Stefan Gates

In his own words, he has the best job in the world. He's a food adventurer who spends his life cooking, eating, talking and travelling to discover the world and its people. Just like Stefan, there's a bit of a gastrounaut in all of us. Here, he reveals some of his culinary eccentricities and a recipe for his Bum Sandwich (sorry mum)

What is your favourite dish?

Shabu-shabu. It's a brilliant interactive meal to eat with friends - a Japanese take on fondue, but don’t let that put you off. You put a pot of light chicken stock (with a couple of bashed lemongrass stalks floating in it) in the middle of the table on a little burner (a classic fondue kit will do, or perhaps your camping stove), and hand out plates of thinly cut beef, chicken, pork and vegetables. Everyone cooks their own food, dipping it in the hot stock until all the meat and vegetables are finished

What do you feel is your signature dish?

The Legendary Bum Sandwich. You make a sandwich using all the ingredients of pesto – fresh basil, Parmesan cheese and olive oil, add grated cheddar, rocket salad. Wrap it in clingfilm and sit on it for at least 10 mins. It’s a much better, tastier version of the pain bagnat. And kids love it.

How do you relax? Any pass times or hobbies?

I cook with my kids whilst we listen to very loud rock music. That might sound a little contrived, but genuinely makes me happier than anything. I’m teaching my 5-yr old daughter knife skills at the moment. Actually, that bit is a little less relaxing!

What's your foodie weakness?

Whole Pata Negra bellota (acorn-fed) shoulders of ham. Plus good cheese and wine. My holy trinity. When I’m absolutely exhausted and can’t be bothered to cook, these three ingredients make up my perfect supper. Sometimes I’ll have an apple with them just to offset the guilt.

What is your motto?

Food will consume 16% of my life. That time is too precious to waste.

What's for lunch?

Ham, cheese, Turkish flatbreads and a flamboyant Greek salad.

What's on your plate?

New book Stefan Gates on E Numbers is out now
Next book The Extraordinary Cookbook is out in October

Stefan's Website