Beers and Bar Snacks: Going to the pub with celebrity chef Simon Rimmer

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Handbag took Sunday Brunch's resident chef down the pub for a little chat...

Simon Rimmer from Sunday Brunch
When recovering from our Saturday night hangovers, we find eating a salty breakfast in front of Channel 4's Sunday Brunch usually cures all.

So when we found out our favourite weekend telly chef Simon Rimmer was launching a range of beers to pair with certain foods - we thought we should probably take him out for a pint and have a chat about it...

So Simon Rimmer - what you having? We're buying…
'A pint of pale ale.'

Any snacks with that? Are you a dry roasted nuts or a Mini Cheddars man?
'I do like dry roasted nuts, but I'm bizarre because I quite like the salt and vinegar ones which is kind of an alien beast...'

We hear you're launching some beers? Tell us about it…
'It came from a real desire, from our customers in the restaurant, to explore the possibilities of matching food with beer rather than wine. We held proper events were we matched food and beer and everyone found it incredibly complex, but really liked it. So what I wanted to do was create just three beers that simplified it.

The Beer to go with Curry is a low carbonated larger with lemon grass and lime leaf under tones, so goes well perfectly with spicy foods as it doesn't create too much gas, and the perfume in the background really brings to life the heavy spice flavours.

The Beer to go with Chicken has lemon essence in it so it means if you drink it with roast chicken or equally a cold chicken salad that little bit of acidity brings the flavour to life.

The Beer to go with Steak is a ruby red ale so it's strong flavoured and we've added a little hint of smokiness in at the end. It doesn't taste smoked but there's almost a slightly charred flavour at the end of it, so if you're having a burger or a piece of steak or casserole, again the beer will enhance all of those flavours.'

It must be every man's dream - creating your own beer. Are your mates jealous?
'Yes, very jealous, the only thing that's going to put them off it is the fact there is a picture of my head on the neck of the bottle.'

Tell us a tale of your best night out ever?
'The best night out was undoubtedly the night Liverpool won the Champions League in 2005. We started off drinking in a pub in Camden, and at half time when we were 3 - 0 down, we were all depressed so we jumped in a cab and ended up in Waterloo and thought 'lets go and watch the rest of the humiliation'. We walked into a bar there just as Steven Gerrard scored the first goal and then we scored three more goals in eight minutes…the rest of the night writes its own story!'

What's your late night snack of choice? Kebab in the taxi or maybe some Maccy D's chips?
'Something I make at home - cheese on toast unless I am really drunk then it would be a kebab.'

Do you like to go dancing and if so – do you have any signature moves? The sprinkler? The shopping trolley?
'No. The rules of dancing are as soon as you become a father you lose the ability to coordinate your top and bottom half of your body so no - dancing is illegal.'

Where's your favourite restaurant ever and what would you order?
'The Slanted Door in San Francisco. I would order slow cooked Pork Belly, the Blackened Cod with Laksa and then I'd order the Juniper Berry Candy Floss for dessert.'

What's the one thing you will never ever eat?
'Tripe.'

Who would be at your fantasy dinner party?
'Kate Bush, Kenny Dalglish and Bill Shankly.'

What's your death row meal?
'Well it's not my all-time favourite meal but my death row meal is slightly different - it would be Indian curry and a larger.'

What's your hangover cure?
'Eccles cakes, salt and vinegar crisps and a full fat coke.'

Man after our own heart.

Simon's fifth book Men Love Pies, Girls Like Hummus is out now (published by Mitchell Beazley, £16.99 octopusbooks.co.uk) and his new range of beer is available in selected Morrisons stores across the UK; simonrimmerbeers.com

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