Gary Rhodes reveals his food secrets!
How did you become a chef?
I enjoyed cooking with my mother as a young child so much that by the age of 13 I became the ‘family cook’ who tried to take over the kitchen for evening suppers leading on to the big Sunday lunch. My love for it became an obsession and I’ve never let go since.
What are you up to at the moment?
At the moment I’m sampling lots of dishes to create for the Secret Garden at Taste of London this year. I wanted to take part simply to have the privilege to cook with the other great chefs for such die-hard foodies.
What are your favourite foods?
My favourite foods depend on my moods. It can be the simple Sunday roast one minute, a great Italian or Chinese next, but my final meal without doubt would be simple Braised Oxtails with creamy mashed potatoes – I love them!
What’s it like in your kitchen?
It’s obviously clean but I really like to create a happy kitchen. Rather than frighten my team, I like to inspire them.
What’s your favourite piece of kitchen equipment?
Kitchen knives, of course. But I also think the Thermomix is an amazing piece of equipment.
What’s the biggest food trend we should all take note of?
Rather than a fashion it should purely be simplicity; showing off each ingredient at its very best, allowing them to do nothing but complement one another.
What’s the latest over-hyped fad we should avoid?
Fashions change so rapidly so the best thing to do is avoid them. Classics never die.
What do you love most about cooking?
The fact that you can never stop learning and there is always something new to discover and be inspired by.
Do you ever use cookbooks – and whose?
I love collecting cookery books and I have far too many. My favourite of all is Great Chefs of France by Quentin Crewe and Anthony Blake .
What tips would you give to members of lovefood.com?
Never be afraid to discover foods from every corner of the earth. Your culinary pleasures then become one long trip of discovery.
Tell us a food joke.
Which cheese would you use to entice a grizzly down from a mountain? Camembert.
If you could invite 4 guests to dinner, who would you invite and what would you cook?
Without doubt I would invite Martin Luther King, one of the greatest men who ever walked this Earth. Marilyn Monroe because I think she’s gorgeous. Stevie Wonder because he’s one of the greatest musicians ever and Sir Alex Ferguson as he is the greatest football manager of the greatest club of all time.
I would cook a very simple menu starting with ‘Wild seabass and English asparagus with a lemon hollandaise’ followed by ‘Slow roast suckling pig with Kentish apple sauce and seasonal veg’. Of course, it would have to be ‘Bread and Butter pudding’ to finish!
Gary Rhodes will be at this year's Taste of London festival, which takes place on the 16th to 19th June. www.tastefestivals.com/london
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