The chef and host of Channel 4's 'Sunday Brunch' tells us about his favourite restaurant in Ireland, and his steadfast refusal to eat tripe.
What was your favourite childhood meal?
My mum's lasagne was, and still is, the greatest meal known to humanity.
What is the meal you will always remember?
I had the most stunning tasting menu at Azurmendi in Bilbao, Spain. There were 10 of us and the food was incredible. It genuinely brought a tear to my eye.
What was your defining food experience?
I went to Thailand about 30 years ago and fell in love with Thai food. I loved the fragrance, the aromas, the spices and textures. It changed the way I regard ingredients.
What's the first dish you ever cooked?
As a kid, I had a recipe for a cheese, onion and potato pie published in the Liverpool Echo. It was more of a baked mashed potato dish.
Are there any foods you have had to cut out or cut down on that you miss?
Biscuits. I adore them.
What is your comfort food?
Anything with mashed potato and gravy.
What is your hangover cure?
A packet of salt and vinegar crisps, an Eccles cake, a banana and lots of water.
What do you drink?
I drink at least two litres of water every day, six coffees and two to three cups of tea. When I'm out out, I like a light pale ale or an IPA; a decent Pinot Noir; Champagne, and I love an Old Fashioned.
What's your favourite restaurant in Ireland?
Chapter One, Parnell Square, D1.
If you could only eat three things for the rest of your life what would they be?
Curry, bacon and crisps.
What is the most appetising smell in the world?
Either smoked bacon or freshly baked bread.
You can go anywhere and have anything to eat with any one person. Where, what and who?
I'd go to the bar at the Gramercy Tavern, in New York, and I'd have pate, fish and salads with Ali, my wife.
What's always in your kitchen?
Vanilla, chillis and chilli sauce, unsalted butter.
How important is food to you?
Oh, my word - it's the first, last and an awful lot of in-the-middle thoughts during my day.
What is your signature dish?
I don't really have one. But if you come to my place for tea, you'll probably get some fish.
Are you careful about what you eat?
Yes, I'm 56 and I try to keep the ravages of time at bay. I love great food, but I also try and eat 'sensibly' on normal days.
What do you refuse to eat?
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Sunday Indo Life Magazine