Hairy Biker Si King my favourite foodie things from around the North East
PUBLISHED: 16:47 08 June 2012 | UPDATED: 21:28 20 February 2013
Our star columnist reveals a few of his favourite foodie things from around the North East
My favourite picnic spots
There are two places I absolutely adore for picnics. Ross Back Sands beach is beautiful, a deserted stretch of beach with beautiful views, beautiful sands and beautiful water.
And Hulne Park is great too, on the Duke of Northumberlands estate. Its a great place for a walk and a lovely place to put the blanket out. I assume youre allowed to. No-ones ever told me not to at any rate!
Whats in the basket
My wife Jane is an expert at picnics. She even went online to find a picnic blanket big enough for all of us because there tends to be a crowd of us and the normal blankets werent anywhere near big enough. We take a selection of cheeses, some nice fresh bread bought locally, salami, apples, grapes and a bottle of red wine and water. If were up the
Northumberland coast well stop at the butchers in Bamburgh and get a pork pie and Jane sometimes makes a meat and potato pie as well. My favourite thing I always take is my Opinel knife, its a fruit knife with a corkscrew in the handle. It was as cheap as mince and its great.
My favourite restaurants
I tend to follow chefs rather than restaurants and we have got a good number of terrific chefs in the North East. Im a big fan of Terry Leybourne and David Kennedy, so Ill go where they go, but theres plenty of others, too. The Bouchon bistro in Hexham is always good and Ive had good meals in other places too. Where we go depends what kind of mood Im in and whats in season.
What I order
It depends on the time of year. My favourite thing in the whole world is
seafood, but Im a seasonal lad so Ill order whats in season. I love game too so when thats in season, thats what I want.
Cooking at home
Im away from home a lot so when Im back its only right that I give Jane a break. I dont have a signature dish but I love to cook seafood its fresh, its seasonal, its quick and its simple. We all enjoy cooking, my son Alex is the master of pizza dough,
James makes the best lavash and we do them in our outdoor kitchen. Ive got a pizza oven, a barbecue and a sink and other bits and bobs out there under what can only be described as a lean-to. The pizza oven reaches 500 degrees, so your pizza is done in about 90 seconds. We always have an open house with people coming round all the time so thats what we do, we throw pizzas and bread in the oven for them.
My favourite local producers
There are so many great producers in the North East. I get my seafood from Taylors, Lindisfarne oysters are good, Northumberland cheeses of course, Carrolls heritage potatoes are great and I get my meat from Northumberland Meats.
There are loads more great producers around here, though, who we should all make more of a fuss about. The more we shout about the great food coming out of the North East the better it is for all of us.
The diet Dave and I are on for the new show seems to be going well. Ive lost over a stone and I can see my ribs now Ive not seen them for about 30 years!
Theres a whole industry around diet foods and low calorie foods, but the fact is that if you eat less fatty food and do more exercise, you lose weight.
Our big challenge has been to make sure we keep the food interesting and I think weve managed that. Of course, once youve lost the weight the next challenge is not to put it back on again. It cant just be a onehit thing, its got to be a lifestyle change, so well see how that
This month Si will be: We go on tour in September and people are starting to ask questions we cant answer so weve got to get that written. Were also on with our new series which has the working title Everyday Gourmet. So its a busy, busy time.
The print version of this article appeared in the June 2012 issue of North East Life
We can deliver a copy direct to your door order online here