The weekender

Chris Finnigan is head chef at Branches Restaurant, Ponteland

Friday night gladrags or curry night?
If I’m not in the kitchen on a Friday night, I’d take advantage of both! I’d kick the night off with a curry, then hit the tiles ’til the small hours. In reality, I cant remember the last time I did that. We can dream though, right?

A super Saturday?

A lie-in, followed by a big breakfast, football and then a few cocktail bars afterwards.

Saturday night… at the stove, or round the table?
As a chef, a Saturday night is invariably round the stove at work. I’ve just started at Branches Restaurant, which recently opened, and we’re already discovering that Saturday nights are going to be popular. If I’m off, I like to eat out with my partner, Helen. Kenny Atkinson’s House of Tides is one of my favourites.

TV, radio show, music or newspaper that means the weekend?
Work tends to dominate at the weekend, so mine is shifted to a Monday. I might squeeze in a Tuesday morning, too. It gives me a chance to pore over the Monday football reports and reaction. I’m a bit of a football nut.

We can whisk you away for two dream days. Where would you go?
Anywhere where the sun’s shining and that has a variety of no-frills restaurants, producing simple, fresh food. It doesn’t have to be five-start to impress me.

Memorable mini-break?
A last-minute break to Alicante with Helen, before our first child arrived five years ago. We went off the beaten track and spent the whole weekend eating local seafood and tapas and drinking wine.

Sunday best?
That would have to be a good Sunday roast with all the trimmings. Pink sirloin, duck fat roast potatoes and too-big-to-handle Yorkshire puddings. With everyone’s bellies full, we’d then pick out a film with to watch with the family.

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