Welcome to 20 Questions, where we ask for clarity on many burning issues from people across the food, drink and hospitality world.
We begin with Paul Lancaster, proud owner of Lunch– a fab American inspired restaurant in my neck of the Essex woods. And he is kicking us off with a seriously controversial tenth answer. Let’s get on with it.
1: Describe what you do without being boring?
I am the owner of ‘Lunch’ an informal eatery and corporate caterer in Colchester Town centre
2: What’s great about what you do?
I am my own boss, I have full creative freedom and my shop really reflects what i believe in.
3: What sucks about what you do?
I can never fully turn off from work. The buck starts and stops with me. Smart phones are a curse, although I do now leave my phone on silent downstairs at night.
4: Do you eat breakfast?
Nope, it’s an early start and often don’t eat until mid afternoon.
5: Where/who is your favourite local food/drink business (other than your own)?
The Noodle Bar, in and out quickly, food is cooked fresh. Quite an inspiring business model.
6: Which celeb chef would you want in your gang in the event of a zombie apocalypse and why?
Anthony Bourdain, he is not the squeamish type and I think given the opportunity would go very “Rick Grimes” plus the guy will eat literally anything meaning I can eat the fillet whilst he munches on the brains and eyeballs.
7: What’s your go to comfort food?
Chunky peanut butter on granary toast with the bread buttered.
8: Who taught you how to cook?
I really learnt to properly cook from the very first Jamie Oliver book. First recipe was his lemon and thyme roast chicken and I still cook it the same way now.
9: What’s the weirdest thing you have ever put in your mouth? Keep it clean!
I’m both too squeamish and stubborn to try anything that sounds disgusting. I tried traditional sarsaparilla in California years ago and that’s just about the worst drink I’ve put in my mouth.
10: What one food would you erase from all existence?
Marmite, I cannot see how anyone can put it in their mouth. So much so, if someone likes I question their palette.
Ed: I am flashing back to a heated twitter row on this very subject and have to again point out how very, very wrong you are.
11: What’s on your kitchen playlist?
As long it’s from between 1987 and 1997 and there is a guitar being played I am happy.
12: If you could eat out anywhere tonight where would you go and who would you dine with?
This is a tough one, the best value food I have had was in La Gabotte in Nuit St George so would like to take my wife and little girl there as I was on a works trip whilst in the wine trade when I visited.
13: Do you have a signature dish?
At work it’s the North Carolina panini, at home it’s a Stroganoff.
14: Confess your biggest food sin………..
I am considered a foodie, but can take or leave olives, think goats cheese is poison and believe the white of an egg to be God’s way of punishing us.
15: If you had to restrict yourself to the cuisine of one country which would it be and why?
I am going to go with Italy, it’s family food for everyday that I love to cook with my 11 year old. It’s ingredient led and also gives you an excuse to crack open a bottle of something nice to drink with it.
16: Cake or biscuits?
Could live without either, but will go for cake.
17: Tea or coffee?
Coffee from a barista, tea from a kettle.
18: Chunky chips or curly fries?
19: Wine or beer
Don’t make me choose
20: Does pineapple belong on a pizza?
Yep but only with ham. Don’t go putting it on your any old pizza.
If this has given you the urge to seek out Paul in the defense of Marmite lovers everywhere, you might try one of these:
Tweet to @LancastersDeli
Think the world needs your 20 Answers? Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org