Food For Thought

Pianist and musical director David Barnard
Pianist and musical director David Barnard

Are you a cook?

Yes. I have also written restaurant reviews for Credit Suisse magazine, London and Europe, which meant dining at top restaurants with three others. One had to have a food allergy of some description, while the others had to arrive early and all the wine had to be by the glass matching the meals. Amazing how many restaurants didn’t come up to scratch…

Any cooking tips?

Watch lots of cooking programmes. Read the whole recipe first – and don’t panic!

What’s your favourite dish?

Brie-stuffed chicken wrapped in sage and parma ham, served with mash or small roast potatoes, green beans and roast butternut squash.

And a drink to go with it?

Chablis or Sauvignon Blanc.

Your favourite restaurant in the Sheffield area?

I used to like Ranulphs bistro at Hutcliffe Wood, which was small and served fresh, locally produced ingredients. And they allowed you to bring you own wine…

And pub?

Robin Hood Inn at Stannington. They do the best Sunday roast and in summer there’s a plenty of room to relax outdoors.

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

On tour in France, my colleagues and I were taken to a village for lunch. It turned out to be sliced tongue covered in an orange-coloured sauce. Not nice.

And the best?

I was lucky to be taken to the Savoy Grill in London for my birthday, the day before it closed. I had perfectly cooked spring lamb, carved at the table.

Your favourite TV cook?

James Martin. Despite his laid-back Yorkshire manner, he is revered in the cooking world and can communicate with everyone without dumbing down what he does.

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

We need more independent restaurants with a real food passion and more people willing to support them. We are surrounded by some of the best produce in Yorkshire. We should be eating it!