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WITH concentration etched on his face, former Newcastle United captain Alan Shearer swaps the black and white shirt for chef's whites at a top Tyneside restaurant.

Now a TV pundit, the ex-Toon striker put his culinary skills to the test, as chefs at the luxury Indian restaurant Raval helped him rustle up a meal for his wife Lainya and some close friends.

Former team-mate Steve Harper and his wife Lindsay were part of a party of 14 who enjoyed the private cooking session with the Raval team.

The one-off culinary experience was organised by Paul Holliday, landlord of the Diamond Inn in Ponteland and a close pal of the former England number nine.

He said: "Most of those involved were regulars at Raval so we already knew the food was excellent. But we loved the idea of trying to cook it ourselves, and the manager was more than happy to oblige.

Shearer cooked a starter of tandoori scallops followed by malabari champ, lamp chops with South Indian spices cooked in a clay oven.

The Gateshead restaurant was opened specially for the group as it usually closes on a Sunday, with Raval manager Avi Malik saying it was a favour to valued customers.

He said: "The only rule I insisted on was that the men cooked for the women and I have to say they really got into the spirit of it.

"They were very interested in how the food is prepared and how we use the huge variety of spices at our disposal."


STAR COOK United legend Alan Shearer at work in the kitchen of Raval in Gateshead
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Mar 2, 2012
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