Food has always been important in my life, growing up watching my Dad grow fresh vegetables and eating the icing when my Nan made cakes for the local baker. It is a passion but more than that it is what brings friends and families together.
These are the most vivid memories of my childhood, my Mum, Dad and brother enjoying an evening meal round the table, being allowed a sip of wine and looking forward to a cheeseboard for desert. Memories I continue to recreate with my loved ones, Seafood Saturday to a classic Sunday roast.
Doesn’t food just put a smile on your face?
Favourite food dish or genre of cuisine?
I wouldn’t say I have a favourite cuisine as dishes from a variety of countries and regions enter and leave my top ten dishes on a regular basis. I love a variety of cuisines; depending on my mood there is a dish for every occasion.
My true passion is pork, the most delicious of all meats. The variety of products available from the most commonly consumed meat, are just plain mouth watering. From bangers and mash with a rich onion gravy to a spicy pork belly curry at the Chilli Pickle. A summer’s day BBQ with a rack of ribs to a winters roast with the crunch of crackling. Cured meats to pork pie treats, the offerings from our friend Mr Pig and all just truly scrumptious!
But honestly what starts the day better than a strong black coffee and a crispy bacon sandwich?
What’s important when you visit a restaurant?
The welcome – as they say, first impressions count. I don’t mean that I expect to pampered and crowded on arrival if anything that can be overwhelming. What I like is to be greeted with a warm smile and a friendly face. It makes such a difference to your dining experience, if you feel that the staff are excited to have you in restaurant trying their take on culinary classics.
You have favourite restaurants for lots of reasons, some for the quality of the ingredients, some for the atmosphere and others just for the ease.
But the thing that brings you back is they get it right time and time again. A great restaurant can re-create that experience for you, every time you enter through those doors. Perhaps I am a creature of habit and it is the familiarity I love, I like to think we return for another visit because the always deliver as promised.
All I want is to have is some flavoursome food, in a friendly environment. A bottle of red wine is just a bonus.
Favourite well-known chef and why?
If only Greg Wallace was a chef and this would be easy. I have the habit of watching cookery programmes at every opportunity, much to the annoyance of my girlfriend and housemates. Owning a pile of cookbooks makes choosing a favourite chef feel almost like I am being unfaithful to another.
If there has to be a winner Tom Kerridge is my man for the job. What a nice bloke, he seems so genuine and makes the simplest of dishes into a fine dining experience.
His ‘Best Ever Dishes’ cookbook is one of my favourites on my overfilled shelf.
He is well respected and with two Michelin stars to his name rightly so, yet through his TV shows can help you replicate some homely taste sensations. All of the flavour and less of thrills! Without knowing Tom Kerridge has improved my cooking no end, for that I would like to thank him. Thanks Tom.