The 5-Minute Interview: Jean-Christophe Novelli, Chef

'In moments of weakness, I put a frozen meal into the microwave'
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The Independent Online

Jean-Christophe Novelli, 45, appears on 'Saturday Cooks' on ITV1 at 11.30am.

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Busy at the farmhouse where I have a cookery academy. Or I would be at my pub, The White Horse at Harpenden, which is 15 minutes from where I live.

A phrase I use far too often is...

It used to be,"Oooh la la, sacre bleu!" and "Unbelievable!" But the one I've used most in my life is, "I'm absolutely, seriously exhausted".

I wish people would take more notice of...

I'm concerned about the fact that vice is rapidly affecting a vulnerable society. Also people's negligence to many things. For example, I saw some people dump their mattresses and cupboards ruining the countryside. They can't be bothered. It's a lack of respect.

The most surprising thing that ever happened to me was...

When I became a dad. It happened at about two in the morning ­ I'd just finished work. I was so excited, people thought I was crazy. They wouldn't let me into the hospital. They thought I was psychotic. I started banging on the door. I missed the first hour in the hospital. When we met we were both crying our eyes out. Now 20 years later that same amazing voice is the lead singer/songwriter of the Scenic Drives.

A common misperception of me is...

I don't want to blow my trumpet, but they say, "He's a very nice man".

I'm not a politician but...

I guarantee that I, and many of us, have contributed and achieved a lot more and a lot quicker than some of them.

I'm good at...

Offering before I'm asked.

But I'm very bad at...

Saying "no".

In moments of weakness I...

Go to my freezer and get out a frozen meal and put it in the microwave.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this:

It's important not to forget where you come from. Never forget to give back, especially when you're doing well.

Elisa Bray

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