My earliest food memory isn’t a great one. I was around seven years old and my parents were arranging a house party. We lived on a tough council estate in the North East so interesting food didn’t often come our way. However, my father had bought a jar of stuffed olives (ground breaking stuff in the 70s) and decanted them into a pot. We all tried them and we were utterly disgusted. We couldn’t believe that people actually ate them. I love olives now. How times change.
In my opinion a food which is emerging is seaweed. It’s a versatile product and when you start to research it you realise there’s lots of different and interesting varieties. There’s also a plentiful supply which could be a future answer to the world’s food supply chain.
When it comes to eating out my tastes are very varied. I enjoy the casual Turkish restaurants on Green Lanes, searching for the perfect Pide has become a hobby. Obviously I frequent a number of vegan and vegetarian outlets but the new wave of vegan offerings is particularly interesting. Club Mexicana in Hommerton and Death by Pizza at London Fields are a must. For somewhere more inspirational it has to be Sketch, blows my mind. Yauatcha in Soho is also very interesting, dumplings with a twist.
My most memorable meal was at a restaurant in Leeds called Anthony’s which is sadly no longer around. One of the courses was a white onion risotto which was topped with Parmesan foam and at the bottom of the bowl was a shot of espresso. When you ate it together it tricked your mind into believing it was roasted onion because of the roasted flavour of the coffee. It still inspires me now.
If it was possible to invite my own choice of dinner guests it would be John Lydon (lead singer of the Sex Pistols), Muhammad Ali and Grant Achatz. All very interesting people and the combined mix would be fun.
My favourite cookbooks are numerous but in particular The French Laundry, El Bulli 1998-2002 and Bentley by Brent Savage.
Always present in my fridge is my homemade chilli sauce, Londonshire cheese from Wildes cheese and aubergines.