HE may not yet rack up the sales achieved by top TV chef Jamie Oliver.
But Huddersfield chef Tim Bilton hopes that his first venture into writing will prove a tasty course.
Bilton, 40, who has run the successful Butchers Arms in Hepworth for almost five years, has brought out a book.
Bilton Basics is not just a cookery book; it’s a foray into his hard-working life in kitchens and restaurants and his love for his home county of Yorkshire.
But the food is also there – 50 recipes of his own personal favourites from the simple basics like Yorkshire puddings and minestrone soup through to the roast featherblade of beef and slow braised breast of lamb which are two of his trademarks.
Bilton is adamant: “I want to take the reader back to the solid foundations of good cooking, cutting through the chefspeak to talk in terms that are readily understood.
“I set out to create recipes that have essential cooking skills with a touch of plain speaking.
“I first became interested in cooking growing up in Ferrybridge and watching my grandma produce fabulous Sunday lunches for the whole family, including aunts and uncles, and wondering how she could do that with a small domestic oven.”
As a 13-year-old schoolboy, he took a pocket-money job washing up in a restaurant and was hooked.
It set him off on a path which included a catering course at the University of Huddersfield and, later, the chance to work with the brilliant Raymond Blanc for two years at Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saisons, Blanc’s multi-award winning, two Michelin-starred Oxfordshire restaurant.
He said: “I said to my mate that by the time I’m 18 I’m going to have eaten in one of Mr Blanc’s restaurants. But I went one better and got a job with him as a commis chef.
“I learned so much from him, how to source the best ingredients, how to treat them with respect and how to prepare a plate that sings. He’s such a great man.”
He worked at Bibis, the renowned Leeds bistro, before he and his wife Adele took the plunge and bought The Butchers Arms in the heart of Hepworth.
The couple have two children, Henry and Charlie.
Since then he has developed a reputation as one of the country’s leading chefs and has been a regular on several TV cookery shows.
“I insist on using food that is in season. I’m a chef who looks forward to the different seasons, with forced rhubarb from West Yorkshire in January, asparagus in spring and the summer months for nice soft berries.
“I’m also a proud Yorkshireman and the word local is more than a word to me.
“We have so many food resources around here in Huddersfield that people can use.”
In the book his view is that most people are capable of spectacular improvements in the food they prepare at home, by getting the basics right and then moving on to more complex dishes.
Bilton Basics is published by RMC Books price £20. It is available at bookshops or from The Butchers Arms.