Dinner With Ricky Ross
The Scotsman 27th April 2002

The former Deacon Blue frontman plays Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall next Saturday to promote his solo album This Is the Life

What’s the best meal you’ve ever had?

In a restaurant we stumbled across somewhere in Tuscany. The waiter, who was also the owner, asked us a few questions, to which we generally answered yes, and proceeded to serve up a wonderful meal.

What’s the worst meal you’ve ever had?

The day we were wrongly accused of stealing someone’s table in a restaurant in Portugal. The owner then appeared but rather than admit his mistake he decided to blame us too. A kind woman who overheard all this said, "I wouldn’t pay if I were you." There was a certain satisfaction in eating most of the meal and then telling the owner we were refusing to pay because of his terrible manner.

What’s in your fridge at the moment?

Everything. There are five people in my house and they all eat well.

Is breakfast the most important meal of the day?

It is for me. I even get up for it on tour although I’m sure foreign hotel guests must be dismayed not to be offered a freshly cooked egg. The ubiquitous breakfast buffet is one of the biggest sins to be visited upon travellers.

What’s your ideal comfort food?

Melton Mowbray pork and chicken pie. Fish teas. Creme eggs. I could go on...

What food couldn’t you live without - and what could you never touch?

I’d hate to live without cheese. One of the drawbacks of living in hotels on tour is that I can’t make myself cheese on toast. There is no food I won’t eat.

Who would you invite to a fantasy dinner party?

I’m not big on this kind of thing. I’ve had some bad nights with people I didn’t know and would happily never meet again.

What was your worst dinner-party disaster?

An Australian friend once stayed with us and offered to cook an anniversary meal for some mutual friends, her idea being to serve them at a table for two, restaurant-style, with us as waiters. Our friends seemed to enjoy it but I thought it was a ghastly idea. Meals are about great food and company. If people want a quiet dinner for two they’ll arrange it themselves.

What’s your classic stand-by recipe?

Lasagne. My eldest daughter is now vegetarian - so it can be (reluctantly) prepared both ways.

Host or guest - which do you prefer?

I quite enjoy cooking but it always makes me appreciate being a guest. Some of our best friends always invite us round on New Year’s day, along with a dozen other people, for steak pie and roast potatoes and an array of puddings. This year we returned the favour and realised how much work they’d had to do all these years.

What makes a perfect Sunday brunch?

Rolls with beef sausage and potato scones served with plenty of HP sauce and cups of tea. This can be varied by adding bacon. We don’t eat it very often but when we do it has to be enjoyed in its full white-bread splendour.

Whose cooking inspires you?

Delia Smith is still the queen in my book. For a poor cook like me, she’ll always get you a result.