BBC Good Food Show

The popular BBC Good Food Show Spring takes place at Harrogate International Conference Centre (HIC)  8-10 April. It has a celebrity line up of Paul Hollywood, Tom Kerridge, Michel Roux Jr. and the Hairy Bikers. Take your pick according to taste. There are demonstrations, interviews, books signings and lots of food exhibitors.


Bloggers-BadgeWe have been invited (along with other local bloggers) by the BBC Good Food Show to blog about it in exchange for discounted tickets for our followers, free tickets to give away and news about upcoming events at the show. We don’t usually accept free meals or other blandishments and declare our interests when we do but on this occasion we thought a) readers might be interested in a local Good Food Show and b) it might introduce more people to Squidbeak. So, here’s the deal: if you want 20% off your ticket then book through Squidbeak, the rest is up to you and your conscience.

*Use the code BL20 when booking your ticket subject to conditions

*20% off Adult/Over 65s tickets only. Not valid on VIP or with any other offer. Ends 10/04/16. Standard Supertheatre seat included with Super tickets, subject to availability, Gold seat upgrade £3. Offer valid on Value tickets where available. Details correct at time of print. £1.50 fulfilment fee per advance order. Good Food® Good Food Logo © BBC Worldwide. Organised and presented by River Street Events.



Closure of greens

We were surprised and dismayed last week to learn that Green’s of Whitby had closed its doors after 15 years of serving proper fish and seafood. I’ve been going there on and off for 12 of those 15 years, a welcome bolthole from the crowds and the overriding Whitby offer of fish and chips. At its peak I rated it the best fish restaurant on the Yorkshire coast.

Green's of Whitby

Green’s of Whitby

Rob Green was and is a most accomplished chef. We’ll miss his salt and pepper squid, his crisp topped Whitby crab, his ways with seabass, brill and the less familiar gurnard and John Dory.

If I remember correctly, he was the first, though since much copied, to name the trawler that landed his fish. Easy enough when he could (just about) see the ships unloading in the lower harbour. The Whitby fish auction is much reduced. Whitby’s Resolution and Our Lass land in Peterhead now, the fish transported less romantically by road to the chippies of Whitby.

Rob Green is moving on to new ventures which he is so far keeping close to his chest. We know that Emma Stothard, his wife is making a huge success of her sculptures in wire and willow, seen to good effect last year at the Staithes Festival when she created two mighty lobsters for the harbour, one of which will return to stand at the village entrance – a fitting reminder that lobster potting still continues there. We wish Rob and Emma good luck and will update you when we hear more..

Black Swan Guesting

We raved about Tommy Banks’ cooking at the Black Swan at Oldstead after we lunched there in the summer so we are happy to report he’s at the stove for a special guest night with Matthew Lockwood at Lockwoods of Ripon on 25 February.


Tommy_BanksTommy who is head chef at the Michelin starred restaurant has created a five course menu for the Lockwoods event.  They haven’t released the menu but his team have been planning it since December and you can safely assume it will be amazing.


Tickets are £60 a head plus drinks. To book go to or call 01765 607 555.

Top 50 Gastropubs

Pipe and GlassThe Morning Advertiser (the publican’s newspaper) has just announced its Top 50 Gastropubs. First place is taken by the Sportsman at Seasalter some considerable miles from us near Whitstable in Kent, but second is the Pipe and Glass (above) at South Dalton and third, the Star at Harome while Shibden Mill comes in at 44.  Congratulations to all concerned though I’m not sure whether any of them really fit my understanding of a gastropub and I could also supply the names of a score more Yorkshire pubs worthy of inclusion, but if you want to read the full list, it’s here.


Looking after Your Gut

Joan Ransley, who writes our recipe column (below) and supplies her stunning food photographs (she’s won awards at the Pink Lady Food Photography comp.), has just had her first book published. Congratulations to Joan and her partner Nick with whom she co-wrote the book.


Salmon & quinoa salad 01Cooking for the Sensitive Gut is not the catchiest title, but it tells you just what’s inside.  If anyone knows about guts it’s Joan and Nick who are both nutritionists, proper qualified ones, not the so-called nutritionists who turn up in newspapers and magazines urging us to drink more water and eat superfoods. Joan holds a Masters and PhD in Human Nutrition, Nick is Professor of Integrated Medicine at Sheffield Uni. and chair and medical adviser for the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Network.


The introduction explains all about gut problems and goes on to explain what you can eat rather than what you can’t, what to eat in small quantities and what alternatives there are. Importantly they stress the value of having a rich and varied diet and explain how even people with gut issues can enjoy their food without cutting out whole food groups.


But it’s the recipes that seduce: good everyday dishes, beautifully photographed, using ingredients to hand but deliciously tempting. You may have gathered from the amount of eating out Mandy and I do that we have iron-clad stomachs and no gut issues but that hasn’t stopped me cooking from this book. I’ve tried salmon with spinach and lemon and the shakshuka: spicy baked peppers and tomatoes with baked eggs. I’m tempted by the aubergines topped with quinoa, feta and herbs; the gluten free pancakes made with banana and blueberries and the beautiful lemon, cardamom and polenta cake.


You will find their recipe for salmon, quinoa and crispy potato salad with blueberry and maple syrup dressing,  in our recipe column below, but for the rest of the recipes you will have to buy the book.

Cooking for the Sensitive Gut by Dr Joan Ransley and Dr Nick Read is published by Pavilion Books and available from Amazon, Waterstones and other major book shops. For more information about managing your sensitive gut go to:

Charity Flood Dinner

Sad to learn that the recently refurbished Walmgate Ale House & Bistro (formerly Melton’s Too) was badly flooded at Christmas, as were many homes and businesses in the area. True to form, the owner Michael Hjort is putting together a charity dinner to help the homes and businesses damaged by the floods. ‘We understand the struggle people are going through, so we wanted to do something to help raise money for the Flood Appeal.’

Michael Hjort

Michael Hjort

‘It’s been a terrible time for homeowners and businesses that have been hit by the floods’ says Michael. ‘We’ve been very grateful for all the help and kind wishes we’ve received whilst we’ve been clearing up and getting Walmgate back to normal.

The Walmgate Ale House is still not fully functioning but the upstairs kitchen was not affected by the floods and the dinner on Saturday 23rd January will be in the loft space at the top of the building. Local suppliers have donated ingredients including M & K Butchers, Fowler’s Fisheries and York Cocoa House. The Portuguese Wine Club and York Brewery are providing drinks.

‘We’ve been able to create a great menu with drinks and chocolate truffles using kind donations from suppliers and local businesses meaning that all of the money raised can go to the Flood Appeal.’


Game Bonbons – Served with Beetroot and a Horseradish Panna Cotta

Pan Fried Scallops – With Scallop Mousse, Cauliflower Puree and Sicilian Garnish

(v) Grilled Goat’s Cheese and Caramelised Onion – On a Puff Pastry Croute with Salad

* * *

Baked Coley – With an Olive and Breadcrumb Crust on a Ragout of Red Onions, Tomatoes and Fennel

Slow Roast Shoulder of Lamb – With Mustard and Herbs, Seasonal Vegetables and a Fondant Potato

(v) Savoury Bread and Butter Pudding – Served on Vegetable Ratatouille

* * *

(v) Rich Chocolate Pot – with brandied cherries and vanilla ice cream

(v) Mulled Wine Poached Pear -  with vanilla Ice cream

(v) A Selection of Yorkshire Cheese – With Crackers and Chutney


The dinner will be on Saturday 23rd January at 7pm. Tickets cost £40pp. ALL the money raised will be donated to the Two Ridings Community Foundation York Flood Appeal.

To book tickets, please email Walmgate Ale House or call 01904 629222.

Calderdale Rising is a crowd funding campaign to help the many thousands of businesses and residents affected by the floods. Crowd funding allows people not only to donate, but also to buy rewards such as discounts in local shops. For more information, or to donate, please visit



A Really Useful Cookery Book

41fGTfq5yfLThe last twelve months has once again seen some beautifully produced cookery books on the shelves – you may have got one or more for Christmas: Jamie’s Super Food, Nigella’s Feel Good Food, A Year of Good Eating with Nigel Slater. They are expensively produced, lavishly photographed and thanks to TV and newspaper tie-ins, they sell in millions.


There are other cookery books though, that don’t instantly appear on your Amazon suggestions but are well worth buying because they are ones you might actually use. One such, not nearly as lush as those mega-sellers, but I would like to bet, a lot more useful, is The One Pot Cook by Hattie Ellis. Hattie is an admirable food writer whose other titles include: Honey, Planet Chicken, What to Eat and the Best of British Fish.


This one appeals not only for the quality of the writing and the interesting background to each dish but for its practicality. Hattie is essentially a home cook, so she understands what it is like juggling family, work and shopping while trying to eat well. The recipes are straightforward and useful; they don’t require endless ingredients and won’t break the bank. All of them are appealing, do-able recipes for feeding a family and sometimes entertaining friends.


A couple of dishes have become regulars like her ‘Slightly Cheaty Thai Green Curry’ – made with ready-made curry paste and a tin of coconut milk, and while Hattie suggests using mushrooms and sweet potatoes, I invariably adapt it to any vegetables I have to hand. I also like her lamb shoulder with garlic, anchovies and rosemary and her chicken and mushroom pie. My copy is already food splattered, the sign of a well-used cookery book.

The One Pot Cook by Hattie Ellis

Say Cheese

So what do you do when the kids have left home and you find yourself with time on your hands? Bridge? Pilates? Knitting? No such gentle pastimes for Elizabeth Snowdon. She arrived home one day and announced she was going to start looking for premises and make a dairy. As you do. ‘My husband wasn’t altogether shocked’ she says ‘I’ve made cheese for family and friends for years, and I’ve always had the thought that one day I’d like to do it properly’. After some hunting she found a small corner at St Hilda’s in Whitby and set to.

Staithes Jan 2015 015

She’s working in a space about the size of a bathroom, and the ‘shop’ at the front is even smaller – but as we know, size isn’t everything, and the half dozen cheeses she’s making are fabulous. She’s using milk from a Jersey herd from Sleights; Whitby Jet is a smooth, rich and creamy cheddar whilst Endeavour is sweet and milky, with earthy tones. My favourite though is Sandsend which is suffused with a subtle umami flavour provided by gold Kelp and green Pepper Dulse seaweed. I know! Elizabeth exhibits the zeal of a woman who’s found her stride and will happily give you one tasting after another. If you don’t take a piece of all of them home you’re made of sterner stuff than me.

The shop is open Thursday to Saturday, or head for stockists Bothams on Skinner Street in town. The Whitby Cheese Co. The Dairy, St Hilda’s Centre,Whitby YO22 4ET. 074777 08777


Our Top Ten for 2015

Squidbeak have eaten well this year and so we bring you our Christmas round up, in no particular order, of the best bars, cafes and restaurants of 2015. Thank you to all our followers, thanks for sending in your tips and recommendations, keep them coming.

Black Swan Oldstead 025Black Swan, Oldstead
We’’ve been here at various stages of its development but have never been more blown away than by the sheer class of the latest regime with Tommy Banks at the helm, especially his fabulous use of fruit and veg from his ever-evolving veg patch. This is truly original, exciting food.




Bundobust_-_Giles_Smith_GJS_7649Bundobust, Leeds
A winning combo of craft beer from the lads at the well-respected Bradford real ale mecca Sparrow and Gujerati ‘small plates’ from Mayur Patel of the peerless Prashad dynasty. What could be better than a pint of Northern Monk and a couple of tubs of gutsy curry and when its crammed and noisy you just know you’’ve come to the right party.



FOH_Garden_Gate_Baby_Shower_025The Garden Gate, Leeds
At the risk of overusing ‘iconic’ .. this amazing old pub defines the word. Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler lead the campaign to rescue it in the 1980′s and thank goodness he did. It’’s in a curious spot, in the middle of a housing estate in south Leeds, but inside find Burmantoft tiles, stunning etched glass and burnished mahogany woodwork – and great beer, including Marston’s King of Swing, Leeds Brewery Pale Ale and Yorkshire Blonde.


Man-Behind-the-CurtainMan Behind the Curtain, Leeds
We told you how highly we rated Michael O’’Hare’’s cooking when he was at the Blind Swine in York. We were there again for his opening night in Leeds and he wowed us once more. Don’t go there for troughing out, but do go for some amazing taste combinations, surreal presentation and a huge lot of fun. More an experience than a meal. But still a great dinner.


MannionsMannion & Co, York
Mannion’s is where we head in York when we want really good coffee, a cake or a substantial sandwich and/or a charcuterie plate to share. It’s a deli, takeaway and bakery run by ex-Star Inn chef Andrew Burton in partnership with his in-laws who have long run a fruit and veg stall in York market. Never hits a bum note.



Three_Pigeons_003Three Pigeons, Halifax
I’’m ashamed to say I visited this extraordinary listed Art Deco pub for the first time this year; Ossett Brewery rescued it ten years ago and brought it back to its glorious heyday. It’’s got three cosy rooms radiating off the drinking ‘lobby’, original terrazzo floors and stylish metal ribbon signage on the doors – and cask marque ale from the Ossett Brewery of course. Expect a warm welcome and a roaring fire.


StuzziStuzzi, Harrogate
For a long time we couldn’t find much to recommend in Harrogate; now it’’s booming. One of our best discoveries this year was Stuzzi, an Italian deli and bistro opposite the Conference Centre, run by a team of ex-Salvo lads. Salvo’s loss is Harrogate’s gain with good meat, pasta, terrific bread and cakes and decent coffee.



Swine that Dines windowSwine that Dines, Leeds
Wow, this place was a revelation when I went in November with an eager young food writer Tom McKenzie who runs an Instagram review site called @apairofdirtypigs. We invited him to write it up for Squid, so here it is, a café that upgrades on Friday and Saturday nights to a restaurant with a blackboard of original, exciting and international dishes at ridiculously good prices.


Vinehouse CafeVine House Cafe, Helmsley
It’’s closed now for winter, but on the first sunny day in April make haste to Helmsley Walled Garden and the Vine House Café where you can sit outside in the first rays of spring sunshine or in the vine house itself. Lunch on salads made from the garden produce or barbecued and slow-cooked meats from William (ex-Moro) Mowbray’s ‘Big Green Egg’ before strolling round the beautiful garden with Helmsley castle as your backdrop.

Whites-RestaurantWhite’s, Beverley
An East Yorkshire restaurant serving terrific food which somehow falls under the radar despite moving up the Good Food Guide ratings. John Robinson is a talented and uncompromising chef and our latest visit found him on top form again. We’ve only tried his four course menu but there’s a nine-courser for £50 too if that’s your thing.



Salmon, Quinoa and Crispy Potato Salad

Salmon & quinoa salad 01One in ten people suffer with a sensitive gut and experience symptoms of pain and bloating but with a bit of careful dietary management symptoms can be managed well. This recipe is great because it does not contain any of the foods which we know trigger symptoms in most people such as the white part of onion, wheat and excessive amounts of pulses. It is also a nourishing recipe that can be enjoyed by the whole family and  is adaptable.  The salmon can be substituted with smoked salmon, mackerel, trout or chicken and the dressing can be simplified. The warm crunchy potatoes really make it taste good…

This recipe is taken from Cooking for the Sensitive Gut by Dr Joan Ransley and Dr Nick Read and published by Pavilion Books and available from Amazon, Waterstones and other major bookshops.

For more information about managing your sensitive gut go to www.cookingforthe


Serves 4
Takes 30 minutes to prepare and cook


200 g/7 oz new potatoes, rinsed
1-2 tbsp olive oil
300 g/ 10 oz fresh salmon

For the dressing:
100 g/ 3 ½ oz blueberries
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp maple syrup
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad:
4 handfuls of watercress and rocket leaves
1 red chicory, leaves separated
¼ cucumber, halved and sliced diagonally
4 salad onions, green leaves only
60 g/ 2 oz quinoa*, cooked
30 g/ 1 oz canned lentils, rinsed well
micro salad leaves like purple radish or cress
1 tablespoon shelled hazelnuts

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6.
Steam the potatoes until tender, cool and cut in half. Using a potato masher crush the potatoes and place in a roasting tin with 1 – 2 tablespoons of olive oil and mix well. Sprinkle a little sea salt over the potatoes and place in the oven for about 30 minutes to become crisp and golden brown.

Place the salmon on a sheet of foil, season well and fold the foil into an envelope. Place the salmon on a roasting tin and cook in the oven with the potatoes for 10 minutes. Remove the salmon from the oven, leave to cool. Flake the salmon when cool enough to handle.

To make the dressing for the salad, crush half of the blueberries in a pestle and mortar and add 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp maple syrup. Season the dressing with a little salt and pepper and mix well.

Place the watercress, rocket leaves, red chicory leaves, sliced salad onion leaves and sliced cucumber on a serving dish.

Remove the potatoes from the oven when really crunchy and well browned and arrange on the salad leaves, together with the flaked salmon. Sprinkle the salad with the quinoa and lentils and dress with the blueberry, lemon and maple syrup dressing. Scatter the remaining blueberries over the salad together with any foraged nuts and sprigs of micro herbs.

*To cook quinoa. Place 30 g / 2 oz quinoa in a pan and cover with water. Cook for 12 minutes until the little tails appear from the grain.

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