I love shooting food! In fact, I love everything about food. Everything from shopping for it, to cooking it and of course, eating it!
My wife really doesn’t like to be with me on a shopping trip. She is from the grab it, pay for it and then use the time to do something more interesting school. I, on the other hand, believe that when I am shopping for food, I am doing one of the more interesting things in life. Markets to me are like art galleries. I love to saunter along the fish stalls, looking at which stalls are offering what. Only after a complete tour, will I return to a particular stall to buy. A fantastic experience!
In Manchester, we are lucky enough to have some fantastic Chinese supermarkets. Here you can see fish, crabs and lobster alive in tanks of sea water along with a great selection of meats from instore butchers. And the spices section! For hardly any money you can buy all the spices of the East, which will allow you to cook just about any Oriental recipe from scratch and fill you kitchen cupboards with the smell of Christmas! No, you cannot hurry a shopping trip here!
My love for cooking started young, but as a student I used to work in kitchens to make ends meet. I learned quite a lot about cooking techniques and preparation, but most of all I learned how to have confidence and really enjoy cooking. If you have spent time to get really good food, then it is worth the trouble to ensure you have the ability to turn that food item into a fantastic meal. Most of the time I will cook a style of food rather than a recipe. I will make an Italian, French or Chinese style meal using the unmistakable ingredients found in particular types of cuisine, but I do still refer to my army of cook books on special occasions.
For me, there is nothing quite so satisfying as reading a really good cook book, and examining the photography. Like most people I used to really like Keith Floyd’s TV programmes as we had never, ever seen anything quite like Floyd ever before. An accomplished cook, he was entertaining in the extreme and really spoke about the love of regional foods and terroir. His books are equally entertaining, and contain some real recipe gems! I have shelves full of cookery books from a wide variety of chefs, and I like nothing better to sit reading the recipes as most people would read a novel.
As for eating, I can eat most anything and enjoy it. In my youth, my ambition was to become a Salesian Missionary, and I attended a full time missionary college. The food was dire. Breakfast was porridge made with just water, and the only flavouring allowed was a sprinkle of salt at the table. Main meals were not much better, and on the occasions the “chef” created something most boys found inedible and returned largely uneaten there was no reaction at all from the priests. The plates were simply handed back to the chef to make the leftovers into a curry for the next day! But the whole point was to train missionary students that no matter where in the world you were posted, and no matter what food your hosts put in front of you, it would be eaten and enjoyed! That training worked for me!