I’m keen, but chaotic in the kitchen. Heston Blumenthal’s molecular approach leaves me empty – I prefer plates of food you can see from space. One of my most memorable meals was cooking Goan prawns for my wife. I spent hours shopping for the perfect ingredients, hand-grinding the spices, carefully shelling the prawns and obsessing over presentation, only for her to knock over her wine glass, sending billions of shards into the food. We had a takeaway prawn pizza that night.
Jamie Fleming, Copywriter, Purple
My other favourite subject is cooking – typically, it’s all Italian and all are recipes my mamma taught me. A quick favourite that I make during the week takes about five minutes and is called Spaghetti Arrabiata Express. Chop chili, garlic, parsley, parmesan, tin of tomatoes, salt, pepper and, very importantly, some sugar. Boil spaghetti. Drain and chuck it all in together and dress with olive oil and the more chili the better, add glass of Chianti – magnifico.
Franco Bonadio, Chief executive, Identica
For 38 years I refused to eat anything that could run, jump, swim or fly. Once, while at dinner in a Bedouin tent in Saudi Arabia, my vegetarianism came under scrutiny from my Arabian hosts who – after they offered me a dish consisting of camel and rice – were under the impression that my diet came from a desire to not eat animals’ souls. This all got very confusing when my Arabian friend thought I meant animals’ ’soles’, and tried to reassure me that there were no camel toes in the dish. After being involved in the rebrand of the Wright Brothers London Seafood Gastrodomes, I’ve recently perverted from the path of the potato to pescetarianism. So, I’m often found in my kitchen nose deep in Mitch Tonks with my fingers in a lobster while hanging out of turbot. However, I still draw the line at desert animals for dessert.
Simon Manchipp, Founder, Someone
For a confused wannabe chef like me – no idea which flavours work together, but constantly experimenting, with varying degrees of success – celebrity chef programmes are perfect. They humanise an otherwise mysterious dark art. It always amazes me how the best dishes, like the best design, are so bloody simple. Come over mine for my speciality chorizo, broad bean and asparagus mash-up (courtesy of the Observer Food Monthly supplement). Stick it in a pan with a generous glug of olive oil and you’re away. Simplicity itself, and delicious.
Mark Ellis, Director, Creative Cherry