Sales Sharks stars Tom Holmes and Rob Miller swapped rugby balls for cooking pans this week as they fried up a storm at a Trafford Centre restaurant.
The two men donned chef hats and bravely stepped into the kitchen at healthy eating-themed Saffran – who are sponsoring Holmes for the rest of the season – to cook dishes of their choice.
Watched on by teammates including club captain David Seymour and vice-captain Sami Tuitupou, Holmes plumped for the speared tandoori chicken and Miller chose speared peri-peri chicken.
“The best thing I’ve tried to cook before was a Sunday dinner done properly,” said Holmes. “The timing was a little bit out but it was alright.
“Most of the time we stick to chicken and veg so this is a bit out of our comfort zone to be honest.“
And the 23-year-old lock admitted he was keen to add his own spin on the dish, which came with red onion and bell peppers.
“I’m not too fussed on peppers so I got rid of most of those and replaced it with more chicken – I also made it nice and spicy as well,” he said.
“It tasted very nice, I was impressed with myself – the chicken was lovely, really refreshing and juicy and it was a great experience.
“I quite enjoyed it actually – you never know, post rugby I might swap my boots for a chef’s hat.”
Both men are flatmates and admit they usually stick within their boundaries when it comes to the kitchen, yet Miller revealed he was a dark horse with the pans.
“I got a slow cooker for Christmas so I’ve been experimenting with that and making a few stews and chillies, which have gone down relatively well,” he said.
“I was impressed by my own cooking – I think I coped very well and, though it was a good experience, all the credit has to go to the real chefs.
“I’d definitely think about doing it again – a few of the boys will be coming down and hopefully building up a good relationship with the guys down here at Saffran.”
The event was the idea of Alan Brogan – managing director of Saffran UK – who hoped exposure from the Sale Sharks would lead others into a healthy lifestyle.
“The whole idea behind the event, we call it challenge to change, it’s all about eating healthy and staying healthy,” he said.
“More than anything what we’re trying to do is show people that eating healthy food can taste just as good as eating any of the treats that people eat at the moment.”