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Peter Sidwell – Getting back to my roots

In our April issue, get to know our brand new columnist – Yorkshire foodie, Peter Sidwell. Hello Wine & Dine Yorkshire readers! I’m Peter Sidwell and I’m a food writer, TV presenter and chef of 25 years.

You probably want to know a little more about me so I’ll fill you in as best as I can. The York area is very much home for me – I’m a Pocklington lad through and through after moving there aged two. I have great memories of delivering papers for Danby’s all over town in the early hours and standing on a rugby pitch on a cold Sunday morning hearing the church bells ringing. Even to this day hearing church bells on a Sunday morning makes me think of Pocklington Rugby club.

My culinary adventure began in York and set me on a path I could not have imagined – a path that saw me cooking for amazing people in all kinds of interesting locations with fabulous ingredients. In the early days of my career, learning to cook was very much about understanding ingredients first before learning how to cook them. This is very much a principle I still use today when sharing my methods and techniques.

Since those early days as an apprentice chef in York, I have experienced a food revolution in the UK. Ever since my first day of catering college in Beverley, the nation has become obsessed with food like no other nation and this is true for Yorkshire in particular.

A county full of fantastic produce was just waiting for people to follow their passions and create delicious meals. You only have to take a walk through any farmers market in the area to see evidence of this on every stall. And it’s clear to see that people know an awful lot more about food due to travel being more accessible and, of course, the internet.

I’m very lucky in that I get to travel around the county cooking and demonstrating my approach to cooking, specifically my passion for seasonal and local produce blended with my experiences of travel. Now, I have to confess that I no longer live in the York area as I moved to the Lake District, however both my parents still live here and I often visit for both business and pleasure, always making sure I take in all the area has to offer. I have a young family who love nothing more than wondering the streets of York, Leeds and the surrounding areas enjoying all Yorkshire has to offer.

It doesn’t surprise me that the area is so rich with different foods due to its diverse cultures, landscapes and people. This combination is very much a recipe for success and makes for a very exciting future all things food. In the forthcoming issues of Wine & Dine Yorkshire I will be sharing with you my thoughts, ingredients, recipes and foodie destinations that are very much exciting me as a chef, Dad and Yorkshire man. I want to fill you in on all the little gems that are so fantastic they just have to be shared. I’m not talking about fancy pants restaurants, I’m talking about amazing products that are made with great local ingredients, passion and knowledge.

I’ll share with you when and where to enjoy the best local fish from the coast, where to take the family for a cracking lunch or which is the best joint of Yorkshire beef to buy for the ultimate Sunday roast at home.

Until next time, Peter

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