10 things you didn't know about James Martin

10 things you didn't know about James Martin

Posted 28th Mar 2018

Whether you know him from Ready Steady Cook, Saturday Kitchen Live or his latest roadtrip around the USA, James Martin is an icon of great British cooking.

Speaking to him about his latest cookbook, James Martin's American Adventure, and his first live cooking demonstration in eight years at Fenwick ColchesterYour Home asked the questions everyone is dying to know!

1. What is your food heaven and food hell?

"Food heaven would be langoustines from Northern Ireland or the west coast of Scotland. Just with lemon, nothing else. No fancy mayonnaise. Food hell would be horseradish, wasabi or anything like that. It's food of the devil."

2. What did you have for breakfast this morning?

"A can of Red Bull and a Mars bar. Welcome to the world of a chef!"

3. Where is your favourite dog walk?

"The back of my house, over the fields. Cooper walks a little bit further than Ralph. Ralph is more than happy just to walk to the end of the gate and that is about it really. I take Cooper to Yorkshire quite a lot, we go up on the north Yorkshire moores, that's another one of my favourites. Cooper is a working dog, just coming up to two years old. I'll get him full time when he's three."

4. Which place surprised you the most on your USA road trip?

"Texas. Texas was amazing. Not just the place, but the people – the food was fantastic too! You have a certain opinion of a place when you haven't been there and you don't realise how big it is either. It takes four days to drive across the state if you're driving day and night. It is so massive and a bit surreal when you arrive. You think that the whole cowboy outfit is a bit of a laugh but everyone is wearing it. If you aren't wearing it then you look a muppet – you've got to blend in.

"It is a place that I would definitely go back to. Even to such an extent that I nearly looked at a property there and it will probably be a place on my retirement list. It's amazing and the service is incredible."

5. What is your favourite restaurant?

"I'll give you my hit list! Restaurant Sat Baines is a really good one in Nottingham. Further away would be Paul Ainsworth at No.6, in Padstow. There is a restaurant called The Feathered Nest in Burford, Morston Hall in Norfolk and The Magpie Café in Whitby for fish and chips."

6. What's one thing on your bucket list?

"To go see the penguins…but not in the zoo! And to see an Indian tiger in northern India."

7. Your ideal comfort food?

"Fish and chips. I've been known to travel literally 600 miles for fish and chips. There are only two fish and chip shops; one is in Whitby and the other is in Grimsby. If you are south of Leeds then forget it. It has to be blowing a hooley and p*****g down with rain with snot dripping off your face and freezing cold hands. That's when you know you're in the presence of great fish and chips. The fish has to be from ice cold water as well, which is obviously from the North."

8. Who, dead or alive, would you have at your dream dinner party?

"My Gran. She passed away about 15 years ago. She loved Strictly and I was on the show, so we'd go back through that. My family mean a lot to me, so whenever I get the chance to see them we try and do as much fancy stuff as we can."

9. If you were to use a cookbook from another chef, whose would it be?

"Sat Bains has a great cookbook, but it's so complicated that no one would be able to do anything from it. It's called Too Many Chiefs Only One Indian and it's an amazing coffee table book. I do like Rick Stein too. I like the way he works and his mentality in terms of food – he's the only chef on television that I watch. I feel like I'm learning when I watch him."

10. What's your Easter Sunday meal going to be?

"I've got no idea, because I'm in the Azores, working. I've never been there before. I'm cooking on a Gentleman's boat for three days and then I'm flying back. No doubt i'll probably be stuck in the boat's kitchen eating a cheese sandwich."

James's new cookbook, James Martin's American Adventure, is available now from all good book stores. Don't forget to take a look at Fenwick's upcoming events and cooking demonstrations by clicking here.

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