Food for Thought

Karen Perkins
Karen Perkins
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Karen Perkins is a life coach and mum of two who tweets as @fabcoach and lives in Banner Cross with her teenage daughter. Her services include helping people to set up attractive online dating profiles. She also runs Sheffield’s Clandestine Cake Club.

Are you a cook?

Yes, I love a challenge and can produce a chocolate fondant or a Michelin starred teenage meal in under 20 minutes! I used to write a university cookery column called Nosebag.

Any cooking tips?

Use good olive oil and, at the moment, I’m keen on anything with fresh sage or chorizo. Always use a timer for best results.

What’s your favourite dish?

Skate with brown butter, capers and samphire.

And a drink to go with it?

Cremant de Limoux, an organic bubbly wine from the south of France – or a half of Barnsley Bitter.

Your favourite restaurant in the Sheffield area?

Sushi Express on Milton Street, or Rowley’s at Baslow; Honey Pie Tearooms for cakey-ness; Thelma’s and Jonty’s on Sharrowvale Road, or SnapDeli at Banner Cross for cake and coffee.

And pub?

I often walk through the woods to The Cricket at Totley, and especially love the shared starters and yummy chips, homemade fudge and shortcake.

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

A vegetarian salad, complete with cheese triangle at Butlin’s when I taught art there in the ’80s. I remember I had to get a doctor’s note to confirm my vegetarianism (which is now lapsed!).

And the best?

Menu de terroir at Hotel St James near Bordeaux. Moonlit terrace, jasmine scent, real Michelin star food!

Your favourite TV cook?

Nigel Slater. Watching him make the portobello mushroom and garlic cheese hot sandwich and eat it with Nigella was ‘interesting’! That’s one for Valentine’s day, definitely.

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

It’s brilliant if you keep exploring and trying new locations. Twitter is a great pace for hot new tips. I advise women to think of a good dating venue in advance (safe, familiar but not full of all your friends). Meeting outside a coffee shop or pub and walking in together can be less daunting.