Food Favourites with Wanda Maciuszko - sour cream, Masterchef, bananas and American Pie

Retired teacher Wanda Maciuszko
Retired teacher Wanda Maciuszko

Revealing their food favourites in our regular column is Wanda Maciuszko.

Please tell me about yourself

My name is Wanda Maciuszko. I am a retired teacher. I first came to Scarborough for a teachers’ conference 31 years ago and fell in love with it.

After years of frequent holidays here I was finally able to live here permanently in 2012.

My two favourite activities are walking on the North Bay and tending my raised vegetable beds at Chapman’s obtained through Growing Opportunities.

I am a member of Scarborough Writers Circle and am working on a number of writing projects.

I go to St Mary’s Church and have retired as a voluntary adviser at Citizens’ Advice.

Music is my other big interest especially blues and jazz.

Theatre is another passion of mine especially the summer season at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.

I have just become a grandma to Ada so babysitting her is going to be a high priority very soon.

How often do you eat out?

I go out to eat at least once a week.

Locally, what are your three favourite restaurants

My absolute favourite place to eat is Lazenby’s in York Place. It’s got delicious French food –simple fresh ingredients cooked superbly by Simon and a wonderful ambiance provided by Valerie and the staff.

Their lunch menu is particularly good value and I always have the monkfish goujons.

My second favourite is Scalby Mills pub who do the best scampi and chips in North Yorkshire and have lovely sea views.

I have to include Bamfords fish and chip shop which now has a café at the back. I think they do the best fish and chips in Scarborough.

What is your favourite comfort food and why

Pierogi (Polish dumplings) with either pickled cabbage and mushrooms or potato and cheese, slathered with butter and a side salad of coleslaw.

I make them in batches of a 100 and freeze them. My daughter-in-law Alexandra and ate 30 pierogi each one night in a pierogi café in Krakow.

My son Marek stared at us in disbelief having only managed 10.

What is your favourite cooking/food programme

Masterchef presented by John Torode and Greg Wallace.

I really like the innovative dishes people produce and how they all develop their cooking skills and confidence.

You can eat anything, anywhere in the world, cooked by a chef or your choice, no expense spared, who would cook for you, what would they cook and where would it be

If I could eat anywhere in the world with no expense spared it would be a shack on the beach in Discovery Bay in Jamaica.

The chef there makes the best fried fish I have ever tasted. It is served with rice and peas and hard bread washed down with Red Stripe beer and as there is no expense spared I would have a few rums.

White sand and a turquoise ocean complete the experience.

Who cooks in your house? What do they cook

I live alone so I do all the cooking. I don’t eat meat but I do eat fish. I cook very simple food for myself usually fish especially sea bass and salads.

I love aubergines and lots of green vegetables especially those I have grown myself.

My favourite meal is breakfast especially scrambled eggs with smoked salmon and avocado sprinkled with a bit of Tabasco sauce.

You are cooking to impress. What do you cook

Aubergine fritters with honey and salt, chicken (quorn for me) with pomegranate seeds served with fried potatoes with garlic and rosemary and a mixed salad.

For pudding my cream cheese pancakes.

You can invite five people to dinner. Past or present, famous or not – but please explain who they are and why they are important to you. What would you cook for them

I was going to say I would invite some famous people but instead I would invite my closest women friends-Sarah, Leslie, Jane, Rita and Linda who give me such fantastic support and who are tremendous fun.

I would make beetroot soup, pork marinaded with red wine, herbs and garlic – a veggy option for me - accompanied by green beans, parsnips and cucumber with cream.

The dessert would be my cheesecake.

You can hire a private chef. Who would that be

The late Antonio Carluccio would be my choice of private chef for his gorgeous Italian food especially the ravioli.

You are at the chippy. What do you order

Cod and chips with lots of vinegar

Who has been the biggest influence on you – food wise

My mother has been my biggest influence

Name your favourite song connected with food

Don McLean’s American Pie

What’s the one food you could not live without

Bananas – I’m addicted to them

The one thing you cannot eat

Meat because of my love of animals

The condemned man/woman had a last meal. What would your last meal be

Placki – Polish potato pancakes with sour cream.

Quick fire

Full English or continental breakfast: croissants

Tear or coffee: coffee

Sweet or savoury: savoury

Jamie Oliver or Raymond Blanc: Raymond Blanc

Chips or salad: salad

Fruit or chocolate: fruit

Oysters, yes or no: no