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The evidence: The chef's kitchen shelf

Simon Hopkinson was the founder chef of Bibendum. `Gammon & Spinach', a collection of his food writing for `The Independent', is published by Macmillan, priced pounds 25

"It's a bit of a jumble - I had the bottom shelf made narrower so I couldn't put too much on it, but that obviously hasn't worked. The Kangaroo packet (1) is flour from Hong Kong. The chequered tin (2) belonged to Elizabeth David - I think she kept biscuits in it. That variety pack (3) has been there for ages. I know if I throw it away, I'll wake up one morning and really fancy some. Phillip, one of my two Burmese cats (4) loves drinking from the tap. The coffee-mill (5) I use for coarse pepper, mainly for steak au poivre. Jason, the photographer I work with, and I have decided food doesn't look good on that yellow plate (6). I always have a sharpener handy (7), as I can't bear writing recipes with blunt pencils. The mugs (8) are an extension of my aubergine obsession."

Photograph by Jason Lowe