Car Q&A With Cricketer Matthew Hoggard
Q: What car did you chose and why, what functions do you look for in a car i.e. must it have a big boot for sports or grill equipment? Are you a big car fanatic?
I now have two cars from Pink Car Leasing; a Mercedes for myself and a Range Rover Velar for my wife. I travel a lot so mine needs to be relatively economical and comfortable. We have a 12-year-old son, Ernie and three dogs, so Sarah’s needs to have the boot space, especially for Ernie’s cricket kit!
I’ll be swapping mine later in the year for something bigger to accommodate the new BBQ business! I’ll be honest, Sarah is the car fan in our house. As long as mine gets me from A to B, I’ll drive anything!
Q: How has it been for you to be away from sport and the cricket ground?
I’ve never been a great lover of watching cricket so I found retirement particularly tough. Plus, I didn’t really have an “exit strategy” from cricketing life so it hit me hard. I’ve turned my hand to a few things including a Master’s Degree in Sporting Directorship, but I feel I’ve really found my niche with Hoggy’s Grill. I’m passionate about cooking, particularly barbequing and want to share that.
Q: Hoggy’s Grill is an exciting venture for you since starring on Celebrity Masterchef, and we’ve seen you cooking all sorts on your BBQ already this year, what have been your favourite recipes and why?
Everything I cook involves one of my many barbeques from cakes, to steaks, to Yorkshire puddings! Breakfast, lunch and dinner!!!
I love a good steak obviously; Ernie and I are rib-eye men! Best served up with garlic mushrooms, homemade onion rings, chips and blue cheese sauce! We all like to eat them rare, so not too long on the hot coals. I’ve also been loving doing crispy chicken wings in lockdown, covered in various sauces and rubs. We’ve been experimenting with our favourites.
We love fish and I have a soapstone attachment for my Kamado Joe barbeque which is perfect for making the skin super crispy and the fish beautifully moist. Seabass, salmon and mackerel have been a huge hit. I can also do homemade pizza on the DoJoe attachment, so lockdown has provided us with plenty of opportunities for pizza experimentation. They’re awesome, although Ernie finds my South African inspired Bacon & Banana pizza slightly bizarre! Try it; you will not be disappointed!
Q: How are you supporting local farmers, butchers and those producing local produce during lockdown?
We are really lucky to live in the countryside, just on the Melton Mowbray/Rutland border and have an amazing farm shop just a five-minute drive away, March House Farm. We like to shop local and get all our meat and most of our veggies from the farm, as well as basics such as eggs, cheeses and bread. They’ve really stepped up during lockdown and set up an online shop for click and collect as well as delivery. Our local dairy farm, Vine Farm Dairy, have also installed a milk vending machine in the village so we get all our milk from there. Ernie can go through litres at a time! It’s fabulous stuff!
Q: With the exciting new venture Hoggy’s Grill, what else is to come for you later this year, and what will be the first thing you do in your new car, out of lockdown?
We were due to launch Hoggy’s Grill officially in Rutland at the end of April; obviously we’ve had to put the brakes on this. The launch was to include a retail space and a Barbeque Cookery School but instead we will be starting with the website. I was also already booked to attend a number of food festivals, a couple of which I’d secured both a grill site and a pop-up restaurant which would have been beyond exciting! Sadly, these too were cancelled so I cannot wait for all this to be rearranged, pack my car and head off across the country to showcase the new venture!
Q. Have you managed to drive your new car yet?
Thankfully yes! The Range Rover arrived 3 or 4 months ago now and (even for a non-car fanatic) it is fabulous! Super techy, sleek and very smart; inside and out! It’s just a shame the wife doesn’t let me borrow it that often. When I do, I have instructions to fill it with petrol, get it washed and put the media system back on to whatever it was playing before I got in!
Q. Tell us your all-time favourite driving song, or do you find yourself listening to the Cricket on the radio?
I am real geek when it comes to car radio. If there’s a Test Match on I do find myself flicking on to keep up to date on proceedings. I also love Radio 4extra, the comedy shows and some of the plays; particularly on a very long drive back from an event! Music wise, I’m a country fan. Give me some Kenny Rogers (RIP) or The High Kings and I have my own private car sing-along. I know all the words! I just can’t sing.
Q: Would you say you are a good driver?
I would say I’m a great driver! I clocked up thousands and thousands of miles working away last year, never had an accident or a traffic violation! Not everybody agrees with me though!!