Phil Vickery reveals his life in food

Former Celebrity MasterChef winner and rugby legend Phil Vickery tells us what’s on the menu when he gets cooking

Not only is he a legendary rugby player who was part of England’s World Cup-winning squad in 2003, but Phil Vickery is also a dab hand in the kitchen.

Here, we find out exactly what kind of cook the former Celebrity MasterChef winner is and ask for some of his tips and tricks.

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We heard you’re a bit of a whizz in the kitchen, what kind of cook are you?

Pretty rustic. I like good ingredients, simple foods, but like adding different layers using spices, a little bit of heat. But I just like simple food cooked really well. I think my message with food is sharing, family, together – I’m not into doing separate. Hearty, nice, well-made, well-presented food – great flavours, great classics. Sometimes I think we try and reinvent the wheel – if it ain’t broke, sunshine, we don’t need to fix it. We’ve got some great foods, some great classics – keep them alive, keep them today.

Do you have a signature dish?

If you were asking friends or family, it would probably be meat-orientated as I am a carnivore. But just a good, classic Sunday roast, cottage pie, shepherd’s pie, fish and chips. I use lots of different things, but if you said to me I had one meal left what will I have – give me a slab of meat, some Yorkshire puddings, gravy, green beans, peas, swede, roast potatoes and maybe a couple of bits on the side – that would be me – that’s me on a plate – good, British, hearty food.

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I imagine you make good roast potatoes. Do you have any tips or secrets?

I just go with what my nan taught me – partial boil, good hot fat, little bit of duck fat or if you can get some oils off the meat that you’re cooking so you get that flavour running through your meal. Whack them in the oven, give them a good coating, piping hot. Just keep nursing them along in that oven, keep pouring a bit of oil over, don’t just shut the door and forget about them, give them a little bit of love, crisp them up – beautiful.

Do you have a go-to kitchen gadget?

I’ve got an ice-cream maker which comes out for the odd occasion just to make something a bit special. I’m not really into gadgets in the kitchen so to speak – just nice, sensible, cook from the heart.

Whether you’re just starting out in the kitchen or are a seasoned pro, find your ideal kitchen gadget here