Food for thought

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Sheffield-born Leigh Tooze ran a fashion and interior design buxiness in the city until co-founding drug and alcohol rehabilitation charity Kickstart. He now divides his time between Sheffield, where he still volunteers for the charity each week, and his studio in Brighton.

Are you a cook?

I like to experiment and change meals round to be more interesting. I really do appreciate food that someone has thought about and made an effort to present well.

Any cooking tips?

Eat what is pleasurable and vary the flavours. Food needs to be experimented with and enjoyed! Don’t stick to tradition, use colour – if a meal looks inviting it becomes more appetising and more enjoyable.

What’s your favorite dish?

Anything vegetarian. I love vegetables in whatever dish they are presented in, especially curries. The other food I love is fish, there are so many varieties which can be served in so many ways.

And a drink to go with it?

I love wine, especially a good bottle of French red. A glass of decent wine can evoke many a great experience. A bottle of Chateauneuf du Pape is a particular pleasure with a nice meal.

Your favorite restaurant in the Sheffield area?

I don’t have a favourite restaurant because I like to stay open to new experiences. But if pressed, it would be Loch Fyne for fish and the Blue Moon café for the huge variety of top quality vegetarian meals.

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

I’m afraid there have been many, most recently eating dim sum in London which made me quite ill. It’s not usually the food that is the whole problem though, it’s how we complain. In the UK, we tend to eat the meal however poor and moan about it to people we know – not good for business.

Your favourite TV cook?

I don’t really have a favourite… I struggle with the whole idea of celebrity status for cooking food. I think people who cook and create fantastic meals are gifted but everyone should be recognised for their own unique skills and talents.

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

I think Sheffield is in an experimental stage of growth with some very nice up-and-coming places to eat. It’s great that people are wanting to experiment and especially that new businesses are opening continually. Sheffield has a lot to offer.