Missy Flynn, Bartender: 'I love anything spicy and I always make my spaghetti sauce with too much garlic'

'I love anything spicy and I always make my spaghetti sauce with too much garlic'

Flynn is the resident cocktail expert at Jackson Boxer's pop-up restaurant Rita's Bar & Dining in London, having previously been front of house and behind the bar for the Hawksmoor steak restaurants. As well as collaborating with the travelling dining collective Real Gold, she designed the cocktails for the Baileys Spirited Women event, which marked the launch of its new bottle.

What are your most and least used pieces of kitchen kit?

Most used, a bottle opener. Least used, weighing scales. I'm not a very precise person in the kitchen.

If you only had £10 to spend on food, where would you spend it and on what?

I'd get on a bus to Victoria Park and buy some tacos from Erick Medina's Mexican restaurant, Machete. I love tacos and his are pretty much spot on.

What do you eat for comfort?

Anything spicy. Usually the green chilli macaroni and cheese from Rita's – I'd love to say something else, but I am genuinely addicted to it.

If you could only eat bread or potatoes for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

Bread – with butter sprinkled with salt.

What's your desert island recipe?

Spaghetti in a thick, rich tomato sauce: always with a little too much garlic, lots of good olive oil, tomato, pinch of salt, fresh chilli and balsamic vinegar. Topped with mixed leaves and more olive oil.

What's your favourite restaurant?

There are places I like for lunch but would avoid for dinner; places to go to for a treat, others to slip into for well-known comforts and a friendly face. So many variables. Jumping on the bus to Dishoom Shoreditch for Sunday night curry instead of ordering one in is always nice. Likewise a glass of sherry followed by anything at Barrafina on a hot summer's night in Soho is a memory I'd like to relive, soon.

What's your favourite cookbook?

I've recently started using Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's book, Jerusalem, quite regularly. I'm lucky to live in east London where lots of quite exotic ingredients are available; now, thanks to that book, I have some idea how to use them.