James Martin returns
Chef James Martin tells us how happy he is with his French adventure and a return to Saturday-morning TV
NEW COOKERY James Martin’s French Adventure thursday / itv / 8.30pm
James Martin is full of the joys of summer when TV Times catches up with the popular TV chef. As well he might be. Because after devastating fans when he left BBC1’S Saturday Kitchen last year, James is here to tell us that he has not one, but three new series on the simmer for ITV.
‘And I couldn’t be happier,’ smiles James, who can be seen this week pootling around glorious French countryside in James Martin’s French Adventure and across the pond in James Martin’s American Adventure later this year. ‘I’m really excited about the projects I have coming up, and chuffed for the viewers who have supported me over the last 23 years.’
News that he’ll be returning to Saturday mornings later in the year with his own show, Saturday Morning with James Martin, is particularly welcome. Amazing what a few well-deserved weekend lie-ins will do to make a chef feel refreshed and raring to go again!
‘It’s true,’ grins James, 45, who’s also allowed himself a holiday this summer. ‘The thought of being back on Saturday-morning telly feels exciting. Not a day’s gone by in the last year without someone asking me if I’ll be back at that time!
‘But it was important to me to do things differently, so the new show will take some unexpected turns.’
Promising big-name guests from the world of food, entertainment and sport, James is planning a more personal feel, cooking in his Hampshire home.
‘My house looks like Glastonbury when I let the cameras in,’ groans James, who, fans will remember, trialled the idea of cooking at home in Home Comforts at Christmas (2015) and Christmas with Friends (2016). ‘But it feels more homely filming in my kitchen, it rings true.’
James’s other big series for ITV, James Martin’s French Adventure (which was shown earlier this year during the daytime), proved such a hit that it’s being repeated in a new halfhour format in a primetime slot this week. ‘I put everything into it, so I’m chuffed to bits people like it,’ he says.
Paying homage to his culinary hero and inspiration, the late, great, Keith Floyd, James travels through stunning landscapes in Keith’s old Citroën 2CV, sampling the very best in French cuisine.
‘TV chefs go all over the world these days, but I still think a country 30 miles off the coast of the UK has the best food in the world,’ says James. ‘People say the French use too much cream and butter but that’s rubbish – their diet is healthier than ours! And the wine… I never set out to get drunk as a skunk, but you do see me enjoy a few nice glasses in the series. I even found a rosé I liked, after 10 years on Saturday Kitchen saying I hated it!’
He hopes TV Times readers will enjoy trying his whole John Dory recipe from the show’s accompanying book. ‘I love cooking seafood in the summer,’ he says. ‘It’s light, tasty and perfect when served simply. Enjoy!’