Tim Anderson: 'I ate a lot of insects in Thailand. Some were quite good'

 

My store-cupboard essentials... Miso, soy sauce, fresh chillis and also some kind of chilli sauce. As far as more off-beat things, where do I start? My home kitchen is also my work kitchen, so my cupboards are filled with strange ingredients, from xanthan gum to neutral-flavoured popping candy.

My favourite cookbook... Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck Cookbook. I got it as a gift from my wife a couple of years ago. A lot of people might see it as a coffee-table book, but for me it's a useful reference; I won't do complete dishes from it, as they're too complicated for me, but it's been great for inspiration and learning specific techniques.

The kitchen appliance I can't live without... Probably my set of micro-scales. I got them during the filming of Masterchef, when I was about halfway through and realised that I needed to be more precise with my cooking. All the chemicals [I use] have to be measured out in very small, specific measurements otherwise your recipe is not going to work out.

My favourite food shop... New Loo Moon in Chinatown. It's a two-storey Asian emporium: its main thing is Chinese food, but it's got a good selection of Malaysian, Thai, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Burmese and Indian ingredients, as well as good frozen seafood and unusual fruit and veg such as mangosteens and water spinach.

My top table... Asakusa, which is a Japanese place by Mornington Crescent in north London. It's really good and really cheap and not like other Japanese restaurants in this country: where most places have a strong bent towards sushi and sashimi and make a lot of fuss over presentation, this has everything from chicken skin on a stick to monkfish liver and pork belly, and is much more relaxed. It's about the casual, almost "pub grub" side of Japanese cooking, which isn't as popular over here for some reason.

My dream dining companion... It's not who I really want as a dining companion, but the person I'd like to cook for most is Jonathan Ross, because he seems like a cool guy and he's a huge Japanophile and he also likes his food and loves The Fat Duck, so I think he might appreciate my kind of cooking.

My guilty pleasure... I don't really do guilt, though one dish that makes me feel a little bit guilty is Eggs Ian Fleming, which is Ian Fleming's recipe for scrambled eggs. It's about equal parts butter and eggs, and you cook it very slowly so you're almost making a curdled custard. It's really rich, but so good.

The strangest thing I've eaten... I ate quite a lot of insects in Thailand. Some of them were quite good, such as the giant water bug. It looked like a cross between a cockroach and a crab – the back end was sort of like an artichoke, but the head tasted almost like pork; it was bizarre. But others I could take or leave. Silkworms, in particular, were nasty.

My pet hates... People who say they don't like something when they've never tried it or maybe had a bad version of it once. You've got to keep trying these things: some of people's favourite tastes are ones they've acquired over time.

My tipple of choice...Beer, beer, beer. I'm a big beer geek, so I can't pick just one brand or style, but a really good brewery I've discovered recently is a Danish one called Mikkeller. They're very experimental: they did this Hoppy Stout, which was a dark beer with lots of hops, which they also aged in tequila barrels. It was this incredibly complex, refreshing but still rich beer, almost like a chocolatey margarita if you can imagine that. Off-the-wall but really good.

Tim Anderson is a chef and former 'Masterchef' champion. He has teamed up with Unearthed to create the first culinary tour around the world on a single plate. The dish will be served at the London Foodie Supper Club on 27 and 28 June. Tweet your interest to @foodsunearthed

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
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

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Guru Careers: Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Chef

    £27K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Pastry Sous Chef / Experienced Pastry Che...

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Day In a Page

    Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

    Please save my husband

    As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
    Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

    They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

    A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
    David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

    Hanging with the Hoff

    Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
    Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

    Hipsters of Arabia

    Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
    The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

    The cult of Roger Federer

    What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
    Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

    Malaysian munchies

    With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
    10 best festival beauty

    Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

    Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
    Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

    A Different League

    Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
    Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

    Steve Bunce on Boxing

    Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf