Charley Holman is the shop manager for Emmaus, Sheffield’s ‘second-hand superstore’ and recycled goods specialist in Blast Lane. She shares a home with her cat Gwen and spends much of her spare time growing fruit and veg on her own allotment.
Are you a cook?
I am; I have to be. I’m a vegetarian and a coeliac (can’t eat gluten) but I love food, so the only way to eat really tasty meals that won’t make me ill is to prepare them from scratch.
Any cooking tips?
Taste No 5 Umami Paste (available from Waitrose): a squeeze of this added to any vegetarian dish really enhances the flavours. I use it in pretty much everything!
What’s your favourite dish?
Curry. I love it, especially paneer saag and aubergine brinjal, with mushroom rice, poppadoms and raita.
And a drink to go with it?
Mango lassi… delicious!
Your favourite restaurant in the Sheffield area?
Aagrah in Leopold Square: the food and service is amazing and it’s reasonably priced. There is loads of choice for vegetarians and they also mark which dishes are gluten free.
The Washington in Fitzwilliam Street. It always has a really nice relaxed atmosphere and I’m guaranteed to see friends and have a really good time.
What’s the worst meal you’ve ever had?
A pea risotto in a pub at Troway. The service was terrible, there was very little choice and we had to wait ages. When my meal did arrive, it contained a big chunk of smoked salmon! The chef said ‘it must have fallen in’ and offered a replacement but I was so annoyed I left hungry.
And the best?
Cheese and tomato omelette with roast potatoes from Eggs and Things in Tokyo. After a week and a half of surviving on plain rice and tofu in Japan, it was literally the best meal ever!
Your favourite TV cook?
Nigella Lawson. She loves good, non-fussy food and is a pleasure to watch.
What do you think of Sheffield as a place to eat out?
There are a lot of diverse places to eat in great locations, but I really struggle to find anywhere that I can go which caters for a gluten-free diet. What Sheffield really needs is a gluten-free restaurant and more choice for vegetarians.