Sometimes I have to pinch myself at some of the opportunities I’ve been given this year via my little blog.
I’ve appeared on local radio, attended some fabulous launches, had a makeover by one of Charlotte Tilburys top MUA and now I’ve got another goodie, and a first, to add to the list.
Can you imagine my surprise and delight when I received an email earlier in the week asking whether I would like to attend the new menu launch at Marcos New York Italian Restaurant in Sheffield and wait for it … to meet Marco Pierre White in person.
I didn’t have to think about it for long!
So that’s where I tootled off too yesterday afternoon. I almost cancelled at the last-minute due to mums health taking a turn for the worse but even on her hospital sickbed she insisted that I didn’t cancel , that she’d be ‘ever so mad’ if I didn’t attend.
So not to disappoint her … and because I was really looking forward to it off I popped with my ‘ladies that lunch’ partner Sue as my plus one.
The BF dropped me off. You have to laugh. We were parked in the lay-by bang outside the restaurant while he proceeded to colour my grey roots in with a brown eyeshadow [ I couldn’t find my proper root touch-up ] He spotted some bits I had missed. “Your not meeting Marco Pierre White with your hair like that ” he proclaimed.
All the glamour eh? Makes mental note to self MUST get my hair booked in.
Safety ‘coloured in’ I made my way inside. If your not familiar with the restaurant it’s located on West Bar and is infact situated within the old West Bar Police Station building.
I was greeted by the lovely Marcos team and seated on the press table along with a few faces I recognised from previous events.
We were then given the opportunity to spend 5 minutes with Marco where we would get the chance to ask him a few questions…
I was feeling slightly nervous about this; I tend to get tongue tied around celebrities. I’m sure Take That [sorry …massive name drop] thought I was a mute. I’ve also read a couple of articles stating that he could , at times, be tricky.
I’m not sure how true those reports are, but basically don’t believe everything you read, because he was [ I’m very happy to report] every bit as charming as I had hoped. Extremely polite and not tricky in the slightest.
He has got something about him. I can see why the ladies go mad for him.
I put a message out on our social media asking our readers to put forward any questions they might have for him. A lot of them just came back with ‘I’m so very jealous!‘
While I didn’t ask all of the questions I did manage a few. As you are all aware I’m a massive foodie – as in I love and appreciate eating good food – but I don’t cook myself. So as not to be disrespectful [because basically I’ve no idea what I’m taking about] I shied away from any specific cooking questions.
- Marco does not wear aftershave. He regularly receives bottles which he tends to give away. In his own words ‘I’m not that sort of bloke’. However if push came to shove and he had to wear one it would be Portofino by Tom Ford.
- He loves salad cream.
- His advice for any would be chefs is to ensure that they put their career in the hands of the right person.
- His was inspired as a young man by a gentleman called Mr Lamb who he looked upon as a father figure, and whose stories inspired him.
- He was born in Leeds but classes all of Yorkshire as home.
- There was no specific reason for having the new menu launch in Sheffield. He stated there is no strategy behind anything he does.
- He would never send a lady red roses, they always have to be white – [white rose of Yorkshire.] He even joked that if he received a bunch of red roses, he would send them straight back and ask for them to be re-sent in the correct colour!
- When asked if he had ever had Hendersons Relish it was a big of yes of course I have.
We both received a personally signed copy of his book ‘Essentially Marco’ in which he shares his favourite recipes with us. It’s a large hard back book full of wonderful recipes and photos that make you dribble.
I might even attempt to make some of them. Yes I know I say this a lot!
We of course couldn’t leave without a photo [above]
It was then time to eat.
As you are all aware I bloody love eating and by this time had worked up quite an appetite which was a good thing; the portions were large and we ate loads .
I started with Mushroom Soup which I have to say was delicious.
You may have heard me talk in previous posts about the amazing [and famous on the blog] bowl of mushroom soup I had at Thornbury Hospital after a major operation many years ago. How it was the best soup I had ever tasted and to this day I’d not had better.
Well …. drum roll … this bowl surpassed it with flying colours.
It was creamy with chunks of wild mushroom scattered throughout. I kinda lost myself for a moment, forgot I was in company and happily tore and dunked my focaccia in. Whoops.
Sue had Trio of Bruschetta – a selection of bruschetta including cherry tomatoe and garlic, crushed avocado and wild mushrooms with vintage balsamico.
It got a big thumbs up.
For my main I choose Severn and Wye Salmon Cannelloni – pasta tubes packed with salmon, steamed spinach and topped with a cheese sauce.
I received a hefty-sized portion which was extremely filling. I’ve not had salmon for a while and had forgotten just how much I love it. The combination of all the ingredients [ salmon, spinach and cheese sauce] was delightful …
I didn’t quite manage it all as I wanted to leave some space for a dessert.
Above : Lasagne of Wild Mushrooms – pasta sheets layered with woodland mushrooms, pomodoro sauce and bechamel
Sue had Hickory Smoked Baby Back Ribs [above] served on a bed of fries with American slaw. It was massive – I swear it was bigger than her head! She still managed to eat it all.
I tried some. The sauce it was coated in was sticky but ever so tastey.
Sue had one tiny niggle; that in her opinion the coleslaw could have been creamier and she didn’t particularly like it.
Chicago Hot Brownie – with a chocolate tuile, scoop of milk ice cream and drenched in a warm chocolate sauce.
Sues dessert of choice. This was extremely rich and filling.
Sue with Kat from Radio Sheffields ‘Kats Kitchen’ … we’ve been on her Saturday Morning Breakfast show you know // here
Citrus Tart – with lemon sorbet and a guile
I definately choose the perfect dessert; light and refreshing after all the food I had consumed. I could have eaten it again.
All the dishes we had were chosen from a special menu especially put on just for the day. They are however are all available on the new menu which is now up and running and ready for you to tuck into!
I had a quick look for myself.
It is very varied and there is something for every palette. The American Style Nachos immediately caught my eye, as did the Crab and Potatoe Cake. One for my next visit maybe.
Right … what you waiting for go, go, go! I unfortunately can’t promise you that Marco Pierre White himself will be there, but I can tell you the food is seriously good.
Until next time, Tracey x
Marcos New York Italian can be found at West Bar Green, Sheffield S1 2DA.
Telephone 0114 399 0990 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for general enquiries and/or to make a booking.
* Thankyou to Marcos for inviting me down to try the new menu. I was gifted the meal and book in return for a review. As always all words and photographs are my own. Thankyou for having me *