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Surrey’s rock n roll chef

Stu Henshall’s 'The Alternative Kitchen' is bringing street food from around the world into your kitchen. Here Surrey's super cook shares his favourite places


Stu Henshall’s The Alternative Kitchen is bringing street food from around the world into your kitchen with ideas to make dishes your own whatever you do and don’t eat. Stu Henshall was a contestant on 2015’s The Great British Bake Off and has been giving food demos and talks since his move from a touring musician to proper foodie. He’s also going to be back on the telly, in his own series called The Alternative Kitchen. Who said food can’t be rock’n’roll? Here he tells about a few of his favourite places…

Stu’s fave restaurant…
For an independent surviving on the high street Al Vicolo is pretty special for a date night. Wicked Sardinian menu and a wine list that could choke a donkey. For a family feed some of the alternative chains do some quality face stuffing. Thaikhun I think it’s called serves up some spicy authentic Thai food and hospitality. Jeitta in Woking is unreal for their Lebanese food and they love your kids to come. Double win.

Stu’s fave cafe…

Good work Tesco. Their chain Harris & Hoole coffee is hard to top but there are some great independents too.

Stu’s fave pub…

My favourite pub depends on what I’m after. If I’m out with the family and want to grab a bite then The March Hare has a killer kitchen and good vibe while being welcoming for the rug rats. That said sometimes it’s just a chat and a well looked after beer I’m after in which case I’ll head to The Holroyd. Something to be said for a barman who knows what you drink even if you only pop in once in a while. Their Jamaican curry is pretty special if the one turns into three. Not the most refined drinking hole and would probably hit the Weyside on a sunny day by the river.

Stu’s fave walk…

We are so lucky in Guildford that we are surrounded but quality stomps. I like the Christmas Pie Trail to get lost in. Mmmm Pie.

Stu’s fave shop…  I’m not a massive shopper but my rapid pace around the shops definitely slows when I’m in Steamer Trading or Lakeland. Sucker for a kitchen gadget me. I can easily lose time and a few quid in those.

Stu’s fave day out…

Days out usually revolve around quelling the rumble in my belly so if possible a stomp around the Chantry Wood is a good look. Still a walk but stunning views and creates a deep void ready for sustenance.

Stu’s fave holiday destination…

Big fan of our neighbours over the water and spend a good amount of time in the Perigord region of France where my mum’s house is and becoming one with cheeses that make your hairs stand on end and dark reds to ease the palate. Forget about the pastries. The daily trip to the local boulangerie usually results in the purchase of some ridiculous sweet treat. Saying that everywhere has its culinary cultural pulse from the Turkish influence on Berlin’s street food to fish off the boat on the quay of Porto washed down with their local fortified wine. Multiculturalism is the best thing about this nation and a looking glass to the rest of the world. Travel if not internationally but to the great little spots here to taste a little of the foreign shores.

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