Martin Baines from Horse & Farrier

Kitchen Re-Porter

By Sarah Sinclair

Martin Baines has been cooking Sunday roasts since he was still at school. He believes in keeping things fresh and likes to experiment with seasonal ingredients on his menu at the Horse and Farrier in Threlkeld, where he has been head chef for nine years. A chef for 16 years straight out of college Martin says he wouldn’t change his job for the world.

What is your first memory of the kitchen?

When I was at school, I used to help my Mum cook Sunday lunches. All the after school kids shows were about cooking and I remember thinking that looks easy, I’ll do that! Of course I soon realised, it’s nothing like those shows, but I knew from then what I wanted to do.

A nice, slow braised ox cheek, cooked in Guinness, which is on the menu at the Horse and Farrier at the moment. I like autumnal, seasonal foods such as game.What is the most interesting dish you have made?

What is your favourite type of cuisine?

I like Thai food, when it’s done properly. I travelled to Thailand about five years ago and loved the cuisine. The problem is that over here Thai food isn’t the same; people’s perception of Thai food isn’t how it really is.

Who is your favourite celebrity chef?

There are a lot of celebrity chefs now. I have always followed Marco-Pierre White. Chefs like him didn’t’t set out to be celebrities, but the money is in TV and that comes with fame.

Who is your kitchen hero?

My old head chef, who taught me everything I know.

Do you spend a lot of time in the kitchen at home, who does all the cooking and what are you most likely to cook at home?

I live away from home, so after work, it would be something quick and easy! I don’t really like to be in the kitchen at home, I prefer to be in my own kitchen here.

What is your ultimate comfort food?

A nice soup, done well.

What is your guilty pleasure?

McDonalds and KFC are also comfort foods for me!

What is your idea of food hell?

Frozen food. A lot of places use frozen food when there is just no excuse. By the time you have defrosted and cooked something, it is often quicker and easier to cook something healthy from fresh food.

What is your favourite ingredient to cook with?

Seafood – I don’t like fish myself, but I like to cook with it. It is much more variable and you can do different things with it.

What would you cook if you were on a £10 budget?

A nice Spaghetti Bolognese done well, is cheap and cheerful.

What would be your last supper?

A Sunday roast.

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