What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?
A cross between lobster in Dingle Bay on the west coast of Ireland or the donner kebabs from Keswick in the Lake District.
What’s the worst meal you’ve ever had?
It was at Fatty Arbuckles in Milton Keynes. Each dish competed to redefine the word rancid: nachos like cardboard, vegetables so overcooked they were disintegrating and meat so cheap it was wearing a shellsuit and Old Spice. I feel sick just thinking about it.
What’s in your fridge at the moment?
Stella, Guinness, two bottles of white wine (one cheap in case my mum comes round), lemongrass, Thai curry paste, stock, chillis so hot they’ll kill you, vegetables so old they’re collecting a pension, some leftover Mexican refried-bean dish my missus made when I was filming last night, tortillas, fancy sausages, unfancy chicken, ham, those Baby Bel cheese wheels that my daughter loves, and every herb known to man in emergency squeezy tube form.
What food couldn’t you live without and what could you never touch?
I couldn’t live without meat and I can’t stand baked beans. I remember my mum and dad refusing to let me leave the table until I’d finished my sausages, beans and mash. The torture of eating cold, congealed beans that had been on a plate for two hours has put me off them for life. If social services are reading, I’m more than happy to pass on my evil parents’ number.
How do you remember school dinners?
I was the token working-class scholarship boy at Strathallan School where the food was pretty good. I was also in various sports teams and we’d always get special steak dinners the night before games. Even better was the fact that an elite, highly trained gang of us used to break into the teachers’ dining-room at night and steal their food, which was sensational.
What’s your ideal comfort food?
Pizza Hut Pepperoni Feast on thin Italian base, garlic bread and chicken wings with the garlic-and-herb dip.
What’s your top Friday-night feast?
Lager then chicken pakora from Shahed’s on Glasgow’s Southside. If we’re going out for dinner, it has to be Quigley’s.
What makes a perfect Sunday brunch?
A gargantuan bucket of KFC on the coffee table, lakes of fizzy drinks, hungover friends half-comatose on cushions, kids playing contentedly elsewhere and Bridget Jones’s Diary on the video.
What’s the most essential utensil in your kitchen?
My Japanese global knives that everyone from Nick Nairn to John Quigley have told me are far too fancy for the likes of me. They obviously lack my ninja skills...
And what’s the most bizarre gadget?
My Anthony Worrall Thompson food mixer. It’s got so many gadgets on it it’s like R2D2 and is so cumbersome you need planning permission just to get it out of the cupboard.
Who would you invite to a fantasy dinner party?
Adolf Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Tony Blair, Ian Wright and Posh Spice.
And what would you cook them?
Filo parcels with arsenic and ricotta cheese, BSE-infected beef in an ebola jus with strychnine bavarois for dessert.
What was your worst dinner-party disaster?
During the 1998 World Cup my mates and I in London took turns to host each game, with each person supplying food from one of the countries playing. I took Scotland against Brazil and tried to make tattie scones that never got beyond the Polyfilla stage, and stovies that my English pals wouldn’t even smell. The food was almost as bad as the game.
What’s your classic stand-by recipe?
Red Thai chicken curry. I’ve been making it for years now, can do it in 15 minutes flat and would put it up against anyone’s in the world.
Host or guest - which do you prefer?
Host. There are very few things I love more than cooking for other people and them liking it. Also, if you go to someone else’s you never get enough food and it looks bad when you lick the plate.
Whose cooking inspires you?
Nigel Slater’s. I taught myself to cook using his books and they are so good at explaining why something like lamb goes with something like rosemary. Plus his writing style is so sensuous.