Meet our new columnist: The Tattooed Cook

James Perry; aka The Tattooed Cook

James Perry; aka The Tattooed Cook

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Today we introduce our new columnist James Perry, aka The Tattooed Cook.

James will be writing regularly for Citizen Online about all things food. This is his introductory column...

I will be regularly keeping you up to date with foodie news, trends, techniques and recipes, interviews and very soon some on-line video’s showing some techniques and recipes.

For me this is the perfect way to show you some of the techniques and tricks that I have learnt working in some of the UK’s leading restaurants and sharing anything foodie with the massive number of foodies in Milton Keynes.

It kind of bugged me that we don’t really have a food column considering the size of MK now and the growing food culture.

We have an abundance of restaurants, including a Michelin starred one. We have our own food awards, farmers markets selling some amazing produce, award winning butchers and now a food column.

So a little about me! I was a semi finalist on BBC’s Masterchef in 2011 coming fifth out of 20,000 – a fairly life changing opportunity. I now work part time at the Michelin starred Paris House restaurant, am a part time food blogger/writer, the owner of a bespoke cake decorating company and I do a weekly foodie spot on ‘Morning MK’ with presenter Helen Legh.

From carpenter to sugar monkey! It wont take long for you to realise I have a huge passion for pastry. This is my forte and I spend more kitchen hours in the pastry section than any other. However, all food is my life and I love nothing more than sharing it and of course cooking and eating it.

We are just coming into summer and at the moment we are surrounded with fresh seasonal ingredients and that means fresh tasting dishes. Pop along to a local farmers market or food court and try some local ingredients. Asparagus, beetroot, spring onions, fennel or wild garlic; it’s around us, even if we are an urban area.

Here is an idea for a light meal:

Mackerel salad with beetroot and fennel.

Cook a fresh beetroot in boiling water for about 40 minutes with the skin on, once cooked remove the skin and slice the beetroot as thin as you can and set it aside. Slice half a fennel as thin as you can and set aside.

Get your self a couple of mackerel fillets and remove the pin bones by cutting down both sides of the bones with a sharp knife, lightly oil the fish and fry in hot pan, skin side down for two minutes and then a further minute flesh side down.

Take some salad leaves, baby ones if possible and toss the fennel through it, season with little salt and pepper, add the beetroot and mackerel then a little extra virgin olive oil and serve.

Enjoy!!!

James Perry can be found on Twitter @Thetattooedcook or on his website, The Tattooed Cook.