Gino’s cheeky Italian charm and passion for food kept the crowds well and truly entertained.
Jessica Fogarty caught-up with the I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here… winner and This Morning chef, who reveals his true passion for food, and of course, pasta...
Q. Did you always know you wanted to become a professional chef?
A. Yes, since I was 12 or 13, I knew it was exactly what I wanted to do.
I was fascinated by the fact that you can create something so special from just a few simple ingredients, it’s really cool.
Q. Who taught you to cook?
A. I was inspired by my grandfather who was a chef — I learnt a lot from him.
He showed me how creating good food could lead to a successful career — that’s when I decided to join catering college.
I trained for five years at a college in Naples, in the South of Italy.
Q. Why did you focus on pasta as the theme for you new book ‘Gino’s Pasta’?
A. Pasta is big in my heart, we Italians eat pasta at least once a day.
I like the fact that it’s very versatile, it’s not an expensive dish to prepare, it fills you up, and its ready in ten to 15 minutes.
I thought to myself, I'm going to write down everything I know about pasta to show people it’s really not difficult.
Q. Is pasta your favourite meal?
A. Definitely, by far, any pasta, but I particularly like tube pasta — it’s simple yet delicious.
Q. If someone was to re-create a ‘Gino’s Pasta’ dish, is there a recipe they should start with?
A. Yes, I have created a very simple pasta dish — tube pasta with tomato, chilli, garlic and virgin olive oil.
This is a delicious dish that learns you the basics of pasta.
Q. What is your favourite utensil in the kitchen?
A. My knifes — you need a good set to be professional in the kitchen, bad knifes create a difficult life for anyone working in the kitchen. My favourite gadget is my dishwasher — I absolutely hate washing-up so this is very handy, it saves time and makes my life easier.
Q. What are your plans for the summer?
A. I have my own iPhone app so I will be updating that all of the time — adding new tips and recipe ideas.
I also have my show on ITV ‘No place like home’ — I am currently travelling the country filming for the show.
Q. You are well known for becoming King of the jungle on the 2009 show ‘I’m a celebrity, get me out of here’— if you had the opportunity to go back to the jungle, would you be interested?
A. If one day ITV decided to create a ‘Best of the Kings and Queens’ show, then sure, why not?