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Q & A with Celebrity Chef James Martin

27 Mar 2015
Chef Profiles

James Martin has just launched his premium bakery at Stansted Airport as part of Stansted’s £80 million redevelopment. The bakery boasts premium products and fresh farm foods to eat in or take away.

In light of this, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to have a one-to-one with James. The ladies here at Sugarvine were particularly interested in this Q & A. We wonder why….

1. There’s enough pulled pork, brisket burgers and Monteray Jack Cheese in the North of England to keep our waste lines authentically American. What are your predictions for the next big thing?

Maybe it will be Peruvian, Brazilian, and Argentinian -- all of these countries have a great depth of history when it comes to food and some of the things that are coming out of that part of the world with regards to food are a bit special.

 2. We love your latest website video on Fast Cooking - How to make a blow-torched mackerel. The lads in the office have particularly warmed to the idea of blow torching food. What’s the fastest dish you have whipped up? And how long did it take?

The fastest dish has to be the famous omelette for which the record is currently held by Paul Rankin, must be the luck of the Irish. For me the fastest dish that I can sit down and enjoy is steak and chips - this can't be beat.

3. You’ve certainly diversified your approach to food throughout your career with Knife Fork & Spoon and Picnic2U home delivery services, what do you think of pop ups and the growing street food scene in the UK?

Street food is great and the idea of pop-ups is a massive bonus. Compared to the States, pop-ups aren’t as big here, its still seen as a bit of a novelty. Hopefully we can get behind it more and make it more popular.

4. We couldn’t let the opportunity slip by….What would be your food heaven and hell?

Food hell is horseradish; it’s the devils food for me… Food heaven is langoustine from the west coast of Scotland and Stranford Loche in Ireland. Those are the best places to get them from, give me those any day.

5. The Manchester dining scene sometimes gets a bit of bad press, mentioning no names (cough… splutter… AA Gill). Why do you think it has had such a bad rap in recent years?

To be honest I’m not too fussed about what they have to say, the Manchester dining scene is great, just as diverse as London and elsewhere. I’ve always believed if you focus on the customer giving them the service, food, etc you will have a full restaurant and wil people keep coming back. Who cares what they say.

 6. Everybody knows you’re a petrol head! Have you ever been invited to appear on Top Gear? What do think Stig would make of your driving skills?

 To be honest I’ve not been invited. I’m just an enthusiast not a racing driver.

 7. Have you ever tasted a dish on Saturday Kitchen that’s been really awful but you had to pretend was delicious?

 No - never as it’s the only show where the world's greatest chefs come and cook on for which I am deeply honoured to be part of it.

 8. You had an open kitchen event on the 4th of March with Michelin-starred Glynn Purnell at your restaurant in Manchester. What’s is connection with Glynn?

 I’ve known Glenn for some 15 years now and like so many of these great chefs I’ve seen his career blossom. He seemed the right candidate for it but don’t worry there will be more

 9. Do you have plans to spread your wings and open more restaurant in the North this year?

 No but I have been offered other locations. You can never say never though.

 10. And last but not least James where do you like to eat out?

 The best place in the country is……my house when I get the chance. I like Pierre Koffmann’s or Eric Chavot -- great food cooked by great chefs.

James is best known as the presenter of Saturday Kitchen live on BBC One every Saturday morning. The show features cookery demonstrations and recipes, wine tasting featuring wine experts such as Olly Smith and  Tim Atkin. One of the most popular elements of the show is the  archived footage of famous food shows from the likes of Delia Smith and the legend that is Keith Floyd alongside Antonio Carluccio and Rick Stein.

James’s restaurant James Martin Manchester is the new 170-cover flagship venue at Manchester235 Casino.