Mark Gatiss: “I am really terrified that we are losing CAF forever” | Mark Gatiss

I will disappoint you with my terrible proletarian tastes. If I were to be hanged in the morning, which is entirely possible, I would eat beans on toast. Because I love it and I have it on Sundays on a regular basis because it makes me happy. I’ve tried to be more adventurous over the years, but I’m basically working class, proletarian filth, and some of that stuff is very hard to crack.

I was a vegetarian for 15 years and stopped around 2000, after a year League of gentlemenin It was the first on TV. Although things have gotten a lot better for the vegans, I remember sitting somewhere in Soho and looking at this menu and there were three things I could eat. And I just thought: “Damn it!” So I had some chicken and it was unbelievably cute and I thought: “I’ve wasted, I’ve wasted 15 years of proper abstinence on this cute chicken!” Then the next day I had a bacon sandwich and all was well.

I’m a hopeless cook. awesome. I can make a good chili and I love to make lamb tagine with apricots. But I also have a kind of anti-Midas touch: I can take the most exotic ingredients in the world and make them cute.

I am really, really terrified that we are losing CAF forever. And I mean that specifically: coffee, not a coffee shop. This is a campaign I would like to start with. I was in town a couple of weeks ago for a meeting, a little early, and I’ve never been able to find anywhere other than Pret. I don’t even mean the amazing greasy spoon. I mean literally somewhere that had eggs, chips and a cup of tea. They really do go away and it’s a shame because there is no such thing as them.

an army marching on his belly, And that’s just as true with the film crew. I’ve seen it a lot, you can get a camera crew rebellious because they don’t like food. They start disappearing at lunchtime, go to the tavern and bring something there. And if you’ve lost it, something is seriously wrong. Once I was channeling something in the middle of a heat wave and I sent someone out to get as many icing candies as we could find in this rare environment. My God, what a difference it made to everyone’s mood!

I distinctly remember ordering the steak tartare And they ask that it be done well. Because I had no idea. They were just words I heard in a James Bond movie or something.

Again, back to my roots, I eat very fast. And this is a problem. I must consciously slow down. I think it’s because we all ate so fast as a kid, because well, my dad would have cracked it if we didn’t. But it does cast an interesting shadow, even when you’re trying to enjoy a meal. I’m in the middle of a conversation, I look down and it’s almost over and everyone else is just talking: “Oh no, I did it again!”

One of the funniest experiences of my life It was when my partner and I went to Paris several years ago. We decided to stay at the George V and pushed the boat out, madly eating at the hotel’s restaurant. Service was stiflingly good, when there were approximately 13 people to show you to your table. And in a very English way, she just starts yelling because it’s not fun. Anyway, there was so little food that when we finally ran away – and I think we did run away – we immediately went around the corner and had an omelette because we were hungry! The price of this little meal was £500. Oops, it was a lesson, a lesson.

My Favorites

food
Italian food in general is my favourite. I’m very fond of all kinds of pasta dishes and there’s just something about the simplicity of the Mediterranean diet that sets everything I have. Maybe it goes back to my generic roots.

He drinks
Chilled Sauvignon Blanc. On the right day, I don’t think there’s anything quite like it.

A place to eat
Katsuya in Los Angeles. They make spicy tuna, it’s the tastiest thing. You know that feeling when you have chocolate, and you really don’t want to swallow it, do you just want to leave it in your mouth? that’s it.

plate to work
I make a good chili, and I enjoy the process of making it. Following a recipe never beats anyone, but I never do. It’s the risk, right? If the evening meal depends on you, this is not the time to take risks.

Mark Gatiss stars as Larry Grayson in Nolly on ITVX in February. He is directing The Unfriend at the Criterion Theater in London, and from next month The Way Old Friends Do at the Birmingham Rep. He will be playing John Gielgud in The Motive and the Cue at the National Theater from April

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