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10 Questions: Martins Ritins

Celebrity Chef Martins Ritins is a British-born Latvian who runs his world renowned restaurant, Vincents, in Riga. This culinary institution has hosted heads of state from around the world, captains of industry and stars from the stage and screen. Martins has his own cooking show, where he travels the world and introduces foreign taste experiences to a Latvian audience. He is the president of Latvia's Slow Food Association. Martins maintains a close relationships with many of Latvia's small-scale organic farmers, and purchases restaurant ingredients "directly from farmers whenever possible" to prepare his renowned meals. He also recently starred in Latvia's "Singing with the Stars" where he showed viewers just how diversly talented he is.

1. What was your childhood nickname? The Ritz and Big Ears 

2. What do you do better than cooking ?   Preaching to the unconverted about slow food and running the organic/slow food market at Berga Bazars.

3. What word best describes your singing? Unique is a safe way to put it but divine if you want to be nice to me. 

4. What is your favorite section in a grocery store?I keep away from supermarkets to get involved more with farmers markets - fresh vegetables, fresh fish and fresh underarm deodorant 

5. Do you get drunk at functions? I drink water at functions because 9 times out of 10, the wine is not meant for enjoying.

6. What is your favorite restaurant in Riga (Vincents is off limits)?Very little time to return again to a restaurant because I want to sample all of them. But Hotel Bergs' restaurant because the chef came from my kitchen. Also Le Boheme, two chefs, both 'Jansonsis'. At the Bergs I only book when  the owner Ieva Laukers is  entertaining  with no cover charge!

7. What song would you choose to sing at a karaoke competition? An aria from Rigoletto.

8. Who would you stalk? Elizabeth Taylor. Maybe she would take me as husband number nine.

9. Do you eat a McDonald's? I try to stay upwind from them and I cross the street to the other side so that no one thinks I'm coming out of one of them. 

10. If you had a time machine where and to what time would you go? To the year 0 to 33AD to see if there really was a wandering star to lead me to a stable in Bethlehem and that the Brian of Monty Python's 'Life of Brian' wasn't the real hero of the time, and taste the wine that was water in my glass.