Relish cookbook is no trifling matter...

Paul Cocker and Phil Turner
Paul Cocker and Phil Turner
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A new Henderson’s cookbook will include recipes for pies, stews and, er, trifles. Colin Drury meets the compilers

Paul Cocker isn’t sure anymore if it happened or if it’s just something he dreamed when he was a child: did his grandma really once make a trifle using Henderson’s Relish?

“My mum says it never happened,” he says today. “But I could swear it did. How did it taste? It had Hendo’s - so probably delicious.”

It is a (imaginary) memory which some 40 years on, has suddenly become relevant.

For Paul, a publisher born and bread in Sheffield, is currently working with the condiment company to create a Henderson’s cook book.

And this 160-page glossy tome won’t just feature recipes showing how to use the spicy stuff in the usual pies, stews and curries. There are also set to be recipes for using the sauce in truffles, trifles, custards, butter reductions and bread infusions.

Dozens of city chefs - including Simon Ayres, from The Showroom, and Ashoka’s Rahul Amin - have agreed to contribute. And readers of The Star could be included too. Paul is asking for anyone who has found imaginative uses for their favourite condiment to get in touch

“I reckon if you looked in the cupboards of every Sheffield household, 90 per cent would have a bottle in there,” says the 43-year-old of Deepcar. “So, there must be families with their own recipes developed down the years. What we want to do is include them in this book for the rest of us to share.

“A lot of chefs we’ve approached already see this as a competition to come up with the most unusual ideas. But I bet there’ll be loads of Star readers who have been experimenting for years.”

The book itself came about after last month’s release of The Sheffield Cook Book, compiled by Paul’s company Meze Publishing. Bosses at Hendo’s, based in Parkway Rise, were so impressed with that tome they asked him and business partner Phil Turner to produce one for the condiment.

A previous book released by the company in 1998 has long since sold out. One copy was recently on eBay for £90.

“I’m a Hendo’s obsessive,” says Paul. “So it was a dream job. If they’d offered to pay me in relish I’d have probably said yes.”

A second section of the tome will tell the story of the century-old Sheffield sauce - “it’s a cultural totem for the city,” says Phil, 37, of Ranmoor. “I know a bloke who had a bottle tattooed on his arm - you just wouldn’t get that with ketchup.”

* Star readers with recipes are asked to email paul@mezepublishing.co.uk. If it fits, you’ll be invited to a city restaurant to make the dish and be photographed.

* Released August, selling £16.95.