SIMON Rimmer said he has been on an “incredible journey” after switching from working as a designer to becoming a successful chef.
The Channel 4 Sunday Brunch co-host is well-travelled when it comes to live cookery demonstrations at food festivals, but it is a far cry from how he expected his life to pan out when he left college.
While studying fashion and textile design, he worked as a waiter in bars and restaurant, before subsequently becoming a designer.
However, in the back of his mind he imagined a life working front of house in a restaurant.
In 1990, he bought his first restaurant and despite having never worked in a kitchen he was forced to become the head chef because he could not afford to employ anyone else.
“I am quite stubborn and I was determined to make it work,” said Simon. “I wanted to make it work.”
In the months that followed, he would get up at 5am to learn about produce at a market, he gave up coffee and alcohol as he thought it might be affecting his taste buds and he worked up to 18 hours a day.
He said: “I wanted to try and learn as much as I could and it paid off.
“I never harboured any ambitions to be on the television, but I was asked to do something on the local news and it went from there. I liked it and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I think it was about being lucky and seizing the opportunity.”
Simon, who has also appeared on Something for the Weekend, The Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchen, said he loves doing food festivals.
“I have been all over the world, from Antigua to Dubai and have been doing them for about ten to 12 years now,” he said.
“The way I go about my live demonstrations is I like to see a list of the exhibitors appearing at an event and I construct my menu based on that. As far as possible, I buy my ingredients from them.
“I go about them in a similar way to Sunday Brunch. It has to be entertaining and informative.
“I will probably tell a few daft stories, which will hopefully raise a laugh. They always seem to be good fun.”