James Martin: TV chef back in town for food show

Celebrity chef James Martin
Celebrity chef James Martin
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One-time Leeds restaurateur James Martin is heading back to the region as a special guest at the BBC Good Food Show Spring in Harrogate this week.

The Yorkshire chef - who hosts BBC’s Saturday Morning Kitchen - is one of several famous faces from the world of cooking to appear in the show at Harrogate International Centre from April 10.

Malton-born James will take to the stage to cook three recipes from his current book, Home Comforts.

He told the YEP it takes a lot of planning to ensure there is always something going on for the audience to see and each has been painstakingly practised.

“We want to show things that are accessible,” he said. “But if people are not good at explaining when they cook it can be like pulling teeth.

“It’s about how you communicate, confidence, but also a lot of practice. It’s not just three recipes coddled together.”

The TV chef once opened a restaurant in Leeds, The Leeds Kitchen at Clarence Dock, but was forced to move it when the casino it was based in closed in March 2013.

It re-opened, reinvented, across the Pennines as James Martin Manchester in September 2013 - which he said was a “blessing in disguise”.

But he said there are some ingredients and meals that are still best in Yorkshire.

“Rhubarb. Yorkshire has the best in the world. And fish and chips,” he said. “Oh, and my mum’s roast dinner and Welsh rarebit from Betty’s. It’s a really simple, great dish.”

However, when it comes to choosing what to make on stage in Harrogate, he will be looking to what’s available locally.

“It’s all relative to the season, and what will be available there, from asparagus to rapeseed oil. I know Yorkshire has a pretty good larder.”

James, who lives in Winchester, recently closed his other Yorkshire venture, The Talbot Hotel in Malton. His next venture is understood to be opening a restaurant in Hampshire.