whole meal at St John for my 40th. Both were outstanding for different reasons.
I always love it when my family has the chance to come down to the restaurants for dinner – they can sometimes be my toughest critics, as the kids especially have grown up on the food and are always ready and willing to give their reviews!
I find myself always coming back to Forgotten Skills of Cooking by Darina Allen. This book touches on the importance of passing cooking skills on to our younger generations; a wonderful tradition that seems to be somewhat diluted in recent years. The recipes are great and the book is written with intelligence and charm.
Three items I always keep in my fridge are anchovies, Comté cheese and vodka.