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.

Chef John Torode

John Torode: My life in food...

John Torode is best known as the straight-talking TV presenter and judge of BBC’s MasterChef. He originally moved to the UK from his native Australia in the mid-1990s when he worked for the Conran Group. He owns two London restaurants. He is now working with IWSC Winemaker of the Year Neil McGuigan to launch the Neil McGuigan & John Torode Recipe Collection, a personalised food and wine matching service: mcguiganwines.co.uk

April Bloomfield: 'If you think you've added enough butter, just add a bit more'

My earliest food memory… Waking up on a cold frosty morning at my Nan's house and my Grandad cooking porridge on the hob with milk and the tiniest bit of sugar melted on top. Then he'd pour the cold milk around the bowl so it would set like custard. It's the best start to the day for energy. It's better than Red Bull – porridge gives you wings.

Tom Hunt: My life in food...

Tom Hunt is a self-proclaimed  eco-chef who started his career working at Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s River Cottage.  He then went on to co-found Forgotten Feast, which works to revive British heritage recipes and reduce food waste. He works closely with the food charities FareShare, FoodCycle and StreetSmart. He has a restaurant, Poco, in Bristol and will be spending 2013 writing a cookbook.

Prue Leith: 'If i could take one thing to a desert island, it would be chilli sauce. Ideally Nando's Piri Piri'

My Life In Food: Prue Leith

'If I could take one thing to a desert island, it would be chilli sauce. Ideally Nando's Piri Piri'

The newly renovated Parlour just north of London’s Notting Hill

On The Menu: Parlour; Opera Tavern; Dude Foods; Sous Chef; Roti Chai

This week I've been eating...fun foods

My life in travel: Tom Aikens

‘Travel is finding good places to eat’

TV chef cook book meals 'are less healthy than ready meals'

Recipes by TV chefs including Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson are “less healthy” than ready meals, researchers said.

Alivn Leung: 'I use blenders a lot to make cocktails, so I can drink while cooking'

My earliest food memory… I'll never forget my mother's instant noodles when I was growing up in New York. My mother's an awful cook so I ate a lot of bad food when I was young. It forced me to learn how to cook myself.

Album: Various Artists, Soul Food (Trikont)

In the pantheon of pop stimuli, food has always run a close second to sex.

The 10 Best gifts for foodies

Whether it’s a space-age set of scales or a perfect blend of Parisian tea, we’ve found a culinary present for everyone...

Tong Chee Hwee: 'Poached nashi pears with bitter almonds are a great way to fend off winter colds'

My Life in Food: Tong Chee Hwee

'Poached nashi pears with bitter almonds are a great way to fend off winter colds'

Alan Yau, restauranteur: 'Comfort food should have a touch of umami, like dolly noodles or japanese curry'

My life in food: Alan Yau, Restaurateur

'So many chefs use excessive fat to enhance flavours. I use herbs and spices'

Perfect presents: Our colour-coded Christmas gift guide

Don't want to be blue this Christmas? Then try purple or green or pink or gold!

Bond and Bake Offs boost for Aga

The unlikely combination of Mary Berry and James Bond have helped to give Aga's chief executive William McGrath "an air of optimism for 2013".

My Life In Food: Lily Vanilli, baker

'I've got a bit of a savoury tooth – I snack on anything from crisps to calamari'

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