Ronnie O’Sullivan is used to cooking up a storm on the snooker table but has turned his attention to culinary skills in lockdown, writes Will Jennings.
The five-time world champion has relished his time in his makeshift kitchen during the break from snooker, whipping up all sorts of innovative dishes alongside his fiancée, Laila Rouass.
O’Sullivan is no stranger to the intricacies of cookery and has developed a long-term passion for food, releasing a cookbook - Top of Your Game: Eating for Mind and Body - alongside nutritionist, Rhiannon Lambert, last year.
The Rocket practices what he preaches and despite his lack of kitchen, has loved rustling up a range of tagines, tray bakes and Asian dishes over the last three months.
“I’m obviously quite into my Asian food so I’ve made a lot of Chinese dishes and things with Indian spices,” he said.
“I like a lot of plain food as well, so just roasted food, roasted vegetables, roasted sweet potato, roasted chicken.
“I obviously season that very well, and it’s been fantastic - we’ve been making a few tagines, so we’ve been eating some fantastic food and it’s been great, and really good fun.
“But I haven’t had a kitchen since September, so we’ve kind of made a kitchen in the house, which has been brilliant!
“I’ve got this little ninja cooker which is fantastic, some camping stoves and just built this kitchen from nowhere.
“Laila’s been good because she’s put it all together, and we’ve just enjoyed getting by.”
O’Sullivan has enjoyed a glittering career with a cue in hand, adding 31 ranking events to those World Championship triumphs of 2001, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2013.
The Rocket is also in the illustrious club of being a Triple Crown winner, reigning supreme in the UK Championship no fewer than seven times and matching that number with his Masters triumphs between 1995 and 2017.
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O’Sullivan is currently ramping up preparations for a tilt at a sixth World Championship glory, being ranked world No.6 heading into the Crucible after a mixed season on the circuit.
The 44-year-old loves a challenge and says that’s been the key to his success - both on and off the table.
“A new kitchen comes in another few weeks and that will obviously be really nice, but in some ways I like the challenge of things aren’t perfect,” he added.
“How do you manage, how do you overcome it and how do you find peace within that? I love a challenge, you know.”
Live snooker returns to Eurosport and the Eurosport app. Watch the World Championship and qualifying from 21st July – 16th August.