Ella Walker chats to the celebrity chef about his favourite tipples - boozy and otherwise.

Rick Stein very much seems like the kind of guy it'd be fun to share a fish supper and a beer (or two) with.

The revered celebrity chef and seafood aficionado is often seen in his television series eating an enviable array of food, with a cold glass of white on the side. So on the releases of his latest cookbook, Rick Stein's Secret France, it seemed only right to find out what's in his drinks repertoire...

What's your desert island drink?

"Just to dispel any blues, I'd go for a negroni."

Soft drink: diet or full fat?

"Full fat."

How do you take your tea?

"With milk, English breakfast, Yorkshire tea with milk."

Still or sparkling or tap?

"Sparkling. I just find tap water and still really boring I'm afraid, and I love sparkling water."

Are you fussy about your ice?

"I am not fond of - going back to negronis - the trend for having a big ice cube in your glass, it doesn't work. I like ordinary ice, thanks, it makes nice clinking noises as you stir it round with your cocktail stirrer."

What's the cocktail you make when friends come round?

"I don't, really. I tend to just make gin and tonics or vodka tonics, but I find the gin craze bloody confusing. [But] I do appreciate there are some lovely gins out there. I think it's quite fun."

Any booze you just can't stand?

"I can't stand sweetener in drinks. It's a real sadness that so many hitherto lovely sweetened drinks, like San Pellegrino, now have sweetener in them. I just can't stand the taste, and I wonder how healthy they are ultimately."

What's your beer of choice?

"Now there you're talking! Ha ha! My favourite is St Austell Brewery in Cornwall's Trelawny, it's only 3.8%, you call it a session beer. And in Australia [where Stein runs restaurants and spends much of his time], Victoria Bitter for the same reason. It's not-too-strong draught beer. If bottled, I tend to just drink Peroni or Corona, because I like the lime in Mexican beer - memories of Mexico for me."

What did you first get drunk on?

"Actually with my dad on St Austell beer, ha ha, I must have been about 16. I'd had a couple of pints in the pub and I just remember stumbling out; a rite of passage really."

If money was no option, what would you drink?

"Montrachet or Corton-Charlemagne, because I love white burgundy."

Rick Stein's Secret France by Rick Stein, photography by James Murphy, is published by BBC Books, priced £26. Available now.