Oliver Peyton, 59, in the kitchen of his West London home

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My Haven, Oliver Peyton: The Great British Menu Judge and Renowned Restaurateur, 59, in the kitchen of his West London home

  • Oliver Peyton, 59, shares important items in the kitchen of his London home
  • Renowned restaurateur cherishes a plate created by Chef Daniel Clifford
  • He also cherishes a family photo he took in his favorite place, Connemara

Oliver Peyton, 59, (pictured), shared things of personal significance in the kitchen of his West London home

1 PASSION PROJECT

I have an office, but I prefer to work in the kitchen because I can see into the garden, which is the heart of the house. This is a sketch by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer.

I persuaded him to retire in the late 1990s to redevelop the Brighton West Pier that I owned.

He made all these drawings for two years, but it didn’t make it through the planning process, so the project was completely scuttled. However, it was a great experience.

2 OLD SCHOOL

I’ve been obsessed with Bakelite since I was 20. I have this radio and about 100 more in storage. I studied textiles at Leicester Polytechnic and there were tons of them around. I also collect snow globes when I travel – I bought these from Barack Obama at a Los Angeles flea market.

3 FOODIE

I am proud to be one of the original judges on the Great British Menu, which has been running since 2006. This is a board that Chef Daniel Clifford created for a Comic Relief episode.

Oliver cherishes a family photo (photo) he snapped to Connemara

Oliver cherishes a family photo (photo) he snapped to Connemara

We film long days, especially in the finals week, where you eat fish one day, meat the next and pudding the next day. I’d burn it off cycling to Kentish Town where the studio was, but now we’re in Stratford-upon-Avon so I’m riding.

4 ON YOUR BIKE

My wife, Charlotte Polizzi [the daughter of Olga and niece of Sir Rocco Forte] offered to buy me a new bike, but I’ve had my Cannondale for 17 years and it feels a part of me. I’ve changed the handlebars and wheels over the years and it’s covered in stickers from overseas travel.

Like the snow globes, I pick up a sticker everywhere. I am a commuting cyclist so I don’t go out for weekend rides. I like to walk and you get to see all seasons all year round.

5 MY AMERICAN DREAMS

These Alice Waters and Charlie Trotter cookbooks – in addition to my honorary OBE for catering services – are very important to me. Before opening my first restaurant 25 years ago, I went abroad to visit eateries, including Alice’s Chez Panisse in California.

It showed me what cooking can be – simple, fresh and sober. Charlie Trotter cooked in a completely different way in his restaurant of the same name in Chicago.

I’ve been to many restaurants myself, including those at the National Gallery and Imperial War Museum, and my own catering company.

6 NOSTALGIA TRIP

This family photo was taken by me in one of my favorite places, Connemara. I come from an Irish Catholic family in Sligo and we would go on road trips around Ireland, but Connemara has always been a great treat – it epitomizes the rugged beauty of Ireland’s west coast.

I am very close to my family and have fond memories of cooking with my late mother. She was a spectacular cook.

As told to Roz Lewis. Great British Menu: The Finals, Monday-Friday, BBC2. Oliver’s range of premium cocktails, Unknown Pleasures, is available at unknownpleasures.com

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