MY BEST ... 'Leaving my job at Simpson's of Cornhill in 1997. I was managing director of the restaurant division and I left because I didn't get on with the boss. I'm not very good at working for other people. I spent the next six months out of the restaurant business, starting up my organic farm and generally taking stock. Doing without the salary wasn't easy. I went from earning pounds 100,000 a year to living on my cookery books and a few TV appearances, but I learnt that happiness is more important.
At the end of that year, I got the slot on Food and Drink and my TV career really took off. Now I don't have to do anything that I don't enjoy.'
MY WORST ... 'Taking the advice of my lawyers and accountants. In 1988 I made money on the sale of a restaurant called Menage A Trois. I wanted to spend the cash sailing round the world writing books, but they told me I was crazy and I should stay at home and develop my professional reputation. I thought they must know what they were talking about, so I stayed put and opened a delicatessen. For a year or so the deli did well enough, but then the recession bit and, because I was too proud to cut my losses, I just kept pouring cash into it. By the time it folded three years later, I had lost all the money I made from the sale and had to go back to chefing.'