Chef, Sunday Brunch presenter and cookbook author Simon Rimmer talks food at length, on live telly, every weekend on Channel 4, alongside his friend and co-host Tim Lovejoy. But looking back on his life in the world of recipes and restaurants, what are the dishes that always come back to him?

From his highest culinary moments, to his lowest, these are Rimmer’s food memories…

His earliest memory of food and cooking is…

“My grandmother’s apple pie – she used to make it with puff pastry and would get this ice cream that came in a metal tub, which I thought was the most exciting thing in the world because, when it came out of the freezer, you couldn’t touch it and you might stick to it. I thought my grandma was a magician because she could touch it. Her apple pie was amazing!”

His worst culinary disaster was…

“I think the worst thing I ever cooked was when I opened my first restaurant, Greens, we did this aubergine curry – bearing in mind I couldn’t cook when I first opened that restaurant. The aubergines were undercooked and the curry tasted fine when you had a spoonful, but it was SO hot. It was like bitter aubergine in fire. It was disgusting. It was made as a batch and we couldn’t serve it.”

Rimmer’s culinary high moment has to be…

“Well, either a dish that you do [regularly], like the whole pulled pork thing [Rimmer is jokily cited as the inventor of pulled pork], which is a gift that just keeps giving – so many people mention it on my Twitter timeline, that’s kind of my proudest moment as a chef, being known for one thing. Even though I didn’t invent it, it is perhaps my culinary high!

“In terms of an occasion, [former Scottish footballer and manager] Kenny Dalglish is my hero, and I cooked for him on his birthday. Basically, he cooked with me for a charity and we were in the kitchen of one of my restaurants. We cooked what he wanted and he helped me cook it. We cooked for 100 people, Kenny and I did, between us. Cooking with my absolute hero was brilliant.”

The Sunday Brunch Cookbook by Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy
The Sunday Brunch Cookbook by Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy (Dan Jones/PA)

The Sunday Brunch Cookbook by Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy, photography by Dan Jones, is published by Ebury Press.

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