Simon Rimmer: The 'Sunday Brunch' presenter talks Thai curries and Lancashire hotpots

 

My earliest food memory

Bacon sandwiches at my gran's house. She'd cook smoked back bacon in lard then dip each slice of doughy white bread into the pan to soak up the bacon and lard juices, and top it with brown sauce. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

My favourite cookbook

It's a Thai recipe book called Taste of Thailand by Kit Chan. I went to Thailand on my honeymoon, as my best mate lives in Bangkok. I cooked a lot with his housekeeper, who recommended this book to me on my return home. I like it as it's simple and written in a way that I was taught to cook out in Thailand. My favourite recipe is red duck curry with pineapple; it's just heavenly.

My favourite restaurant

The Three Fishes in Mitton, Lancashire. It serves traditional British pub grub such as hotpot and fish pie, but done by a Michelin-starred chef, Nigel Haworth, who also owns it. Growing up in the northwest, I ate hotpot on a regular basis – and theirs is the best thing in the world.

My desert-island dish

Slow-cooked, smoked BBQ beef brisket with bread, pickles, spicy coleslaw and a great thing called tater tots: they're little balls of spicy mash potato deep-fried and sprinkled with Parmesan crumb. I've become obsessed with that slow-cooked, blue-collar American-style food, such as pulled-pork ribs. I like the smokiness of it.

The weirdest thing I've eaten

Bull's testicles in Spain was unpleasant, but the worst thing was in Hong Kong, where I ate a sheep intestine stew, which was absolutely disgusting: it tasted like a snotty stew and smelled like a baby's nappy.

My guilty pleasure

I've a penchant for butterscotch Angel Delight. I always thought of it as a treat while I was growing up, and I've never got it out of my head; I like the texture. Food snobbery does annoy me, though. In an ideal world we'd all eat organic produce, but in reality our shopping mostly comes from 24/7 mini-supermarkets – and I like a bit of crap food now and then.

Simon Rimmer, 49, is a chef and TV presenter on Channel 4's 'Sunday Brunch'. His new book 'Men Love Pies, Girls Like Hummus' is published by Mitchell Beazley, priced £16.99

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