James Martin, Grilled!

We chatted to James in between his cooking demos at the Gloucester Quays Food Festival, fresh from the kitchen but a tad dishevelled.

If money was no object, where would you open a shop and what would it be like?
I came back from the Amalfi coast yesterday and thought it was absolutely spectacular, there aren’t many place in the world that are as beautiful as that, Yorkshire being another. I’ve been travelling all over the world for the last five years and Amalfi is just spectacular.

If you had to eat the same meal every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?
My granny’s bacon sandwich, but she passed away about twelve years ago.

What do you keep on your bedside table?
A two and a half-foot Maglite. (Joking). The biggest and loudest alarm clock. And I’ve got old pictures of Fangio, an old racing car driver.

When is the last time you had a McDonald’s or similar?
Yesterday morning in Naples, there’s nothing in Naples airport and the flight was delayed.

What is your career Plan B?
I don’t know if I’ve got Plan A right yet! I always wanted to be a racing driver, like most kids but my backside’s too big to fit in the car and also I’m too tall. And I haven’t got the talent of a racing driver. I’m into flying now, if I gave this up I’d certainly enjoy being a pilot.

What is your favourite thing to cook at home?
At the moment, fresh veg, my garden’s gone nuts, I’ve been away on and off for the last four weeks. I’ve got aubergines, tomatoes, courgettes, all that kind of stuff. That’s what I enjoy, fresh food out of my garden.

Is there any food that you can’t stand?
Horseradish, I can’t stand horseradish. My chef Chris planted it in my garden and you’ve got to dig down to New Zealand to get rid of it, it’s horrific. It just keeps coming up, awful stuff. I don’t like wasabi either, it kills everything.

Do you have any reoccurring dreams?
Not really, I don’t have any trouble sleeping anywhere, I don’t know if I really have dreams… (trails off)

Who would be your ideal dinner date?
I think because I don’t see my family that much, it’s the old cliché, but I don’t see them very often and they’re based up north a lot. We were bought up in Yorkshire that everybody sits around the table and have a meal. You don’t do that anymore and it’s kind of a farming northern family thing, I think it’s important. I’ve booked a little house in Cornwall for a couple of months time and I’m going to get all the family down and just chill out.

What is the one object you can’t do without?
I like my iPad thing, and my dog. He travels everywhere with me, but not food festivals, he’s rip the marquee down and eat all the sausages. He’s a clumber spaniel, about eight years old, because I’m away any time you grab the car keys he’s literally straight out sat in the car. I took him flying for the first time the other day and he was sat in the back, he wasn’t too keen on the old takeoff,.

James is launching a new service which will bring specially created meals by him, directly to your door. Life, Fork & Spoon www.lifeforkspoon.co.uk

James having a bit of a Something About Mary moment.