Jeremy Lee: 12 essential questions...

Ahead of our special one-off supper event hosted by Chef, Jeremy Lee, we asked 12 questions exploring the inspirations behind the iconic chef

What is your earliest food memory?
This would be a toss-up between Granny’s lentil soup, Dad’s rice pudding and Mum’s treacle dumplings – all recipes that I love and make stil

Who was most influential in your early days of cooking?
Mum, Granny, Dad (probably in that order)

What was the first dish you perfected as your own style and is there a recipe in the book that characterises this style of cooking most succinctly ?
I suppose a dish that really came into it’s own was onglet, a favourite cut of beef that is often underappreciated. There is indeed a recipe for onglet in COOKING, and some suggestions for lovely accompaniments.

What’s an ingredient you can’t live without in general and right now (seasonally)?
Lemons, new season’s olive oil and wet garlic inhabit the majority of dishes that we cook.

Where do you go to unwind and relax?
Cooks don’t unwind well… but I do adore Scotland, the Sussex Downs and Italy. 

What’s always in your fridge?
A block of cheese and a tin of anchovies.

After dinner service at Quo Vadis what’s your favourite go to late night snack?
Golly. Nowadays I’m much saintly, but when I used to snack after a dinner service a great big slap up in Chinatown was always a great favourite.

Who would make up your perfect dinner party guest list and what would be your dream venue?
All me mates! The dream venue would be a beach on a Hebridean Island, an orchard in the Sussex Downs or a particularly favourite kitchen in Italy.

Are there any new chefs on the scene that you admire? 
Golly, lots! Keshia Sakarah is doing very interesting things, Stroma Sinclair is baking up a storm at Lila’s and we love young Sertac at Mangal 2. And, of course, it would be rather rum if Max Rocha and Anna Tobias were lumped in with the old crowd, I have great respect for all they do.

What piece of advice would you give to your 20 year old self…
Eat more cheese.

What is your guilty pleasure… that is printable?
Oh far too many, but then again guilt is such a waste of time so why bother?

What’s your favourite cheese?
OMG I love most, but a cheese I truly miss is Mary Holbrook’s cardo, which was magnificent.

Purchase tickets for the supper 
Wednesday 7 June 2023 'An Evening with Jeremy Lee, recipes from COOKING: Simply & Well. For one and Many'