I love food, the pleasure and good fortune of sitting round a table with the people I love, breaking bread and setting the world to rights until our bellies and our hearts are full.
All of my favourite stories as a rather pot-bellied child revolved around food: the magnificent town-swamping porridge pot in The Magic Porridge Pot, Maisie Middleton's Breakfast, the dough-ey aeroplane in In the Night Kitchen, the fish pies in The Mousehole Cat and turkish delight in the Chronicles of Narnia. Good meals stick in my memory for years after my memory of a song has whittled away to a bar and a faltering half-line. Pauline's spinach and ricotta pancakes, Lisa's delicious stuffed bread, my pa's wonderful teenage-hangover-curing and extremely garlicky breakfasts. Yes chef, I will gladly do a pilgrimage to the outskirts of Lisbon in Portugal for a bit of custard pie worship, or climb Cader Idris's knee-crippling steps for a wind-whipped picnic involving scotch egg scoffing at the top. Food glorious food!