My life in food: Simon Rimmer, chef

'There's nothing like dry-roasting spices and grinding them by hand'

Rimmer is co-presenter of Channel 4's Sunday Brunch, along with Tim Lovejoy. He rose to prominence when he opened Greens, a vegetarian restaurant in Manchester, in 1990. He has written four books, the latest being The Seasoned Vegetarian (Mitchell Beazley). He recently worked with Kenwood to help find the ultimate 50 food experiences. Kenwood's Food Lover's Bucket List is free to download now. kenwoodworld.com

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

I use a pestle and mortar a lot. One of my great joys is creating curry pastes and sauces. There's nothing quite like dry-roasting spices and then slowly grinding them down by hand. I never use my vegetable spiraliser, those things that turn your veg into spaghetti-like strips. But my kids love it. Whatever we cook, they want to garnish it with "vegetable spaghetti"

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

I'd buy a British cheese. I think we have the best in the world. So I would get some extra mature Montgomery cheddar and some Mrs Kirkham's crumbly Lancashire. And then I'd probably finish with some Ravens Oak goats' cheese. I am assuming here that I am still allowed to have my lavender or charcoal biscuits, and a good selection of chutneys.

What do you eat for comfort?

I find that, the more recipes I write, the more it changes. I still love a roast dinner. If you are feeling a bit low and blue there is little better than a good bit of British roast beef, potatoes and gravy. I also can't get enough of pulled pork rolls.

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

I'd go for bread. There are so many. You have flat bread on one level, then you also have rye on another. And in between you have all the artisan sourdoughs, and flavoured breads, naan and pitta. Of course, then you could eat bread and butter pudding.

What's your desert island recipe?

Curry. If I had to narrow it to one, I'd go for a spicy lamb saag balti. I am assuming, once again, that I would have naan, pilau rice and as much Cobra as I could drink, too.

What is your favourite restaurant?

Slanted Door in San Francisco. I had a guy who worked for me 20 years ago and he used to eulogise it all the time. So I had this huge ambition to go there. But then Bill Clinton visited it and it was immediately booked up for about six years. Eventually though, they moved to bigger premises and I managed to get a table. And it was magnificent – it was the most delicious pan-Asian cooking. The pork belly and bergamot and the orange candy floss dessert were absolutely brilliant.

What's your favourite cookbook?

Leith's Cookery Bible. I bought it years ago and still use it with my children now. From basic tomato sauces to improving your pastry – it's all there for them.

Who taught you to cook?

My dad's family were from Lake Como and they had a really strong food culture. And my mum's family, all from Liverpool, used to make the most fantastic British dinners. I was always around food.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Voices
Focus E15 Mothers led a protest to highlight the lack of affordable housing in London
voicesLondon’s housing crisis amounts to an abuse of human rights, says Grace Dent
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkClue: You'll either love them or you'll hate them
News
Howard Marks has been diagnosed with inoperable cancer, he has announced
people
News
newsIf you're India's Narendra Modi, it seems the answer is a pinstripe suit emblazoned with your own name
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Tour Drivers - UK & European

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join a is a...

    Old Royal Naval College: ORNC Visitor Experience Volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary work: Old Royal Naval College: Join our team of friendly volu...

    Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Sales Assistant

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This airport parking organisation are looking...

    Recruitment Genius: PCV Bus Drivers

    £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: Do you enjoy bus driving and are looking for ...

    Day In a Page

    Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

    Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

    One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
    The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

    The enemy within

    People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

    Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
    Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

    Autumn/winter menswear 2015

    The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

    Army general planning to come out
    Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

    What the six wise men told Tony Blair

    Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
    25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

    25 years of The Independent on Sunday

    The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
    Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

    Smash hit go under the hammer

    It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
    Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

    The geeks who rocked the world

    A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
    Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

    Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

    Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

    These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

    A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

    A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
    Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

    Growing mussels

    Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project