After seven years hosting Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch, Simon Rimmer and Tim Lovejoy share their favourite recipes
“Hello and welcome to Sunday Brunch. I’m Tim Lovejoy.” “And I’m Simon Rimmer.”
We’ve uttered those exact words each week since 2012, when Sunday Brunch first aired on Channel 4. Each week you lot allow us in to your homes for a few hours of cooking and chatting, comedy and chaos, and the occasional drinkipoos. Our single overriding aim is that we want to create recipes for everyone, that we can all cook easily at home. More than anything else, we want the folks sat at home watching us cook to think to themselves, “Yep, I want to make that. I reckon I can make that. I’m going to give it a go.”
While we never tire of watching our Michelin-starred guest chefs create works of culinary art with their inspiring plates of food, for us, accessibility is key. Pretty much all of the ingredients we use can be picked up from a good supermarket and then for the odd piece of fish or cut of meat, it really is worth seeking out a reliable fishmonger or butcher. Good cooking starts with best quality ingredients and so it’s worth buying the best that you can afford, and the better the ingredients, the less you need to do to make a dish taste amazing. One of our key mantras on the show is: “You can make good ingredients bad, but you can’t make bad ingredients good.”
The importance of ingredients is one of the very first things Tim learnt about good cooking from Simon. Nowadays, Tim would never dream of using a shop-bought jar of pasta sauce or bottle of salad dressing as he’s learnt how easy it is to make all these things yourself, and the taste of your own homemade version is incomparable. Picking up a few basic skills and an understanding of flavours gives you the kitchen confidence to experiment.
We’re very lucky in that the producers of Sunday Brunch don’t set any strict parameters on the dishes that we cook, but we’ve come to understand the food that not only appeals to us but that our guests and – more importantly – our viewers also love. Sharing a delicious meal is something that connects everyone, no matter who you are.
The Sunday Brunch Cookbook, Ebury Press, £20.