Simon Rimmer making people smile

Simon Rimmer making people smile

Channel 4's Sunday Brunch chef and co-presenter, Simon Rimmer surprised travellers on the First TransPennine Express (FTPE) from Manchester Piccadilly to Liverpool Lime Street yesterday.

The celebrity chef surprised passengers with delicious cupcakes, he handed out tasty treats to help them get into the festive spirit.
As part of the goodwill gesture for the launch of the FTPE's 'Going The Extra Mile' campaign, Simon made many people smile on their journey yesterday morning.

As well as handing out the delicious treats, Simon chatted with commuters and answered their questions, he even shared some of his top recipe tips: "My little tip for ginger is to wrap it in cling film and put in the freezer, break it into little pieces and then when you want to use it just grate it straight from the freezer into whatever you're cooking."

For those who missed out on the tasty treats yesterday, there are more to be handed out next Wednesday, 12th December, at surprise spots on the FTPE network. The activity launches First TransPennine's 'Going The Extra Mile' campaign, which will see commuters delighted by a range of top-secret surprises over the coming months.

The campaign are hoping to create even more excitement with their customers with a series of fun and engaging goodwill gestures across their lines. The name of the campaign describes what FTPE strive for with their customers everyday, they are always insuring they provide the very best service for all of their passengers.

Simon Rimmer told Female First in an exclusive interview how he enjoyed making people smile: "It's weird how infectious smiling is, one person does it and it spreads, it's lovely, it's been a really lovely day."

Simon Rimmer with passenger

He added: "I think it just shows that you don't have to spend loads of money or make masses and masses of complicated effort to make people feel a little bit nicer about themselves and that's all we've done."

We asked Simon about how his career and reflected back to the time in which he had opened his restaurant but had no idea how to cook. He told us he could only make 'a half decent spaghetti bolognese' and talked about how daunting it was to be cooking for 400 to 500 people when he first started out. With hard work and dedication, he now has two very successful restaurants in Didsbury, Manchester and Hale, Atrincham alongside his 5 cookery books.

The meat-eater is widely known for his unique vegetarian cooking methods, we asked him about his inspiration behind the menu at Greens restaurant in Manchester: "Green’s pre-existed as a vegetarian café and when we opened it we had to learn how to cook good veggie food and because I’m not a vegetarian, I wanted to create food that I thought was interesting."

Taking inspiration for his dishes from different foods around the world he was able to come up with his innovative vegetarian menu: "I went back and looked at techniques that you use in meat cooking; reduced sauces, flavouring, spices and looking at cuisines that have really good veggie food already like Middle Eastern, Asian and bits of Mediterranean cuisine with no meat in it and using those as strong bases and building outward from that point and creatively moving forward from there."

It is clear that Simon is very proud of his achievements and rightly so, both of his restaurants are Good Food Guide listed and he has AA Rosettes in both. Not only is he doing well for himself, he has passed on his experiences, skills and teachings to others: "I look at some of the boys and girls who have come through my kitchens who are now being tremendous head chefs in great places. I’ve got a guy now who is a head chef in Toronto, I’ve got guys who work in the States and I’m just really proud of the fact that someone who was completely self-taught, like myself, has brought people on who are now doing great things outside of my businesses. I am proud that I have developed them under my tutorage."

Simon has had many career highlights over the years and he shared one of his most memorable highlights: "I am a massive Liverpool fan and last March my absolute hero Kenny Dalglish cooked in my restaurant kitchen for a charity do which was quite amazing. It felt absolutely brilliant that I was cooking alongside my hero."

The new year is going to be just as exciting for Simon with his new food quiz show 'Truffle or Tripe' starting on Channel 4, he will be opening 3 new restaurants and looking to start writing another book.

You can watch Simon on Sunday Brunch, every Sunday at 9:30am on Channel 4
Next on TV, Sunday 8th December

By Natasha Akpan for Female First