Life

Weekend Q&A: Chef Shauna Guinn's holy trinity of cooking, friends and guitar

Shauna Guinn (43) is a self-taught chef from Glengormley and co-owner with partner Sam Evans, with whom she appears on BBC One's Saturday Kitchen Live, of the Hang Fire Southern Kitchen Restaurant in Barry, south Wales

Shauna Guinn, right, and Sam Evans – 'We've swapped babies for brisket.' Photograph by Paul Winch-Furness
Jane Hardy

How do you unwind at the weekend?

The concept of unwinding at the weekend is something I never did. Working in TV and hospitality, weekends are your busiest time. When I was a social worker, then an academic 20 years ago, weekends were busy too. On Friday you left for a drink at seven o' clock, got hammered, woke up on Saturday lunchtime, put a wash on, did things. But my holy trinity for enjoyment is cooking, friends (can't wait until we meet them again) and playing my guitar. Dolly Parton is my idol. Sam's a DJ and has started to play the harmonica to accompany my noodling. Cooking to relax is slow and low, a big hunk of meat you keep checking, like a baby. We don't have children so we've swapped babies for brisket!

What do you recall about weekends growing up?

What I remember about weekends in Belfast was the fact my mum, Jacquie, was a dancer and fitness instructor so we were always out and about. She'd drag me to disco competitions and leisure centres like the one near Ormeau Park every Sunday. My daddy, Roy, used to take me and my sister to White City to see Grandma and Granda every weekend. There were sweets and treats, we played cards then poured water on rags and practised putting them through their mangle in the yard.

Friday night or Saturday night?

Both. But when I was a professional on high adrenaline, there'd be a big release on waking up on Saturday, on Sunday you'd less to look forward to.

Do you have a must-listen weekend radio show?

Cerys Matthews on Six Music. I met her when she was in Catatonia and it's lovely to hear a female Welsh voice on radio. I also like her love of everything from the deep South and Americana.

Must-watch weekend TV show/box set?

Sam and Shauna's Big Cook Out, of course, now on BBC iPlayer. Or Ru Paul's Drag Race. I like Line of Duty too. I grew up in a house where the TV was constantly on and you forgot about it, so for quite a while I never fancied watching it.

Favourite eatery – or is it a takeaway?

We now do takeaways, called Heat at Home, as it costs £9,000 a month for the restaurant to be closed. We're sold out and keep the capacity.

Is Sunday still special?

I'm more flexible but it's the question of what day Sam can have off. We get our bikes (I have an electric bike to help with the hills), listen to music and head off. I'm a lockdown legend as I also love my own company. You could say Monday is the new Sunday for hospitality.

How do you feel on Sunday night about Monday morning?

From lunchtime you feel that rising anxiety, wondering how stressful the week ahead would be. But when you run your own business, you have more control.

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