My York – Sam Stern

Sam Stern Author Cook BooksAre you York born and bred? I most certainly am. And proud of it. York is one of the best places to grow up. And there’s so much to do here.

As a foodie, where’s your favourite place to eat? Well, that depends on my mood. But as a huge fan of Chinese food I’d have to say Red Chilli in George Hudson Street. If you’re a fan of authentic Southern Indian food you should try Coconut Lagoon in Clarence Street. Both food and service are brilliant and it’s great value for money. Il Paradiso in Walmgate serves up some of the tastiest pasta and pizza EVER. It’s full of character and characters.

What’s your favourite York shop? It was Sarah Coggles – the very cool clothes shop. But sadly it’s gone. Part of me is hoping it will come back. For food shopping try York market. York also has a very well stocked Italian deli called La Langhe. Try their vast range of cheeses, home made pastas, cold meats and homemade Italian breads. Also try The Hairy Fig in Walmgate for traditional Yorkshire offerings. The taste of a black olive from a York deli when I was in my pushchair set me off on my food journey.

Any top tips for tourists? Explore. Stay away from the chain shops. Head down the many snickleways and see what you find. There are always surprises and adventures – and so many characters.

What did you love most about York when you were a child? The fact that there was such a range of things to do – always something to suit whatever phase I was going through. And there are so many excellent playgrounds so you could always make free amusement. York is a very friendly city.

And what was your favourite daytrip out of York when you were a child? Harewood House. The playground is amazing and I loved the birds. I think it’s also pretty good for adults too. Other than that it has to be a trip to Whitby. A walk along the pier and the beach, the freshest fish and chips and an hour with my brother in the amusement arcade with a plastic bag full of two pence pieces.

Anything you’ve been meaning to do in York but haven’t got round to? I’ve never climbed to the top of the Minster so that’s at the top of my to do list.

What would you do if you were mayor for the day? I would lord it about with my big gold chain on and maybe have a party in the Mansion House.

York’s hosting le Grand Depart in 2014. How’s your cycling? Alright. York is pretty cyclist friendly and I’m out there on my bike most days. York is a healthy city in so many ways.

Describe York in three words. Historic, fun, friendly.

 Happy Yorkshire Day! Do you have a traditional Yorkshire recipe for us?

It’s got to be the good old Yorkshire pud. Here you go. This recipe makes one large family Yorkshire or eight individual puddings.


Yorkshire PuddingsIngredients

4 eggs

300ml milk – semi skimmed

225g g/8oz plain white flour

Salt and pepper

Oil for cooking – dripping, lard or oil (sunflower, vegetable, ground nut or a mix) or oil from a piece of roasting meat if this is part of a roast lunch

  1. Make the Yorkshire batter. Use a handblender, electric mixer, processor, hand-held manual or electric or balloon whisk to beat the eggs, milk and seasoning together for 3 minutes until frothy.
  2. Set the mix aside for 20 minutes at least.
  3. Add the flour to the mix just before you want to cook. By machine: sift the flour then add to the liquid in your processor. Whisk until smooth.  By hand:  sift the flour into a mixing bowl.  Make a well in the centre. Very gradually and slowly add the milk/egg mix using a wooden spoon or any kind of whisk until the mix is smooth and lump-free.
  4. Pre-heat the oven to 230C/450 F/gas 8. Pre-heat the tins – use 2 x 4 hole Yorkshire pudding trays or a large Yorkshire pud tin (30x30x 7cm/12 x 8 x 3). Pre-heat for 5 minutes. They need to be scorching hot for a top rise so use thick oven gloves to move them about and take great care.
  5. Remove the hot trays/tin and add oil to cover the base. You could brush the sides too but take care. Return to the oven for 5 minutes.
  6. Pour the pudding batter into the individual tins or the lot into the large one. Cook for 20-30 minutes until golden and puffy.

Sam Stern has been publishing cookbooks since the age of fourteen. His latest book is Sam Stern’s Cookery Course: For Students in the Kitchen and it’s out now. For more info, visit Sam’s website

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