It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when I became obsessed by the what goes in my gob. I suppose I had the good luck of being exposed to food cooked with care and love at home and then moved to a city, Edinburgh, with plenty of fine produce at hand. I also had the very good fortune to almost exactly time my university years with Simon Hopkinson’s weekly Independent column. I still have almost all of his weekly output in a battered old filing case and even though most of his wonderful recipes have finally been bound, some are still secretly filed.
At university my fellow Essex boy room mate Jon and I set up a gastronomic society through which we met a man of high culinary calibre, Ferdinand. This set up a number of years of fairly outrageous culinary exploration. Well, when you could get a brace of grouse for less than a fiver, or the same for a whole mountain hare, it would have been plain stupid not to explore.