TV chef Hugh Fearnly-Whittingstall appears at Sheffield’s ‘Off the Shelf’ literary festival

The 25th ‘Off the Shelf’ literary festival is now underway bringing together writers, scientists, journalists and musicians to showcase the power of words and their passion for them.

Off the Shelf has attracted famous literary names over the past 25 years such as Carol Ann Duffy, Hilary Mantel, Benjamin Zephaniah and David Mitchell. And this year the Steel City has once again attracted many famous faces.

This year celebrity chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall paid a visit to Sheffield to talk about his ‘War on Waste’ and his new cookbook ‘River Cottage A to Z’.

Walking on to stage with a mysterious carton in his hand Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall asked the audience to guess which local ale he was drinking. After the best of three guesses, Hugh revealed that he was drinking one of the Steel City’s finest, White Stag Ale, unfortunately no one in the audience guessed it.

Fearnley-Whittingstall spoke of his passion for trying to make a generation learn to cook again and stop living off ready meals, giving students the warning: “Don’t become completely dependant on over-industrialisation of staple foods, we need to teach a generation how to cook again and thats what I hope this book will do.”

Becoming self sufficient and providing for yourself is something Fearnley-Whittingstall was very passionate about saying: “We need to become reacquainted with liver and ox cheek and stop wasting.”

When asked if his book was an attempt to be as sexy as Delia Smith, Fearnley-Whittingstall replied: “Is anything sexier than Delia?”

As well as encouraging the audience to use more ingredients and experiment more Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall spoke briefly of his passion for protecting animals including elephants and he investigates the threat to them in his new programme ‘Hugh and the Ivory War’ on the BBC.

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