Last Word: Bob Arora

This month: Bob Arora, Sachins, Newcastle

What do you eat for breakfast?
It’s normally Ready Brek or Weetabix on the way out to the gym. If I’m treating myself I’ll head down to Jesmond Dene House and go out for a walk in the dene afterwards.

And your go-to guilty pleasure?
Chocolate, crisps and pizza – in that order. I love to eat all three and have done for as long as I can remember. I guess my guiltiest pleasure is a Pizza Express pizza with chicken, onions and peppers.

What would you choose for your last meal on earth?
A full Sunday roast. I try and have one every Sunday and could probably eat one every Monday and Tuesday too. My second choice would have to be mince and dumplings.

What can I find in your home fridge right now?
The bare essentials, some lamb and some cheese, and there’s a bit of chicken kashmiri which I took home from the restaurant last night. There’s never anything processed in there though – I can’t stand having it in the fridge.

Which ingredient would you choose if you could only have one?
Garam masala – it is such a versatile mix of ground spices and works really well in Indian and English cooking.

You must have loads of recipe books. Which is your favourite?
I have a big collection from the best TV chefs like Gordon Ramsay, Jamie Oliver and Nigella Lawson, but my favourite is an old Indian book called In the Kitchen With Chef Gill.

Out of all the things you make, what’s your favourite?
At the moment it has to be my mum’s secret chicken curry recipe. We had it on our Newcastle Restaurant Week menu in January and it went down a storm.

Who’s the most famous person you’ve cooked for?
It has to be David Bowie – he was a really nice bloke. We had some great times after filming The Tube on City Road, most of them I can’t share though. I’ve also been lucky enough to cook for Michael Jackson and Madonna.

What’s your most important bit of advice?
There’s always something new to learn – even after 35 years in the kitchen.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a chef?
I’d love to work in the car industry. My honest answer would be selling cars, though I would have loved the chance to be a motoring journalist.

If you only had £10 to spend on food, what would you buy?
I could just about manage a good Sunday dinner I think.

Who gets your vote for greatest cook ever?
It has to be Gordon Ramsay. He’s been so successful for so long now and he can turn his hand to any style of cooking.

Bob Arora has owned Sachins restaurant for 35 years and is one of the North East’s most respected chefs. Sachins, Forth Banks, Newcastle, NE1 3SG, tel 0191 232 4660,

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