Even top chefs have total disasters sometimes, discovers Ella Walker.

Gill Meller's latest book, Time, is all about taking a moment, and devoting attention to the food we cook, eat, and share with those we love.

So he was fully prepared to look back at his culinary life...

His earliest memory of food is...

"It's seeing my dad preparing these freshly cooked crabs, picking the meat out of the shells and dressing them - I must have been three or something, but I remember it quite clearly.

"I found it quite captivating and exciting and kind of alien, and it just stuck with me. I really love crab now, I don't know if that's the reason, I don't think so because it's genuinely tasty stuff."

The worst disaster he's ever had in the kitchen was...

"There's been a few of those. There was a time I'd probably been working with Hugh [Fearnley-Whittingstall] at River Cottage for six months, maybe less; we'd got these amazing sirloins on the bone from Judith at Brown Cow Organics, they were from her dairy herd, Jersey Cows, like prime, prime, the best beef, award-winning.

"We had this cranky old gas oven and we were cooking for all these people. I put the beef in, basically, to cut a long story short, it came out overcooked - quite seriously overcooked and it was just an absolute disaster.

"We served it, and we rescued some of it, there was a little bit of pink meat, but it was terrible, and still Hugh to this day, remembers it as 'Black Friday'. Sometimes he'll remind me about it. That was pretty bad."

Meller's culinary highlights include...

"Getting my own books published is a serious achievement for me. I really feel lucky that I've been able to do that, and work in that area of food, but something as simple a cooking for someone and them really enjoying it, is fantastic, that can make you feel really great.

"I was cooking in Greece and I served this meal for 180 people and a family that were eating, I think there were 10 of them, had been coming to Greece for many years, and they sent a message back to me saying it was the best meal they'd had in 30 years.

"I just did some wood-roast lamb and salads, some fish baked in the oven with tomatoes, proper simple, lots of wild herbs - that made me feel good."

Time: A Year And A Day In The Kitchen by Gill Meller, photography by Andrew Montgomery, is published by Quadrille, priced £25. Available now.