Where is it?

New York City.

Why do you go there?

A mixture of work and pleasure, but mostly work. It is a real home from home, incredibly easy to navigate and every time you turn a corner, you see something new.

The restaurant scene is, in my opinion, the best in the world. There's the holy grail of restaurants, such as the Michelin three-star Eleven Madison Park and Per Se, as well as real New York staples Bill's or Keens Steakhouse.

I find it an easy city to work in because the kitchens are well set up and there is always loads of staff to help out.

How often do you go?

I'm very lucky with my job and can find myself there up to four times a year.

How did you discover it?

My first trip to New York was almost 20 years ago in 2001. I organised a surprise trip for my wife Sharon as it was a very special birthday. We ticked off the iconic tourist stuff: Central Park, Empire State Building, Fifth Avenue, Twin Towers, Statue of Liberty, and everything in between.

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Purely by chance, I was only home two days and then flew back to NYC to do a Scottish dinner at the Four Seasons. So, in one week, I managed to see the city from both sides.

What's your favourite memory?

The one that will stay with me was my first time going. I'm lucky I get to see the real New York when working there and meet some incredible people, from parading up Sixth Avenue with 10,000 people on Tartan Day to cooking at the British Consulate. In November, I did a charity dinner in someone's house in the Upper West Side.

Who do you take?

Mostly I'm on my own or with Sharon. I get to catch up with friends that I have met over the years.

What do you take?

Good, comfortable shoes for walking and seasonal clothes. It's very hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter – I've been caught out before.

What do you leave behind?

I have never managed to take my kids. Hopefully one day.

Sum it up in five words.

Multicultural. Welcoming. Big. Busy. Fun.

What travel spot is on your post-lockdown wish list?

I'm desperate to get back on the road, it's a big part of my job. I'm scheduled to go to New Hampshire in September and India in January, so everything crossed we are back to some sort of normality by then.

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Cuba is also on my list. I spent a few days there in December doing events and cookery demos. I'd love to go back and see more.

Kitchen Essentials: The Joy of Home Cooking by Gary Maclean is published by Black and White, priced £20