Food favourites with Steampunk Weekend organiser Andy Dolan - fish, chips, Bram Stoker but no cucumber

Revealing their food favourites in our regular column is Andy Dolan.

Friday, 3rd May 2019, 3:36 pm
Updated Friday, 3rd May 2019, 3:41 pm
Andy Dolan, his wife Michelle and their dog Bojo

Andy is the host and organiser of Whitby Steampunk Weekend.

He lives with is wife Michelle – a collector of cookery books – in Whitby.

This year he is bringing the Steampunk event to Scarborough Spa on Sunday May 5 and to Bridlington Spa on June 1 and 2

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READ: Steampunk at Scarborough Spa hereHow often do you eat out

Around once a week

Locally, what are your three favourite restaurants

The Marine, Trenchers and Moon and Sixpence –food is consistently excellent, great service and nice atmosphere too.

The views from The Marine and Moon and Sixpence across the River Esk to St Mary’s Church and Whitby Abbey are worth it alone.

What is your favourite comfort food

Fish and chips. I live in Whitby and that sensuous waft of malt vinegar sizzling on hot chips gets me every time.

What is your favourite cooking/food programme

James Martin, love his easy going style and enthusiasm for his craft. Also, anything Keith Floyd was involved in, his exuberance and flamboyance for his subject even now is a joy to behold.

You can eat anything, anywhere in the world, cooked by a chef of your choice, no expense spared, who would cook for you, what would they cook and where would it be

Tough question and stuck on two, jerk chicken and Jamaican BBQ in the Caribbean with Ainsley Harriott.

His happy on screen personality is infectious and I’m sure he would be so entertaining to be in his company for an evening. Also, Michelle and I would relish a day in Nigella Lawson’s company with an Italian feast somewhere in an idyllic setting in Tuscany where she could entertain us with stories of her adventures in Italy, the fabulous foods she has encountered and her favourite places to visit.

Who cooks in your house? What do they cook and why

M’Lady Michelle is by far the dream ticket in our house and she can turn her hand to anything.

Michelle is a real foodie obsessive, we go to many food events including BBC Good Food events and she has a collection of more than 1000 cook books to date and around 50 different gins on the go.

You are cooking to impress. What do you cook?

I wouldn’t cook just to impress, but if I ever get the opportunity to entertain, I would generally keep it easy so I can have more time with guests rather than being stuck in the kitchen, so something simple like a spaghetti carbonara with a home grown salad perhaps accompanied by a good bottle or three of Sancerre.

If you are having people visit, why would you want to be an absent host?

You can invite five people to dinner. Past or present, famous or not. What would you cook for them

We are all influenced in some way by the past, where we live etc so for me explorer Captain James Cook and the author Bram Stoker, who continue to have such a massive impact in Whitby, the broadcaster Stuart Maconie, and musicians Willie Nelson and Serge Gainsbourg, although given the opportunity this list would probably change daily.

An eclectic, interesting bunch of characters to have round for a sumptuous feast of succulent roasts. Who wouldn’t want a happy relaxed evening being entertained and to listen enthralled by the light and dark, romantic and waspish tales and what gave them the drive to succeed? Great music and stories from Willie and Serge all expertly choreographed by Stuart, quite a raconteur and most splendid author in his own right.

You can hire a private chef. Who would that be and why?

James Martin for sure, a Yorkshire lad who does it proper without all the fancy pretentious stuff, uses real butter and full fat milk.

I would want the chef to join us in dining and to enjoy the experience with us, and with James I’m sure any conversation would flow easily with Michelle picking his brains on techniques, ideas and kitchen gadgetry.

You are at the chippy. What do you order

Cod and chips from the Railway Chippy or Silver Street Fish Shop in Whitby, the best takeaways in town.

Who has been the biggest influence on you – food wise

Michelle without doubt, I have had the greatest pleasure of travelling the world with her and she is always keen to explore new food experiences and expand her repertoire. .

Name your favourite song connected with food.

Fisherman’s Blues by the Waterboys. My favourite band and a classic album too.

What’s the one food you could not live without

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk

The one thing you cannot eat

Cucumber, simply because it repeats on me!

The condemned man/woman had a last meal. What would your last meal be.

Probably a roast beef dinner with all the trimmings

Quick fire:

Full English or continental breakfast: full English

Tea or coffee: tea

Sweet or savoury: savoury, love a good steak pie or bacon butty!

Jamie Oliver or Raymond Blanc: Raymond Blanc

Chips or salad: salad, as long as I can slather a good balsamic or dressing over it.

Fruit or chocolate: chocolate

Oysters? Yes or no: no