Distant Shores

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Duration: 1 hour

Much of the great food we love is inspired by recipes from other countries. This journey is all about uncovering both familiar and more surprising recipes that have arrived on British dinner-tables from distant shores.

This episode's three mums all hail from Northern Ireland but cook food from all corners of the globe. Karen has Spanish delights to share, including a sensational paella and a simple but delicious recipe for Catalan tomato bread. Helen Mills cooks family recipes from Guyana including a fascinating take on chicken curry served with a handmade roti bread. And the final mum is, in fact, a dad! Conolly shares partridge escabeche, breasts of partridge pickled in white wine and vinegar, and some classic empanadas - Argentinian recipes from his mother cooked with great Northern Irish produce. All this culinary travel gets the Bikers' taste buds flowing, and they bring mulligatawny soup and a perfect pavlova to the party.

At the recipe fair, the Bikers cook their take on an international classic, haddock mornay, while food historian Gerard Baker invites the recipe fair visitors to a bakery challenge - plaited bread.

  • Star Mum Number 1: Karen

    Star Mum Number 1: Karen

    Karen’s childhood was full of cooking. Her dad Drew is the third generation of professional bakers in the family and Karen remembers working with her two sisters at the family owned bakery. Those days spent mixing, kneading and shaping the loaves left Karen with a life-long love of food.

    In 1983 Karen visited Spain for the first time, falling in love with Spanish cuisine and especially the classic dish, paella. On her return home she learnt how to cook it for herself and now it is a firm family favourite. From that success she stretched her culinary wings and now cooks dishes from all over

    View all Karen's recipes from this episode
  • Star Mum Number 2: Helen

    Star Mum Number 2: Helen

    Helen’s dad Cleland was from Guyana, the former British colony in South America. He moved to Belfast after serving with the RAF in World War II, and it was there that he met Kay, Helen’s mother.

    Kay was fascinated by Guyanan cuisine – a blend of influences from India, the Caribbean, Africa and China, but in the sixties she often found it hard to obtain the exotic ingredients need to make traditional Guyanese fare.

    Helen still lives in Belfast with husband Gary and son Conor, and continues to cook Guyanan dishes in the way that she was taught.

    View all Helen's recipes here
  • Star Dad: Conolly

    Star Dad: Conolly

    Conolly lives with his wife Sheelagh and four daughters Eila, Ishbel, and twins Iona and Rose on the family’s estate in Limavady, Northern Ireland.

    He was the only male ‘Mum’ to take part in the series and applied in order to champion his mother June’s Argentinean cooking. Conolly told us that before his mother came to Northern Ireland his paternal grandmother was a terrible cook!

    Today he likes to cook a wide range of food, but it’s the Argentine side of his culinary heritage that he really loves to celebrate. He offered to share his recipes for empanadas and partridge escabeche with the Bikers, and they were in no mood to refuse!

    View all Conolly's recipes from this Episode
  • Recipe Fair Recipes

    Recipe Fair Recipes

    Hundreds of people came to the recipe fair to share and swap recipes. We’ve collected over 600 for you to cook yourself and then pass on to your family and friends.

    The link below takes you to the first section of the recipe swap database (Baking Savoury). To access the other sections use the links on the right hand side of the page to select the section you are interested in and then scroll down for the recipes.

    Mums Know Best Recipe Database (requires Adobe Reader or similar)
  • Featured recipe swap recipes

    Featured recipe swap recipes

    Over the course of filming many fascinating dishes were shared with food historian Gerard Baker and the Hairy Bikers. Below are links to those recipes that feature in the show.

  • Bobotie


    Link to Sarah and Emily’s Bobotie recipe
  • George Washington Cake

    George Washington Cake

    Link to Claire’s fruit cake recipe
  • Curried Lentils

    Curried Lentils

    Link to Karen and Mark’s curried lentil recipe
  • Missy Brown's Cheesecake

    Missy Brown's Cheesecake

    Link to Nina’s cheesecake recipe
  • Red Cabbage

    Red Cabbage

    Link to Mike’s red cabbage recipe
  • Gerard's recipe swap extra

    At every recipe fair we record more recipe swappers than we have time to feature in the show, so in the clips at the top we've added a couple more great ideas that were shared at the distant shores recipe fair… and below are the links to the recipes on our database.

  • Louise Cake

    Louise Cake

    Link to Emma’s ‘Louise Cake’ recipe
  • Swedish Mackerel Gratin

    Swedish Mackerel Gratin

    Link to Sam’s Swedish mackerel gratin recipe
  • The Community Group – Nepalese Peoples Group

    The Community Group – Nepalese Peoples Group

    Oxford includes a growing community of Nepalese people, most of whom are ex-Ghurkha soldiers and their families. The group helps people adjust to life in the UK, but also offers its members a chance to share experiences and, most importantly, to cook together. Nepalese food draws its influence from the surrounding countries of India and Tibet and was a big hit at the Mums Know Best recipe fair.

    Link to a recipe from this week's community group


Dave Myers
Dave Myers
Si King
Si King
Dan Slee
Dan Slee
Series Producer
Oliver Clark
Series Producer
Oliver Clark
Executive Producer
Gill Tierney
Executive Producer
Gill Tierney
Duncan Barnes
Duncan Barnes


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