I am very fortunate to have two completely different kitchens from which to work: a modern steel and glass box in West London where the use of every inch of space has to be justified, and by contrast a cavernous crumbling seventeenth century farmhouse kitchen in Normandy, with a large open fire on which I grill all year round.
A way of lifeIn turn my cooking in London is shaped by the eclectic mix of delis – I can dip into Spain, Italy, the Middle East, Morocco, almost any country around the world. While in rural France I find my cooking revolves around the small group of ingredients produced within the region, it is rare to come across anything that stems from much further than twenty miles away.
But the backbones of the two are identical. A stove of generous proportions, a big sink, a few good knives, pots and pans, and a solid chopping board, and I'm well on the way to fine food. I have always been passionate about kitchen equipment, not the latest gadget in the latest colour, but really well-designed functional classics that are central to every recipe.
Some ten years ago I co-wrote a cookery book Living and Eating' (see Books) with the minimalist architect John Pawson, that allowed me the opportunity to explore equipment and the whole process of cooking and eating. A great deal of the kitchen accoutrements that I now rely on, as being the most functional and the most beautiful of their kind, stem from that partnership.