Simon Hopkinson, English food writer, critic and former chef
The cookbook that has most influenced your cooking
The Constance Spry Cookery Book (1956)
The most memorable food you ate in childhood
Poached salmon with parsley sauce and cucumber
Your favourite food shop
Garcia, the Spanish deli and supermarket in the Portobello Road, London W11
Most memorable meal in film/literature/painting
The board meeting lunch in Tampopo [Juzo Itami’s ‘ramen western’ about a cook trying to find the perfect noodle recipe]
Your worst kitchen disaster
Over-cooking foie gras; so much so that it returned to its original size and surrounded by about a kilo of liquid fat.
The first thing you were taught to cook
What would you like your final meal to be?
The freshest egg, poached, on the finest slice of buttered toast
What is your secret talent [in or out of the kitchen]?
Making superb stocks, then clarifying them if necessary
What did you eat for breakfast today?
Which seasonal food do you most look forward to?
Most over-rated/ under-rated food/seasoning/gadget
Over-rated: Tongs. Under-rated: A fine sieve
Simon Hopkinson Cooks by Simon Hopkinson is published by Ebury Press, £25, www.penguinrandomhouse.co.uk