Saturday Kitchen star reveals why cocktail-loving A-lister is show’s best ever guest – and will never be beaten | The Sun

SATURDAY Kitchen's resident wine expert Olly Smith has had the pleasure of serving boozy beverages to all manner of celebrities on the BBC show.

But one "charming" A-list star stands head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to their passion for food and drink.

In an exclusive interview to promote Galaxy's new guide to eating chocolate the right way, Olly says: "We had Stanley Tucci, who’s a national treasure, he’s a wonderful, wonderful fan of food. His appreciation of it and his series in Italy (Searching for Italy) really show how much devotion he’s got to it. His book Taste is absolutely fantastic for recipes and stories about food.

"Stanley is going to be hard to beat, and one of my favourite ever moments on the show is making cocktails with Stanley and going head to head and tasting them. He’s an absolute legend and, in the flesh, couldn’t have been more charming."

The live weekend show has become a staple in the schedules of millions of telly viewers who religiously tune in for food heaven and hell, light-hearted banter, insightful interviews and the occasional blunder.

So is it as fun being part of the action as it is to watch?


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For Olly, it's a resounding "yes!".

He says: "I think Matt [Tebbutt, host] does a great job of making it seem accessible and fun, and ultimately food is the star of the show, and it's wonderful to pour wines to pair with those recipes. For me, it’s a real dream, I love it. "

Not only does Olly pick the perfect pairings for celebrities on Saturday Kitchen, he gets to know famous wine enthusiasts in-depth through his podcast series A Glass With.

Guests have included pop superstars Kylie Minogue and Pink, and the two women certainly made a lasting impression on him.

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He says: "Pink, I went and visited her in her winery in the USA, Two Wolves wines. Her knowledge and appreciation of wine is second to none, she's a genuinely fantastic taster.

"She’s obviously very passionate and devoted, but the amount of hands-on work she’s doing in her vineyard and in her winery was mind-blowing. My respect for Pink is enormous for the work she’s doing with her wine, and the quality speaks for itself in the bottle."

He was equally as effusive for Kylie and Take That's Gary Barlow, who has also thrown himself into the world of affordable wine.

"If we have people with the profile of Kylie Minogue and Gary Barlow, both of whose wines I think are very good, when they’re putting their name to it, I think when there’s a sincerity and a quality there it can only be a good thing for wine.

"People will identify with that individual and if they’re fans and want to share in their world and lifestyle, and if we’re creating wines that are affordable and accessible to all with the help of big names then fantastic, I’m all for it."

Olly, who has also released the Home Cocktail Bible and a glassware range with Dunelm, has set his sights on securing James Bond as a future guest, admitting he's put the feelers out for spirits aficionado Pierce Brosnan to join him.

He says: "So far it's been many hard no's from the Pierce Brosnan camp, but I am determined at some point our paths will cross. He's clearly someone who enjoys the finer things in life, a good conversation and glass of tequila. Why not come on the show Pierce?"

A fan of indulgence and titillating taste buds, Olly jumped at the chance to team up with Galaxy to create 10 Commandments for How to Eat chocolate.

Key findings include not storing it in the fridge, letting it melt before tasting and eating it with unusual foods such as bacon and even sun- dried tomatoes.

Comparing the appreciation of wine with that of chocolate, Olly says: "One of the things I noticed is you can always judge a good quality wine by how long the flavours linger, and with chocolate, quite a lot of us will just enjoy our chocolate, have a nibble and crack onto the next one, but actually if you let it melt really slowly on your palate you really engage with those long lasting flavours.

"I was amazed that sometimes these flavours can last 15 minutes or more, and some of them apparently 45 minutes, which I’m going to categorise as extra enjoyment for free."

Olly was very much one of the 78 per cent of Britons who kept their chocolate in the fridge before being presented with research showing there is a better way.

And when it comes to matching wines with chocolate he's adamant you don't need to break the bank.

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"Sweeter wines do pair very well with milk chocolate," says Olly. "Dark chocolate you can pair with ruby port which is great value these days, you can find ruby port for under a fiver if you find the right half bottle.

"For milk chocolate, some of the late harvest Australian wines cost around a fiver, they’re absolutely delicious, it's almost the same taste as marmalade. That same level of sweetness and silkiness, texture’s a big thing."

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