Food Favourites with Heather French - Shepherd’s Pie, Gino, The Hairy Bikers and some 10CC

Director of Books by the Beach Heather French
Director of Books by the Beach Heather French

Heather French is  a librarian by day and festival director by night. She has  worked on book festivals for 13 years and has run Books by the Beach fir six years.

This festival has attracted more than 200 authors to Scarborough.

How often do you eat out ?

Weekly but most nights when I’m on holiday.

Locally, what are your three favourite restaurants and why?

Eat Me Cafe has to be my first choice.

This award-winning eating place in Hanover Road has everything - hearty and tasty food, friendly owners and staff, and a fun atmosphere. I love their hand-made burgers.

Italian food is my favourite type and we eat regularly at Pomodoro in Newborough. I always get a warm welcome there, particularly with Clive, the maitre D.

I tend to choose from their traditional pasta dishes and their cannelloni is yummy - complemented by their excellent house red.

My newly-discovered gem is La Roca on Bland’s Cliff. It’s a rustic tapas bar – great place to go with friends. Friendly owners and a delicious variety of dishes make it very popular so you need to book in advance.

MORE Food favourites with artist Helen Birmingham here
What is your favourite comfort food?

Shepherds Pie. It takes me back to my childhood. It was a favourite winter warmer on returning from primary school.

What is your favourite cooking/food programme?

Hairy Bikers as their shows are not just about food. They’re very entertaining too.

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

I’d like italian chef Gino D’Acampo to cook for me. I’d choose monkfish ravioli in a pistachio sauce with a glass of chilled white wine, followed by creme brulee and coffee.

My chosen location is a small town called Monopoly on the heel of Italy in an outside garden restaurant overlooking the sea.

We holidayed there a few years ago and I’d like to recreate the magical experience. Good looking chef to serve me too ...

Who cooks in your house? What do they cook?

My husband and I take it in turns to cook - basically whoever gets home from work first. He has a joke that when it’s my turn to cook we get takeaway.I admit that does happens occasionally.

MORE Food favourites with visual merchandiser Jan Hadden here
You are cooking to impress. What do you cook?

I like to cook for friends or family at once so it becomes a party. Tapas style nibbles is good or alternatively a curry or chilli con carne with lots of accompaniments.

You can invite five people to dinner. What would you cook for them?

My husband, my two children, my dad and my sister – my immediate family. They are the most important people to me. I’d cook them a turkey dinner with trimmings for a special treat as my husband normally cooks at Christmas. He won’t let me cook at festive gatherings as he says I talk too much when everyone arrives and the food would be burnt.

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

Mary Berry. I’d like her to bake me a Victoria sandwich cake with buttercream. It’s my favourite cake and she’d be sweet company too.

You are at the chippy. What do you order?

Haddock and chips, with vinegar.

Who has been the biggest influence on you – food wise?

My husband - he has taken me out of my comfort zone with food.

Name your favourite song connected with food.

Life is a Minestrone by 10cc

What’s the one food you could not live without?

Does red wine count? No. Okay, meat or chicken.

The one thing you cannot eat and why

Tripe. It’s disgusting!

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

I do wonder if a condemned man/woman would be able to eat at all, but steak and chips might go down well – with a large glass of red wine.

Quick fire:

Full English or continental breakfast – full English - but not very often!

Tea or coffee – tea

Sweet or savoury – savoury

Jamie Oliver or Raymond Blanc – Raymond Blanc - I love French food!

Chips or salad – chips

Fruit or chocolate – chocolate

Oysters? Yes or no – No. I had them once ... never again.