Life and Style Mellow yellow: a warming spoonful of polenta

Opening a new restaurant is often a quick way for rich people to lose money. It is a gamble opening your doors to the public, just like playing poker. But as with cards, there are ways to hedge your bets. The cautious restaurateur might tend towards well-worn concepts such as the burger joint, for instance, or the fried-chicken shop.

My life in food: Lorena Vasquez, master rum blender

'I drink green tea to relax. It's also a great palate cleanser'

The Sportsman, Faversham Road, Seasalter, Whitstable, Kent

Until last week, the best fish dish I have ever eaten was grilled slip sole in seaweed butter at the Sportsman in Seasalter in Kent. This maritime marvel formed the starter in a lunch that has echoed my memory for years, but I discovered that I had missed the pub's most esteemed offering, a tasting menu whose expertise and finesse are legendary among the food-obsessed. So I called the Sportsman to remedy this annoying omission (48 hours warning is required). "It starts at 7pm," I was informed, "and lasts for three and half hours." Good grief! I wasn't sure that I was quite as food-obsessed as all that.

My Life in Food: Gennaro Contaldo

'My mother, she was rubbish at cooking. I learnt from my father'

Turl Street Kitchen, 16-17 Turl Street Oxford

At a scrubbed wooden table, a dapper, Rumpole-ish gentleman is taking lunch, in immaculate suit and wide red braces. Behind him, also eating alone, is a troll in human form – a small, wild-haired oldster wearing a plunging singlet and very short shorts, his abundantly furry chest and shoulders on proud display. Both of these unlikely fellow diners look perfectly at home.

My life in food: Florence Knight

Head chef, Polpetto

Charles Saatchi with his wife, Nigella Lawson, in March last year

Removal van seen outside Nigella Lawson's family home fuelling marriage split speculation

A removal van was seen outside Nigella Lawson’s marital home in London this morning, fuelling speculation about the state of her marriage to Charles Saatchi.

US television cook Paula Deen is being sued by the former manager of one of her restaurants

American celebrity cook Paula Deen stirs up a storm of criticism after admitting to using the N-word

Paula Deen, the American celebrity cook and the self-proclaimed queen of Southern farmhouse cuisine, is at risk of losing a lucrative deal with QVC after admitting to using the N-word.

Tom Sellers: The French Laundry-trained chef on hot dogs, jellyfish and floral desserts

My earliest food memory Eating hot dogs and burgers at the fair in Nottingham, where my mother and father took me as a kid. It's not so much the taste that stayed with me, but the smell. Standing by the wagon, with the aroma of burning onions filling my nostrils, it really got me. I still love eating burgers now, particularly at MeatLiquor in London.

Jack Monroe has created recipes to feed herself and her son, Jonny, on £10 a week

The single mother who turned 9p meals into a publishing deal with A Girl Called Jack blog

Amateur cook’s blog about feeding her family on £10 a week attracted huge online audience

My life in food: Tony Conigliaro, Mixologist

‘I draw my inspiration from art, science and even perfumery’

Review: Soufflé, By Asli Perker

Tender tale rises to the challenge

The 10 best children's cookbooks

It's never too early to learn your way around a kitchen. Here's where to find the top recipes to get them started.

Russell Norman, owner of the Polpo restaurant family

My life in food: Russell Norman

‘I have mostly learnt to cook by stealing ideas from chefs I’ve worked with’

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