Simon Rimmer explains why he stokes the myth he invented pulled pork

·5 min read

WATCH: Did Simon Rimmer really invent pulled pork?

Sunday Brunch host Simon Rimmer's Wikipedia page once claimed he invented pulled pork, and he has responded to the strange rumour in the latest episode of White Wine Question Time.

The chef and restaurateur spoke to Kate Thornton about the myth and why he continues to add fuel to it. He also spoke about the early days of his career and how his time on Strictly left him so tired he was 'on the brink of hallucinating'.

Thornton asked him about how the rumour started that he invented the popular dish. He explained that he cooked it once on Sunday Brunch and his co-host Tim Lovejoy 'went crazy for it'.

He said: "I think it was just one of those moments in time that at all the ducks are in a row. I think at the time it became the most downloaded recipe on Channel 4 including Jamie Oliver Gordon Ramsay...

"It was just one of the things that everybody wanted to cook it and then about six months later that whole low and slow thing just really took off.

Simon Rimmer
Simon Rimmer is co-host of Sunday Brunch (Channel 4)

"So we just started saying 'my invention' and it's great because whenever it's mentioned it always gets people really, really angry! So it's been around for years. 

"When I did Strictly on my intro they say: 'Tell us something people didn't know about you.' 'I invented pulled pork.' And then when that goes out everyone's going: 'He didn't, he didn't, it's been around for ages.'

Listen to the full episode to hear Simon Rimmer talk about how he nearly went bankrupt and his experience on Strictly

"And then my favourite one that somebody took me to task and it was said like pulled pork has been around as long as there's been pigs in the British Isles, and I said: 'My granddad invented pigs!' So I've kind of just delivered it. If I'm abroad, I'll take pictures of pulled pork [and say]: 'Oh my god, my invention has gone all over the world!' I love it. I like how much it winds people up. Anybody could believe that I really think I invented."

Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer attending the National Television Awards 2017 at the O2, London.
Tim Lovejoy and Simon Rimmer attending the National Television Awards 2017 at the O2, London.

He talked about his early career and that when he opened Greens in a south Manchester suburb in 1990 they were doing something different.

He said: "Our premise when we started Greens was — because I'm not a veggie — I mean, I ate very little red meat these days. But I'm not a veggie and I was a devout carnivore when we started and I think that what happened was that we because we didn't know what we were doing.

"We kind of ignored what the rules were. So most veggie food back in 1991 when we opened was very worthy. It was very brown, it was very worthy, it was very heavy. And it was almost about I felt was quite a negative cuisine.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 23: Alan Halsall and Simon Rimmer attend The Ivy Spinningfields VIP Launch Party on November 23, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Ivy)
Alan Halsall and Simon Rimmer attend The Ivy Spinningfields VIP Launch Party in 2018. Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images for The Ivy.

"It was about what you couldn't eat rather than celebrating you could eat – we always wanted to celebrate. It was now that veggie food is a celebration of ingredients and so I used to go to market every day. Before he could get deliveries, getting up at five o'clock every morning. And I would talk to the stallholders: 'Why are those peppers more than that? And why is that?' And they said: 'Well, those are more because they're kind of local. It's from a small producer.' That makes sense.

"I'd rather buy from somebody local. So we were doing that, without even knowing why. And then nobody really was doing it. So for example, if you do like a really beautiful red wine sauce, traditionally, you would always do with veal jus, and you reduce down, reduce down. And it would be very nice, kind of meaty. I was thinking: 'Well, why can't you do that with veggie stock? Why can't you do that same principle?'

Read more: Sunday Brunch viewers spot NSFW mistake in theme tune subtitles

"So I think we just ended up doing things that, you know, I didn't know, I could cook like anybody can cook. But I was thinking, well, that red wine sauce. I really like it. Why can't I just make it with veggie? I think we were just doing different things."

He also spoke about the time early in his career where he risked going bankrupt because one venture did not pay off. He explained to Thornton how things don't always work out how they might expect.

He said: 'Greens is actually just around the corner from where I used to live, and when [his daughter] Flo was born, I had this dream that Ali was going to walk around to the back door with my baby arms are going to kiss my baby. We're going to kiss her wife.

And I'm going to give a beautiful food to take home because she's been busy and the baby's been crying and I've been working. I've made amazing food. What would really happen is I'd get I'd get a phone call from her and she'd go: 'Bring some bog roll home, we haven't got any.' So it didn't quite pan out in that romantic way!"

WATCH: Simon Rimmer on food, ballroom and budgie smugglers

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