Tea had to be mentioned as it is my one vice, I am a huge lover of tea and drink plenty of it! I use different teas in various recipes, from ordinary English breakfast to green tea and even more unusual, a Chinese tea cake called Pu-erh.
Spices play a huge part in my cooking. We create all sorts of dishes using various ingredients. On the menu at the moment we have a desert called pineapple, ras el hanout, fennel, a very popular dish that has had excellent feedback. Spices bring those dishes to life and give what would be a boring dish a new lease of life.
Beef brisket holds a lot of childhood memories for me. My late grandmother taught me all the basics of cooking and her inspiration has made me what I am today. She always said to make sure with any cut of beef: ‘slow cook it and it will fall apart’. That is a method I still use today (although tweaked a little). After cooking the meat she would then make her signature gravy, which is the way I still make a good traditional gravy – it’s a secret recipe!
We are very proud of our cheeseboard and the fact that all the cheeses on it are British. UK cheeses have come on such a lot in the past few years and we definitely give European cheese a run for its money. I am not a huge dessert fan so having a plate of cheese at the end of a meal is always my preferred choice – I love it!