Food for thought

Anne Ashforth
Anne Ashforth

Anne Ashforth White is 
co-owner of chocolate shop Cocoa in Ecclesall Road. A pescatarian, she gave up meat at the age of 11. She lives with husband John and cats Charlie and Evie.

Are you a cook?

Yes, I love it when I have the time and energy to really get stuck in. I like being experimental with food, something I definitely got off my mum: she never sticks to the recipe!

Any cooking tips?

Always challenge yourself and try new foods. It’s so easy to get stuck into a routine and keep it safe.

What’s your favourite dish?

Probably Japanese food, I love sushi! I went to Japan a couple of years ago; it was great to eat but pretty complicated to get your head round the language. I had to point at the menu and hope for the best.

And a drink to go with it?

Maybe a Japanese green Sencha tea. I’m a big fan of tea, we serve over 30 types in Cocoa so I drink a lot of it!

Your favourite restaurant in the Sheffield area?

Sushi Express in Fitzwilliam Street. I went there for my birthday last year and they were really good hosts. I also really like Thyme café on Glossop Road.

And pub?

I met my husband in the Porter Cottage in Sharrowvale Road, so I’m always a bit sentimental about that one. I also really like the Rising Sun in Fulwood.

What’s the worst meal you have ever had?

When I was 11 my family went to see Babe at the cinema and went to a pizza restaurant as a treat. After watching a film about saving a pig from the slaughter house, I was then faced with ‘piggy pizza’ on the menu!

And the best?

We went to visit a friend in China last year. My impression of the food was greasy, unhealthy and beige, but we were shocked at how good real Chinese food is: fresh, delicious, healthy, really spicy and ridiculously cheap. We ate out every night, guilt free!

Your favourite TV cook?

I really like Gizzi Erskine – she tries to cook healthier recipes by swapping a few typical ingredients.

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

I like the way there are lots of different areas for whatever kind of food you want. On Ecclesall Road I’m a bit disappointed by how many big chains there are, I’d really like to see more independent restaurants – and more veggie cafés.