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Levi Roots

Levi Roots Aug 11What one item can’t you live without and why?

A pestle and mortar to grind spices.

What’s your earliest memory?

When I was three years old I fell out of bed. It was at our family’s home in Clarendon, Jamaica and my grandmother tucked me back in.

I’m happiest when…

All of my children are around me. My children are a big influence on my food and they’ve helped me with the business. Although I have seven children, I felt broody again a few years ago – luckily my first grandchild came along!

What did you love and hate about school?

I loved that I was a fast learner but hated that I was a slow starter.

What did you want to be when you were little?

It was more about what my parents wanted me to be: a doctor or lawyer. But my passions have always been music and food. My grandmother taught me to cook. Kitchens in the Caribbean are mystical places.

What’s the worst job you have ever done?

I haven’t had a bad job. I’ve done everything from being a DJ to a Parcelforce driver, and I’ve always been thankful for each job I’ve had. When the kids were younger, we ran a stall at the Notting Hill Carnival called the Rasta-rant. That’s where I first sold my sauce.

If I was Prime Minister I’d make it illegal to…

Have a Prime Minister.

Who would play you in the film of your life?

I’d love to be played by the brilliant actor Denzel Washington.

Tell us something surprising about you…

I’ve not had a bath in 25 years. I just can’t lie down in my own water and have to stand. It’s a Caribbean thing!

Who do you most admire?

My mentor and friend, Peter Jones.

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