June 15th, 2015
Episode 547 of 641 episodes
Cook and writer Simon Hopkinson was at the height of his powers in the kitchen of Bibendum in London in the early 1990s, but he'd walk away from professional cooking to focus on his food writing. In the second part of this interview with Sheila Dillon he explains why he left restaurant cooking behind, focus on writing that led to the "most useful cookbook of all time". Simon describes life as chef at Bibendum restaurant, which counted among its loyal customers Elizabeth David, Dirk Bogarde and Alec Guinness. In 1994, aged only 40, he decided to move on. For a decade there would be modest sales of his first book, Roast Chicken and Other Stories, and then a magazine poll in 2005 brought it to public attention and soon after, at one point it would be outselling copies of Harry Potter. Sheila Dillon explores Simon's lifelong fascination with food and cooking and finds out why he no longer wanted to focus on life as a head chef.