Archive | March, 2012

Cakes and Camembert at Kirkstall Deli Market

31 Mar

The beautiful Kirkstall Abbey was the setting for my lunch of many courses today as I paid my first visit to Kirkstall Deli Market. Taking place on the last Saturday of every month, the market brings together the best local food producers around, showcasing everything from bison burgers to home-brewed beer. Today, the abbey hosted some familiar faces from the Leeds foodie scene such as Salts Deli and some new names too.

Despite wishing I’d arrived as soon as the doors opened to ensure a parking space (carnage) I was in foodie heaven. After a few laps of the stalls and some cheeky free samples, I polished off a starter of an Indian onion, coriander and rice roll, then tucked into the main event, a juicy, flavoursome venison burger, courtesy of  Round Green Farm. Packing the boy off to work with an Oreo cookie chocolate brownie, I went home with friends to get out of the blustery conditions and enjoyed tea and cakes, purchased from the very friendly ladies at Number 37 cafe. Those passionate bakers are certainly not shy with their portions!

Not one to know when to stop, a few more courses were also purchased, so the eating carried on well into the evening. In fact, I write this having just polished off an awesome fish pie, created by new take away fine dining experts, the Secret Kitchen. The Mediterranean Yorkshire fish pie contained succulent seafood and a generous helping of mushrooms and spinach, topped with ploenta and parmesan. Although the presentation wasn’t top notch and no cooking instructions were enclosed, I didn’t care. It was amazing.

And tomorrow, we have vension sausages for breakfast, followed by a selection of cheeses from Cryer and Stott Cheesemongers. Gym on Monday…?

Piling on the pounds in lovely surroundings.


My Masterchef predictions

7 Mar

I’m getting too excited about this programme. It’s a bit embarrassing. During a conversation with a colleague earlier on this evening I think I decided the fate of the remaining four. I hope Gregg and John are listening:

Jay: A deserving winner but it’s not going to happen. The hard man turned chef isn’t bothered about stick about his soufflés down the pub and I love him for that. He’s thrown himself at the competition which is clearly a million miles from his real life. I have a soft spot for Jay but I think he’s the first gonner tonight. I think he blew it last week in Thailand during the best Masterchef challenge ever.

Tom: He’s the next to go for me. Dubbed the favourite for some time he ticks all the boxes: shy northern plasterer with a penchant for fine dining. But he’s just made too many mistakes for me. Sorry Tom. However, if the cooking doesn’t work out there’s some plastering work for him at my place. I didn’t know tradespeople could be so tidy until last week’s vt on ‘a day in the life of Tom.’ Plasterer Tony, take note.

Andrew: I think he’s the runner-up. Most of his food has looked incredible and he’s been delivering since day one. His tapas during the European round was amazing and I’ve been wanting to go to the restaurant he worked in ever since. I’m excited to see what he does next.

Shelina: The beautiful Shelina is my winner. Her Mauritian street food is unique, elegant and has that unusual twist, reminiscent of the cuisine of Masterchef winners gone by. Some of her desserts have been amazing and on a couple of occasions I actually thought Gregg the pudding king Wallace was actually going to faint. She’s done a fantastic job of refining her food as the series has gone on and made a visible improvement. Here’s to a long and successful career!


Shelina is my winner (image courtesy of