How do you shop for food?
I use the weekend to go to the market. I'll buy an enormous amount of vegetables on Saturday, and probably eat meat about three times a week. Fish is something I will go and get as and when I want it, because I like to go and get my fish from the fishmonger and eat it immediately.
When you do step foot in a supermarket, are there particular things that make you irate?
What makes me irate is that we're a nation that buys all of these cook books, and we watch this massive amount of television, yet we say that we don't have time to cook.
The statistics in this country for the amount of television adverts watched is staggering, but how come we're not doing the one thing that is so important to us all, which is to eat? In a funny kind of way, despite this apparent food revolution, it appears that people are cooking less and less.
When I go to the supermarket, it's just the amount of stuff that's there in a bag, which you pay for, that's so easy to do yourself. It's all those kind of jarred sauces. It's very easy to make a white sauce - you can knock one up in a matter of minutes, but yet it's all there done for you.
And I think that is why we're losing touch so much with our ability to cook. We expect everything to be done for us and as a result you lose your conversation with food.
Apparently you honestly enjoy eating tripe?
Mitchell Beazley publishing
I absolutely love it. I tend to braise it very slowly, with lots of carrots, onions, wine and garlic and a tremendous amount of parsley on it, and maybe a little grated parmesan cheese. It's great when you've got a cold - it's medicine for a cold! We throw away so much of the animal these days, yet these are things that we were all guzzling happily not long ago. In this very supermarket-driven society we live in, we're losing contact with all these delicious things, which are so cheap.
Can cooking from scratch be noticeably cheaper?
Just because you're doing more cooking, or buying more ingredients, it doesn't mean that things have to be expensive. A mackerel is a very cheap fish, but everyone heads for the tuna. There are so many cuts of meat - it's just about how you cook them. You can go and buy a very large amount of ox cheek for four quid. It needs quite a long braise, but it makes you a very delicious stew. If you go and buy stewing steak instead, that will cost you four times more.
What would your power breakfast be?
Kidneys - I love kidneys. I really like a kipper, or fresh mackerel with scrambled eggs and black pudding. There are other wonderful breakfasts. You can eat mashed up avocado with olive oil and salt on toast, rather than cereal or yoghurt. Heuvos rancheros is a cracking breakfast: beans, tomato sauce, eggs and tortillas. That's truly a great start!
Do you have any new TV shows, or recipe books coming up?
Mitchell Beazley publishing
I've got a book coming out this September called the Good Table with just over 200 recipes (quite a lot of which needed re-writing as I got burgled halfway through writing it, and they ran off with my laptop). I've also just made a little series about fishing. When I'm not cooking, I love my fishing. I've gone round and eaten some things which are maybe a little ignored, and eaten a few things which are odd fish to eat.
Which chefs you've worked with have inspired you?
Alastair Little was the guy who really opened my eyes. He had a very farmhouse approach, a great understanding of food and its roots. I learnt so much about food, but also a much simpler way of cooking with a lot of Italian influences. I think he's been incredibly important to modern British cooking. He wrote one of the great cookbooks of all time called Keep It Simple.
Is keeping it simple your approach to cooking too?
There are times when you want extravagance and more effort must be made, but on the whole I like things to be unmucked-around-with and to taste of what they are. I like going out once a year for those crazy meals, with re-mastered food and all those sorts of tricks, but really I love simplicity and celebrating what things are.
Valentine Warner's latest book The Good Table: Adventures in and around my kitchen is available now. Published by Mitchell Beazley.