Kirsty Wark: 'Simon Hopkinson is great, especially the way he demystifies meat'

 

My earliest food memory...Being given Nutella on brown bread as a treat. But the dish that most reminds me of childhood is Queen of Puddings with fresh, home-made raspberry jam: it was a lovely thing my mum used to make.

My store-cupboard essentials... Chopped tomatoes, kidney beans, baked beans, carnaroli rice and pasta flour. I regularly make my own pasta – it's so easy and the recipe I use is fail-safe. And to put on the pasta, artichoke hearts in oil and some type of dried mushrooms, such as porcini or shiitake. I also always have some home-made stock in the freezer.

My favourite cookbook... A great all-encompassing book is Katie Stewart's The Times Cookery Book. It was published in the early 1980s, and it was a formative cookbook for me. It's not a personality thing; she just does great, fundamental recipes. I also love Nigel Slater and I think Simon Hopkinson is great, especially the way he talks about and demystifies meat.

The kitchen gadget I can't live without... My really good friend in the kitchen is my navy blue KitchenAid mixer. It's 15 years old; I quite fancy getting one in one of the lovely colours they come in these days – pistachio or burnt orange – but I can't justify it on the basis that my one's still working so well.

My culinary tip... When making mashed potato, always use warm milk. It stops the starch coming through, so you get a lovely creamy mash. It's something I learnt during my time on Celebrity Masterchef, and it was a revelation.

My top table... Two Fat Ladies at the Buttery in Glasgow: it does incredible fish – sole, bream, turbot, halibut, prawns, scallops – and some great saucing. Also, the Salt Yard [tapas bar] in London: I like that it doesn't have a huge menu – I distrust restaurants with long menus – and they do some fabulous sherries. The waiting staff are also incredibly good – it's the friendliest restaurant I know. And I adore The Kitchin in Edinburgh, because Tom [Kitchin] has a Michelin star yet maintains a relaxed atmosphere.

My dream dining companion... I'd like to dine with Mary Queen of Scots and Queen Elizabeth I together because they never met in real life. They were both incredibly intelligent, well-educated and if Elizabeth had met Mary, I don't know if she could have executed her. It would be rather a tense meal, but I like that.

My favourite food shop... Waitrose is pretty damned good and I also really like Clarke's in Kensington: Sally Clarke has some wonderful relishes and salts and so forth. The other place I'd include is the Santa Catalina market in Palma, Majorca, where I live some of the time. A friend introduced me to it, and it has the most wonderful fish and meat stalls.

My pet hates... Tripe: I tried it once, and I don't know how anybody can bear to eat it. It's that slithery texture – the same texture as tapioca, in fact, which is another thing I loathe. In restaurants, I also really dislike music, table policies that mean you have to be finished by a certain time, and waiters taking plates away before everyone in the group has finished, which seems to be happening more and more, for some reason.

The strangest thing I've eaten... Big-bottomed ants. The Colombian ambassador brought them into Newsnight because we were doing a piece on sustainable eating and how we were all going to be eating a lot more grubs. They were crunchy and tasted of nothing, which was maybe the best way!

My tipple of choice... A really pale, icy, fabulous Côtes de Provence, or Bruichladdich malt whisky, from Islay, which is a regular nightcap of mine. I'll always have one when I get on the sleeper back to Glasgow after Newsnight.

Kirsty Wark is an award-winning journalist and broadcaster. She presents new cookery quiz 'A Question of Taste', starting tomorrow at 7.30pm on BBC2

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Food & Drink

    Recruitment Genius: Membership Sales Advisor - OTE £20,000 Uncapped

    £15000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Guru Careers: Membership Administrator

    £23K: Guru Careers: We're seeking an experienced Membership Administrator, to ...

    Guru Careers: Dining Room Head Chef

    £32K: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Dining Room Head Chef to work for one of ...

    Day In a Page

    Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

    The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

    How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
    Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

    Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

    'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

    Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

    How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

    Art attack

    Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
    Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

    Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

    Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
    Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

    'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

    Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
    10 best wedding gift ideas

    It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

    Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
    Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

    Paul Scholes column

    With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
    Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

    Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

    Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
    Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

    Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

    The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
    Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

    For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
    Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

    Fifa corruption arrests

    All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
    Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

    The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

    In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

    How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

    Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
    Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

    How Stephen Mangan got his range

    Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor