Wherever I lay my chef's whites - with Pop Singer Paul Young

PUBLISHED: 14:16 16 October 2012 | UPDATED: 22:05 20 February 2013

Paul Young launches his new book, Recipes Found On My Travels, at Hustyns resort

Paul Young launches his new book, Recipes Found On My Travels, at Hustyns resort

Pop singer Paul Young has temporarily swapped the mic for the Molle, as Andy Cooper discovers

Wherever I lay my chefs whites

Pop singer Paul Young has temporarily swapped the mic for the Molle, as Andy Cooper discovers

For The Whos Keith Moon it was a whole panoply of escapades involving smoke bombs, limos in pools and TVs launched from hotel rooms. Charlie Watts has patiently sketched every hotel room he has stayed in during his long career with the Rolling Stones.For Paul Young, it was the love of fine food and new dining experiences which filled the hours off stage when he was touring the world at the peak of his powers in the 1980s. Now those of us who remember fondly the time when Pauls soulful hits provided the soundtrack to our lives can also enjoy the other fruits of his labours namely a cookbook produced as a result of the recipes and restaurants he has experienced. Recipes Found On My Travels is a collection of recipes, anecdotes and cooking tips which Paul has brought to us with a distinctly Cornish twist. For although the recipes in this beautifully produced book have a worldwide theme behind them, the book is distinctly Cornish when it comes to its production shot mostly in the county, using local ingredients and published by a St-Austell based team. To find out the story behind the story, I met up with Paul recently as he hunkered down at Hustyns, the luxury timeshare resort near Wadebridge, as a base for a promotional tour for the books launch. It started off as something I was trying to get off the ground back in London, explained Paul. But then the guys behind it down here got involved and it started to make more sense to do things in Cornwall. Id been to Cornwall as a kid but hadnt had much association with it since, but these days its become like a second home to me as I have worked on the book. Its such a wonderful county and I am learning more and more about it every time I visit. Those guys are John Such, local photographer and inspiration behind the project, working alongside business consultant Gary Langan and designer Richard Elwell. Together they formed Langan & Such Enterprises, the publishers of the book. Pauls love of food is no secret to connoisseurs of televisions phalanx of reality cookery shows he first popped up with an appearance alongside friend Marco Pierre White on ITV show Hells Kitchen and then reached the quarter finals of BBC1 show Celebrity Masterchef. Ive always been into my food and was first really introduced to visiting different places when I was in my first band the Q Tips, he explains. We would wander off after shows and find the local speciality restaurants wherever we were and try out the food. It made life on the road a little less dull and along the way I picked up so many great ideas and recipes. It seemed the natural thing to do to share these all in one book with a few of the stories along the way of how I came across them and where. There is a distinct Tex-Mex flavour to many of the recipes in the book, and Paul admits this is an area of cuisine he is very keen on. He also feels it has had something of a bad reputation of late, which is slowly changing. Tex-Mex had become a bit of a byword for samey recipes, but you are now seeing Thomasina Miers Mexican restaurants getting a great reputation in London and I think the word is getting out there that its a style of cooking best re-visited. Although Tex-Mex is to the fore, Paul also nods to the many tours he enjoyed closer to home by drawing on the best of Italy, Portugal and here in the UK as well. And this new found work as author of cookbook does not mean the singing career is on the back burner either as well as the continued work touring with his band Los Pacaminos he is currently in the throes of recording with legendary producer Arthur Baker and he reveals the new album could accurately be described as a Stax Songbook. Finally, given the dual talents of music and cooking which Mr Young is now known for, I ask him for his perfect combination of food, drink and music for the ideal night in. After a deal of thought he comes to a fitting conclusion: A nice tequila, something involving the Molle sauce I mention in the book and a rare Mexican taster LP of mine.

Buy the book here

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