Posts Tagged ‘leeds uni’

A Meal of Two Cities

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

Last Friday the office was struck down; famine stalked the edit suite, the meeting room AND the office. Granted, it was only 11.35, but seriously we were very hungry, biblically so.

I don’t know about any of you, but when I get hungry I start obsessing about all the most amazing foods I can think of. I taunt and test my aching, empty stomach with Google image searches of everything from juicy roast joints of beef, thick ribbons of parpadelle with porcini and garlic, to huge beef burgers, smothered in melted cheese and Jalapeños. As a recovering fatty, these actions are definitely steps backwards and wholly futile, however it happens, tragically, every time hunger strikes.

This Friday afternoon however, we went one step further; “If you could eat anything right now what would it be?” My mind skipped through all the most amazing meals I have ever eaten hurriedly trying to find the solution, Saltimboca in Bologna? Giorgio Locatelli’s red wine and Castelmagno cheese risotto, the kebab I had at Zurich train station in 2008? My mind landed on two dishes, the dishes of the gods, Foie Gras and the dish that made Hull famous, the Pattie. Tragically neither would be available in deepest darkest North Leeds and in the end a pack of Seabrook Worcestershire sauce crisps would have to suffice.

Now, when I get food on the brain it is there until I have devoured whatever is the target of my culinary lusts so with this in mind I decided to go to that Mecca of gastronomy! the jewel in the cuisine crown! no not Paris… Hull!

Saturday morning saw a quick bus ride into the city and a mad dash to the legendary Bob Carvers for a battered, deep-fried hockey puck shaped mound of potato, sage and fish. If you aren’t familiar with a Pattie, it is pretty much native to Hull, like a little grey sponge full of flavor, covered in vinegar and salt, served with dark, evil looking (but fantastic tasting) mushy peas. I always ask for “an old one”, one which escaped the jaws of one of last weeks eager customers and has now become hard and chewy, only to soften with the addition of Christ’s last drink (vinegar). It was delicious, a tour de force for the mouth and set me up perfectly for a day of loitering and pub stops. By hook or by crook, I managed to locate a little, delicious nugget of Foie Gras while I was in Hull that made the weekend! Lovingly fried and served with a bit of crusty bread nothing else bothered me that weekend, football results, girls, trains, weather. All these paled in my gastronomic accomplishments!

A Taste of Yorkshire: Behind the Scenes

Monday, January 18th, 2010

Simon Woods’ Xmas Tips

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

Well let me be the first to wish you all a very Happy Christmas!!! Because the University term ends soon, I wanted to get in early to help you with your Christmas food preparations before you go.

This is such a fantastic time of year, with some amazing fresh produce available. It’s a time of year when we all do a lot of cooking for friends and family so these seasonal hints will help you out:

-       Buy the best quality you can afford, use seasonal produce and support local growers.

-       Root vegetables are fab; try red cabbage for a change with some sweet apple also bang in season.

-       Why not buy some fresh cranberries and make your own relish? Really simple and so much better than that rubbish you buy in a jar.

-       Try piercing some fresh chestnuts with a knife, roasting them through the oven, peel and eat whilst still hot. Amazing.

That’s all from me I’m off to stuff a big turkey!!!!

Have a good one


More Info On Leeds Food Shopping!

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Leeds International Shopping Guide Additional Content

Wondering how to get to the market?  Or what time the Co-op closes?  Look no further as below is all the info you need on the shops and supermarkets featured in Sofia’s guide:

The Co-operative Food Store

Where: 132 Cardigan Rd, Leeds

How to get there: Take either the no. 56 bus from the university, or walk down St. Michael’s Lane, then onto Cardigan Rd from Headingley.

Opening Times: open 24 hours (apart from Sunday, 10:00-16:00)

Phone no: 0113 278 5575


Where: 12-16 Arndale Centre, Headingley

How to get there: Take either the 1, 28, 95, 96 or 97A.  There’s a bus stop directly opposite the store.

Opening Times: Mon-Sat 08:00-22:00 / Sun 11:00-17:00

Phone no: 0113 214 2200


Where: Holt Rd, Holt Park, Leeds

How to get there: Take either the no. 1 or 96 straight to the store.

Opening Times: Mon-Sat 08:00-22:00 / Sun 10:00-16:00

Phone no: 0844 894 1234

Wing Lee Hong Oriental Supermarket

Where: 117 Vicar Lane, Leeds

How to get there: Take either the no. 1, 28, 95 or 96 into town, then walk to Vicar Lane.

Opening Times: Mon-Sun 10:00-18:00

Phone no: 0113 2430500

Abu Bakar International Supermarket

Where: 37 Queen’s Rd, Hyde Park

How to get there: Take the no. 56 to Hyde Park, then walk.

Opening Times: Mon-Sat 09:00-21:00

For more information, check out the University of Leeds’ International Student Handbook. It’s full of useful advice all about making your stay in Leeds (and the U.K.) even better!

Sal Paradise…What do you think?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

It was 100% intentional that we chose Dave to do the cooking for our band. We’ve eaten his food a load of times and like we’ve never been disappointed. I guess he had the advantage of experience because he has done some work in kitchens when he’s done ski season and stuff but it’d have been stupid of us to not make the most of that!

I am a pretty good cook myself…I think. If I had cooked the meal I would have done something much more simple probably. Something like a casserole or a stew because I like cooking things like that when you can just throw everything in and let it cook. It dead cheap, really simple and ideal for the winter because it warms you up! Having said that we were meant to be making something that represented the music we play, which I don’t think a stew does!

If you wanna find out more about the band and our upcoming gigs and stuff go to our MySpace page. Here’s a link:

Remember Remember the Food for November

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

Well with Bonfire Night fast approaching what’s good to take with us to the firework display?

How about a nice flask of hot pumpkin soup? If they are still in good condition, peel dice and cook the ones left from Halloween, they will be fine and just follow the root vegetable recipe already on the site.

We have also been baking some fantastic Parkin in the Refectory kitchens. Substitute some of the flour for rolled oats to give it a much chewier consistency. Also it just gets better with age so keep in an airtight container and enjoy weeks later.

I advise you to buy your toffee apples from the shop as playing with hot caramel is not advised to the untrained. Have a safe bonfire night and always remember “it’s all about flavour!”

The Inside Scoop with Jess & Her Mum

Monday, October 19th, 2009


To say that I was nervous cooking against my Mum is a bit of an understatement.  My mum’s lasagnes are the best lasagnes I’ve ever tasted and for me to make a better one than hers seemed impossible…especially when I had no idea how to make a lasagne! must have known how difficult this challenge for me was as they organised some much needed lasagne training with me and Leeds uni chef Simon Wood.  I spent a week with Simon in the uni kitchens learning how to make a proper lasagne from scratch-and learned everything from making a roux to getting the tomato sauce just right.

The actual fight…I mean cook off…was great!  By the end of the week I was dead confident to cook against my Mum, and after a little slip up in getting the lasagne into the dish, it all went really well.

I’d like to tell you who won during the day, but I guess you’ll just have to watch Mothercooker pt 2 video to find out!

Jess’ Mum

When Jess phoned me and said that she wanted to make a better lasagne than me, I didn’t know what to say.  Jess has never been into cooking much and I don’t think she even knows how to make a lasagne.

I wasn’t really worried even though Jess said that she’d been having training from Simon Wood.  I’ve been making lasagnes for years and having a big family to feed, am comfortable making them at short notice.  As for the final result, well you’ll just have to see who wins!

Lasagne Making Tips

Monday, October 19th, 2009

Trying to find the secrets so making the best lasagne? Here are a few from a professional chef.

1. Were possible always use fresh lasagne sheets, available now in most supermarkets.

2. Always buy the leanest, best quality minced beef you can afford

3. Dont forget to season properly and check throughout the cooking process ,this is always the most forgotten thing.

4. Keep the mixture nice and moist at all times as the pasta will soak up lots of moisture.

5. Take time to layer up the meat sauce, pasta etc, you will get a much better result.

6. A few fresh oregano leaves in your meat sauce just helps to raise the dish a notch or two.

7. After removing from the oven allow the mixture to stand for 5 to 10 minutes just to settle , this will help when serving.

Simon’s Tips For Soup

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Like I said during my demonstration yesterday, the soup is ideal for this time of year, all the root vegetables are bang in season, they are plentiful, cheap to buy and packed with flavour. The soup can be made in bulk as it freezes really well.

To bulk it out things like split red lentils,barley,or other dried pulse mixes can be added. Also pasta shells, macaroni etc also lend themselves well to the soup. Also chopped potatoes,swede,can be added to make it more of a broth. Just don’t forget the magic rule ALWAYS check the seasoning.

Whats With All The Freegan Questions?

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

What made you become a Freegan?

I guess in some ways I always have been although not always actively. I remember when I made the conscious decision to adopt the Freegan lifestyle– I have a friend of mine who was an extremely active and passionate Freegan. One day she asked me if I wanted to go out ‘skipping’ with her and I said yes. I could not believe what I saw that day – just the amount of stuff that was thrown away that was perfectly alright! It made me quite angry so I decided to do something about it. I might be only person but at least I can do my bit to reduce the amount of food waste that ends up in landfill.

What is it that makes someone a Freegan?

Well……..I think it starts with being concerned with what we as a species are doing to our planet and the desire to do something to change it. The amount of food that is perfectly edible that gets put into landfill is phenomenal. If I remember correctly, about a third of the food the average UK household buys gets thrown out. We believe that this is a horrible state of affairs to be in. While we can’t necessarily do much to change the way people think about food and waste. Or educate people that “best before” dates have nothing to do with when a food product goes off but is simply an indication of when a food’s flavour or appearance will begin to decline. We can still do our little bit to try and keep as much food as we can eat out of landfill and reduce our impact on the world and its resources by utilising what has already been produced more effectively.

What do you love the most about being a Freegan?

Variety. The never knowing what you could find in the next skip, never knowing what you’ll be eating for your meal in the evening. Some people find that the down side to Freeganism but for me that’s what I love about it. Plus believe it or not there is a real social side to it, we share tips and finds with each other, go skipping together and even have dinners and things together. It also means that there’s always tons of delicious, healthy food in the fridge and I can have as many people over for dinner as I like! It’s really good fun!

And finally, do you think more people should become Freegans?

I believe that if more people had a more “freegan” outlook on life, it would make such a massive impact on this country. By this I don’t mean that everyone should go and get their food out of skips. What I mean is that if all of us made sensible decisions about what we buy, getting just the right amount of food that we know we’ll eat and use it all, not buying excessively packaged food and trusting our noses and eyes to tell us when food has gone off instead of putting blind trust in some label that is wrong the vast majority of the time anyway, and things like that, we would be well on our way to making this world a much better one to live in.