Food for Thought:

FFT - Alex Baker
FFT - Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a director of SteelBaker recruitment, based in Ecclesall Road. He lives in Wickersley with his wife Sarah, who is marketing manager at Sheffield United, and their two cats, Sharky and George.

Are you a cook?

I am, yes. I never had the urge to cook myself until I was around 20, when my future father-in-law taught me plenty and my passion for cooking has grown from there. I actually get annoyed when I can’t make an evening meal!

Any cooking tips?

Master the basics and the rest is just experimenting. If you can make a simple tomato sauce, cheese sauce and cook an egg, you’re halfway there.

What’s your favourite dish?

Lamb shank with roasted vegetables; I could eat that meal whatever the time of year. The longer you can cook it the better it will be.

And a drink to go with it?

I’m not a massive fan of drinking alcohol with food, bizarrely (I usually make up for that before and after!), but a nice glass of white wine never hurts.

Your favourite restaurant in the Sheffield area?

We tend to treat ourselves to expensive ingredients and cook at home but I do enjoy a visit to Akbaars near Meadowhall. It does an amazing chicken balti and is always busy, even in midweek, which is a great sign.

And pub?

My old local, on the outskirts of Sheffield, is the Blue Bell in Harthill, but I also like the Porter Brook in Ecclesall Road. It’s close to work and the staff and owner are really friendly; we’ve run pub quizzes for charity in there many times.

What’s the worst meal you’ve ever had?

Squid soup: the ‘suckers’ and flavour were simply disgusting! I was convinced to try it by my father on a family holiday to Lanzarote and I’ve never gone near a squid again.

And the best?

Alaskan king crab with white crusty bread and garlic butter in a lovely fisherman’s restaurant by the sea in San Diego on Independence Day. It was a perfect way to finish our holiday.

Your favourite TV cook?

I think it has to be Ramsay for entertainment value but I do like Rick Stein from a more technical cooking angle.

What do you think of Sheffield as a place to eat out?

I think it has become a real ‘value’ city to eat out in; some of the midweek offers are amazing and restaurants have had to raise their standards so people don’t simply stay at home.