There’s only one thing chef Kirk Wade loves more than cooking... his wife, Kirsty.
He’s turned his back on a career in Michelin star kitchens to spend more time with the girl he wooed and won at the age of 15.
The Thorne 25-year-old left the famed two-star kitchens of Dartmoor country house hotel Gidleigh Park after a two year-stint to come back to South Yorkshire, marry Kirsty and set up home.
“I do miss the Michelin life but I found out that you can’t have a happy marriage and a job like that. I will always put Kirsty first,” says Doncaster College trained Kirk, who rose from commis to chef de partie in pastry at Gidleigh, then took on hors d’oeuvres.
During his first year in Devon, he would drive back to Doncaster on every day off. During the second, Kirsty went to work on the hotel’s reception desk.
When they decided to set up home they came back to South Yorkshire to find a place they could afford and Kirk landed a role at the one Michelin-starred Pipe and Glass in East Yorkshire.
He’s now head chef at the up and coming eaterie at Rob Royd’s Farm Shop in Worsbrough, Barnsley, which opened three months ago and specialises in presenting quality food straight from the farm, gastro-style.
On Valentine’s Night, Kirsty will be home alone, though. Kirk will be throwing his passion into a luxury dinner for 40 at the cafe.
Budget too tight for a Valentine’s night dinner?
Create a romantic DIY date at home with Rob Royd Farm Shop chef Kirk Wade’s easy recipes – and cook your way to your lover’s heart...
Smoked salmon mousse with dill-dressed prawns
100g smoked salmon
75g double cream
Zest and juice of 1 lime
¼ bunch chopped dill
Tblsp olive oil
Brown bread toast
Bag of mixed lettuce
Whizz together salmon and cream in a blender, season with salt and pepper and place in fridge.
Mix prawns with lime juice, zest, dill and olive oil and place in fridge
Spread salmon mousse on the toast and cut into triangles. Place spoonful of dressed prawns at the side.
Beef fillet with wild mushrooms and creamy horseradish spinach
2x 5oz beef fillet
½ bottle red table wine
¼ bunch thyme
2 garlic cloves, peeled
200g mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
500ml beef stock
4 shallots, finely sliced
2 tblsps horseradish
Pre-heat oven to 180 deg.
In a hot frying pan place a dessert spoon of oil. Salt and pepper steaks. Place in pan, plus thyme and garlic. Fry each side for roughly 30 seconds until brown. Remove from pan.
Add another dessert spoon of oil, fry shallots for two minutes, then add red wine and cook until it’s reduced by a quarter. Add beef stock and cook until reduced by half.
Add mushrooms. Cook for 30 seconds. Remove thyme sticks and garlic and put steaks back in the pan.
Cook in the oven for 7-8 mins for a medium steak.
Meanwhile boil cream and horseradish. Add spinach and cook lightly for one minute.
Place steaks on a bed of spinach and pour sauce over.
200g milk and dark chocolate mixed
250ml double cream
2 egg yolks
Melt chocolate in a heat-proof bowl over a pan of boiling water. Ensure water isn’t touching the bowl or the chocolate will go grainy. Or put the bowl in a microwave oven and heat, stirring every 30 seconds to prevent chocolate burning.
Whip the cream to soft peaks and put in the fridge.
Beat egg, egg yolks and sugar in a bowl with an electric whisk for 30 seconds until foamy. Place over pan of boiling water and continue to whisk until mixture is warm to the touch, light and silky.
Remove from heat and whisk until ribbons form when you remove whisk. Fold into the chocolate and add the whipped cream. Spoon into wine glasses, set in the fridge and serve with fresh strawberries.