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
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
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

    Sheridan Maine: Accounts Assistant

    £25,000 - £30,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you looking for a fantastic opportunity...

    Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester

    £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Management Accountant - Manchester...

    Ashdown Group: Project Accountant (Part-Qualified Accountant) - Manchester

    £23000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Project Accountant (Part-...

    Beverley James: Accounts Payable

    £23,000: Beverley James: Do you have a background in hospitality and are you l...

    Day In a Page

    General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

    The masterminds behind the election

    How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
    Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

    Machine Gun America

    The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
    The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

    The ethics of pet food

    Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
    How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

    Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
    11 best bedside tables

    11 best bedside tables

    It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
    Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

    Italy vs England player ratings

    Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
    Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    An underdog's tale of making the most of it

    Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

    Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

    Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat