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21-22 SEP 24

Meet Tim Hayward – AFF Guest ’24

Tim is a familiar face at the Festival and it’s great to know he’ll be back with us this year. You can see him on the chef demo stage in the Market Hall, in talks & debates, and also at a ‘Meet The Author’ session.

Tim has just scooped ‘Restaurant Writer of the Year‘ in the Fortnum and Mason Food & Drink Awards for his reviews in the Financial Times.

His latest book Steak – The Whole Story is out with Quadrille on 30 May.

‘Every self-respecting religion needs its bible and now, thanks to Tim Hayward, steak has its own. Steak is a work of endearing nerdiness, detailed scholarship and profound appetite.’ Jay Rayner

Read more about Steak – The Whole Story below and try out Tim’s sure-fire recipe for Steak Diane. ‘You will need to work at the same blinding speed as a hassled waiter,’ he says.

Tim Hayward is an award-winning food journalist and broadcaster, and the author of Food DIY (2013), Knife (2016), The Modern Kitchen (2017) and Loaf Story (2020).

He is a regular panelist on BBC Radio 4’s The Kitchen Cabinet, and has written and presented several documentary series on Radio 4. His three-part documentary on fungi won gold at the 2023 New York Festivals Radio Awards, in the Environment & Ecology category.

Tim is both food writer and restaurant reviewer for the Financial Times, and winner of awards including the Fortnum and Mason Food Writer of the Year 2022 and Guild of Food Writers awards for Food Writing and Restaurant Reviews. He is co-owner of Fitzbillies Bakery in Cambridge.

An encyclopaedic yet accessible journey through the world of chefs, farmers, butchers and restaurants, Steak is the essential guide for enthusiasts improving their kitchen skills or diners chasing the greatest steaks around the world.

With stories, recipes, traditional cooking techniques and cutting- edge new ones, you’ll never again overcook a steak or wonder which cut to buy. Plus there’s a guide to butchery, a cooking course (including some steak science)… and Cow Maps.

Steak takes an in-depth look at the historical, cultural and social significance of our favourite cut of meat, and how we might continue to enjoy it sustainably into a long future. It’s the ultimate handbook for anyone who cares about sourcing and cooking great food.

Steak Diane is still one of the most popular dishes to cook tableside on a guéridon cart. You probably won’t need to do this at home, but you will need to work at the same blinding speed as a hassled waiter, so this recipe is simple and sure-fire, as long as your mise-en-place is completely squared away.

Arrange your chopped shallots and garlic in little piles on a plate alongside your sliced mushrooms, so everything is close to hand. (For pure retro authenticity,
I sometimes use tinned button mushrooms – thank you, Len Deighton – but it’s also sensational with reconstituted dried porcini.)

Put the butter onto the plate in a big ugly lump and have the mustard ready on a teaspoon, too. Measure the brandy into a shot glass and have the cream ready to pour, either in its original container or a jug. Open the Worcestershire sauce. Then you’re ready to go.

Serves  1


1 sirloin steak
50g (13/4oz) butter 
3 shallots, very finely chopped 150g (51/2oz) small button mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
50ml (13/4fl oz) brandy
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp Dijon mustard
250ml (8fl oz) whipping cream

Heat a dry cast-iron skillet over a high heat until it’s as hot as you can get it, then sear the steak on both sides.

Use a probe thermometer to check the internal temperature and remove the steak when it reaches 56°C (133°F). Set aside on a plate to rest.

Reduce the heat a little and add the butter. While it’s still foaming, add the shallots, allowing them to soften and become transluscent.

Add the mushrooms and keep stirring until they start to brown a little at the edges, then add the garlic.

Pour in the brandy and the Worcestershire sauce, then add the mustard and allow everything to bubble until you can smell that the alcohol has boiled off. You can set fire to it if anyone is watching, but it doesn’t add much beyond theatre.

Now add the cream, stir it through and reduce to a simmer.

Pour in any juices from the rested steak, then pour the sauce over the steak and serve.