Jude Calvert-Toulmin

Jude Calvert-Toulmin is a writer and grandmother, distantly related to the one-time kings of Poland.

She lives in Sheffield with fianc Brian Trevelyan and their four cats Frank Zappa, Mojo, Little Girl Lizzie and Growler.

Are you a good cook?

People tell me so and I'm passionate about cooking. I started making my own boiled sweets when I was 13, went on to perfect a perfect fudge recipe and I'm getting into Malaysian cooking at the moment.

Any cooking tips?

Peel ginger, cut into one-inch chunks, put into a jar and fill with pale cream or dry sherry. The ginger will be preserved for months and you can use tablespoons of the sherry as needed in Asian cooking, topping up occasionally.

What's your favourite dish?

Gambas a la plancha with fresh crusty bread to mop up the garlicky oil, eaten in the sun on the terrace of a nice restaurant in Andalusia.

And a drink to go with it?

A chilled glass of Castillo De San Diego or a nice cold glass of San Miguel.

Your favourite restaurant in the Sheffield area?

Silversmiths has set a benchmark taking part in Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. Jumbo's if you're on a budget. But for sheer delight then Wasabisabi is one of the best restaurants I've ever eaten in, never mind just in Sheffield.

And pub?

Nowhere beats the Washington, a Sheffield institution. I love Bungalows and Bears as well – that reminds me of Mr Kite's.

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

Anything involving polenta, marzipan, liquorice, aniseed or tarragon. Especially all at once. Seriously, though, I had a salad once in a restaurant in the Med and noted something bitter and crunchy. After swallowing it and wondering what it was, I looked down at my plate and saw half a large flying insect.

And the best?

My late mother-in-law, who was Basque, was the best cook I've ever known; everything she made was a delight. She taught me to make proper Spanish tortilla. I also had some memorable meals in the Eighties at the White Elephant on the River in Pimlico.

Your favourite TV cook?

Jamie Oliver: I'm a member of his forum and think he should be knighted for his campaigning work. I also admire Gordon Ramsay and am a huge fan of Marco Pierre White. Ken Hom and Delia Smith have taught me a lot and I love Heston Blumenthal's scientific approach.

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

The Asian quarter in London Road is showing huge promise and the Chinese supermarket in Boston Street, KH Trading, is my favourite food shop.