I’ve taken this title from a monthly column in the Waitrose magazine where a well-known person is asked questions about his or her food preferences. There is a series of set questions which are pretty much the same from month to month; here are some of the questions and my answers:

  • what kind of cook are you – I guess a home cook, but over-ambitious – I try things which are actually beyond what I can do. I love weird and unusual recipes, and sometimes I’m attracted to recipes by the pictures accompanying them. However differently what I cook is from what it’s intended to be, it’s usually pretty tasty!
  • have you always enjoyed cooking – yes, even though when I was at school and we had to make a choice of what subjects to pursue, I was adamant I didn’t want to do ‘domestic science’. I didn’t really think much about actually cooking until I left home, then I really got into my swing
  • who would be your dream dinner party guest – tricky question as I think I’d be overwhelmed with nerves and excitement  if I was cooking for my dream guest… people who I’d like to sit round a table with… any of the Mavericks, Jay Rayner, Gillian Reynolds (the telegraph radio critic) Claudia Roden… if I had to cook for them I’d do tabbouleh, a lamb tagine and lemon meringue pie (although I’d be anxious what Claudia thought about the tabbouleh and tagine!) If I could be cooking for anyone in history my perfect guest would be Philip Harben
  • tell us about a dinner party disaster – we were cooking an Elizabethan banquet (we – collective responsibility here!) and we made marchpanes to go with coffee which welded themselves to the baking tin – we actually shouldn’t have cooked them! By the time they should have arrived the guests had drunk so much wine and so had we, that no-one cared! We did also once have a Christmas bird which refused resolutely to cook… which was not as bad as some friends cooking a meal for us – they had changed from being vegetarian to meat-eaters and it was their first ever chicken… they thought they had to cook it for twenty minutes, not realising it should have been twenty minutes a pound weight…
  • what’s your favourite takeaway of choice – don’t have one; we so rarely have take-away meals… I guess if we were it would be a curry
  • your favourite place to eat out – tricky… if I could go back in time to 1070’s Manchester it would be the Armenian restaurant or the Beaujolais (if I close my eyes I can still taste their sauce served with fillet of pork…) But here in Weston, Michelangelo’s or Mint and Mustard a great Indian street food restaurant… or probably we would just go to the Dolphin if we wanted a perfect lunch!

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