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Tim Zagat, co-founder, Zagat Survey

What is your favourite food?

I am very eclectic in my tastes. When I’m feeling like Chinese I don’t want to hear about Italian or French food, and vice versa. It’s really a matter of how you feel on a particular day.

What food takes you back to your childhood?

Frozen casserole. My mother was never a great cook – she thought nothing was safe if it hadn’t been frozen first. She would take out ham and a turkey dinner from the freezer, add sour cream and onion dip, and heat until it was a big mush. My sister and I used to go to the pizza place afterwards.

Who taught you the most about food and/or cooking?

My wife Nina – a Cordon Bleu graduate; she made me a much better cook. Paris also made a big impression – we were both young lawyers when we moved there.

Where and when did you eat your most memorable meal, and what was it?

At a restaurant on the north coast of Brittany, 40 years ago. We’d been walking on the beach and had a terrific appetite.

I remember every thing we ate: lobster, poulet de Bresse, a variety of cuts of lamb, cheese and fruit and crêpes suzette.

Which is your favourite cookery book, and why?

Who’s your favourite child? It’s hard to pick. Alice Waters, Richard Grausman, Nigella Lawson …

Are you, or have you ever been, a vegetarian?

No, although I’m trying to eat more vegetables these days and less fattening meats.

If you were sentenced to death, what would be your last meal?

I hope it would be in bed with my family, with a cup of consommé. I don’t want to die with heartburn.

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