Dirty chopping boards, cheese on sale past its best before date and warm fridges – just some of the things food inspectors unearthed when they did their latest routine checks on restaurants, pubs, shops and other food premises in Richmondshire.
A relatively new blog, it’s all about the search for great ingredients as author Emma explains:
This blog is my search for quality ingredients produced or stocked by passionate individuals who want to encourage their customers to eat seasonally so as to taste the ingredients at their best and with confidence that their provenance can be traced. A natural path to follow on from these ideas is recommending places I have been to such as street stalls, pubs, restaurants, cafés or coffee houses, for example, that serve up glorious fare whilst also being advocates of eating and drinking knowledgeably.
Now in its 13th year, with more than 70 stalls, 30 plus demonstrations and a programme of children’s activities too, organisers have come up with the handy top ten experiences for visitors to this year’s festival.
1. Learn how to create a Chinese inspired Yorkshire pudding Twice UK Yorkshire pudding champion Chris Blackburn will be demonstrating how to make his Chinese Style Yorkshire Pudding with Duck and Hoisin Sauce. The dish got Chris to the quarter finals of ITV’s Food Glorious Food, presented by Carol Vorderman, earlier this year. 5pm, Friday 9 August, Demo Tent, St George’s Square
2. Get into the French spirit ahead of ‘Le Tour’ With Huddersfield placed firmly on the Tour De France 2014 route, local restaurant La Cachette will be serving up frogs legs and other French delicacies to inspire adventurous visitors. La Cachette, stand 81 to 82
3. Truly Discover Huddersfield Community-led project Discover Huddersfield will be running a number of trails around the town to be enjoyed in and amongst the event itself. Only the bravest festival goers will dare take the Shuddersfield Ghost trail, a spooky stroll around some of the towns most haunted areas…
Shuddersfield Trail will run on 9th and 10th August at 8pm – sign up at the information tent.
4. Celebrate the town with the most microbreweries The festival’s Real Ale and Cider Trail is a chance to visit some of the towns best real ale pubs and get a taste for locally brewed ales. Have a drink in 8 or more participating pubs and swap your stamped trail card for a free limited edition glass at the festival. Running until Sunday 11th August – download trail cards from http://www.foodanddrinkfestival.org.uk or pick up a copy at the information tent.
5. Be the first to sample a Jamaican Jerk Pork Pie Celebrating what he calls ‘new world cuisine’ chef Barrington Douglas will be launching his unique Jerk Pork Pie at the festival. Bringing together locally sourced pork and exotic Jamaican spices, the pie is just one of many new product ranges that the F Word chef has produced and is thought to be the only one of its kind in the UK. Discovery Bay – stand 9 to 10
6. Sample desert inspired teas Manchester based mother and daughter business Tea with Tom will be selling bespoke tea blends such as Cherry Beer Tea, Pina Colada and Lemon Marzipan, along with their popular ‘Gentlemen’s Choice’, designed to convert men to ‘take tea’. Tea with Tom – stand 41
7. Experience the festival at dusk Enjoy free live music at the festival on Friday and Saturday evenings, as stalls stay open until after dark. Acts include winners of the Oxjam Battle of the Bands and local heroes Helter Skelter. Friday 9 and Saturday 10 from 7pm, St George’s Square
8. Learn the art of fruit foraging Grab an insight into fruit foraging with Angus Ferguson, founder of Scotland’s award-winning liquid deli Demijohn, who create over 60 unique handmade British food and drink products using a myriad of hedgerow shrubs and fruits foraged by bare hands and old fashioned elbow grease. Saturday 10 August 3pm, Demo Theatre, St George’s Square
9. Dough-tossing for little ones Get the little people in your life interested in cooking early with a free pizza workshop where they will be able to stretch and toss pizza dough. Sunday 11 August, Kid’s Zone, St George’s Square
10. Try an ice cream fit for a Giant Renowned as the birthplace of Rugby League, local artisan ice cream makers Yummy Yorkshire have joined with Huddersfield team The Giants to create a special Claret and Gold ice cream for the festival. The Claret and Gold appearance, matching the Huddersfield Giants team colours, comes from plum-flavoured ice cream with gold chocolate covered flakes rippled throughout. Giants players Luke George and Leroy Cudjoe will be at the opening day of the festival on the Yummy Yorkshire stand. Yummy Yorkshire – stand 35 to 36
This year the OFM Awards have a category for best food photography – which you could win. So if you’re into snapping street food or beautiful produce, home-cooked meals or fantastic creations in local restaurants – we’d like to see your images. The best will be published on the Guardian site and the winning picture will be printed in the magazine
So far there’s a wide mixture of pictures – everything from a plate of chips to a fruit market in Spain – like most food bloggers I’ve, not unsurprisingly, got heaps of food snaps which might fit the bill but in the end I decided to restrict myself and submitted my favourite picture from last week’s TeaonTheTrain event.
At a place to be revealed with a menu from a never seen before restaurant…….that was the unlikely offer which scores of adventurous diners signed up for with this weekend’s pop up restaurant in Leeds. Destination unknown.
But when The Beast & The Swine opened its doors to the public, they were unlikely to be disappointed.
What a dramatic place setting. Inside Holy Trinity Church, just yards away from the hubbabaloo of Boar Lane (one of Leeds’ busiest streets for a Saturday night) to find yourself sitting in the tranquility of the parish church was faintly surreal.
Under a cat’s cradle of a sculpture spanning the cavernous roof space and surrounded by leaves from books hung on strings all around – the theatre of the event had an immediate wow factor.
Seven courses and a menu of local produce which included Bolito Misto of Yorkshire Wolds chicken and picked carrots.
The were moments of brilliance – in particular, the fish course of Bridlington crab, shoots and a grapefruit dressing was a triumph.
Regular offerings of excellent rosemary focaccia arrived. Starters arrived on sharing platters with a selection of ham, a dense and satisfying rabbit rillettes and heritage vegetables.
The meat course, with it’s pink veal tongue rudely sticking out, was a challenge but the crowd pleasing Wensleydale cheese course introduced a stunning onion and golden sultana chutney with whole spices . If that’s for sale anywhere, can someone drop me a line with details.
The final show of a giant croque-en-bouche completed the spectacle of the evening and for those who had any room to spare. I didn’t.
It all got a bit Alice in Wonderland here. Being presented with a baby’s bottle full of Gin Iced Tea on arrival and seeing people wandering around suckling on them set the tone for an unorthodox approach. There’s no wine list, no choice of bar drinks or over priced water selection. The choice for the evening – red or white.
The wine came served in teapots. We drank it from assorted cups and mugs. Who knows what it was? At a guess, probably a fairly ‘plonky’ cabernet.
If you’re into your wine, this wouldn’t be the best approach to the liquid part of a dining experience so the novelty factor had to distract diners from their usual choices and I think they got away with it.
I went along on this second night and it was clear the team of four -two chefs, two front of house who call themselves We Are the Animals – had got into its stride. The welcome was warm and, although the low staffing numbers meant service could be a little slow, I don’t think anyone cared because the atmosphere was one of an magical adventure.
Having everyone seated alongside the other guests led to a great sense of conviviality than a standard restaurant setting and that openness, together with the stunning venue, made it a night to remember.
They’re looking for new venues, so if the Swine and The Beast – or whatever the We Are the Animals team magics up next – does pops up somewhere near you don’t hesitate – take a pew, pour from the teapot and tuck in.
* A big thank you to the New Ellington Hotel for making us so welcome at the refurbished hotel. With its stylish interior and be-seen-in gin bar, it was the perfect place to escape the madding crowd and settle down for the night.
Owners Paul and Helen Klein of the Blue Lion Inn at East Witton, near Leyburn were surprised last night when the TV chef stayed overnight as part of a private dinner party. On their Facebook page they said had been told to expect an important guest as part of a party for dinner, bed and breakfast last night but were ‘somewhat taken back’ when Jamie Oliver arrived.
outofyorkshire.co.uk has launched today. It’s an expansion of the Leeds-based coffee and smoothie chain Out of the Woods which, the owners say, will offer British folk the opportunity to discover food and drink from independent suppliers across Yorkshire.
Out of the Woods opened its first shop on Water Lane in 2006 and after four years, Jon Baldwin and co-owner Ross Halliday, were able to open a second shop in Granary Wharf in 2010, where they offer people in the city healthy alternatives in a relaxed and natural environment.
Jon said: “Our customers have told us that they love the locally sourced produce available in our cafes and so the next logical step was to take this online and share these quality ingredients and products with everyone who shares our passion for great tasting food from local suppliers.
outofyorkshire.co.uk will also provide pre-prepared hampers for people that are looking to give the perfect gift to food lovers or Yorkshire expats.”
Suppliers stocked on the site will range from well-known sweet producer Farrah’s of Harrogate, to the up and coming Harrogate Preserves and Toftly Treats.
This new venture has been brought to life with the help of employee Chris Large who has a background in e-commerce and shared enthusiasm for local produce.
I see the Frenchgate cafe is up and running again. Once the favoured hangout of ladies who lunch and seasonal trippers alike, the cafe/bistro at the bottom of the hill has had a variety of incarnations in recent years.
From the truly terrible tapas to the rather pleasing cafe of 2010, the sudden unexplained closure last year left a gap in the market.
I haven’t yet had the opportunity to sample the wares inside, but it looks from the menus in the window to have regenerated as a sandwich shop sort of place open only during the day.
In wishing the new management all the best, I’m sure I’m not the only local who’d appreciate it returning to the bistro success of a decade ago at some stage.
Footloose Food Walks is launching with day walks in Lancashire and Yorkshire at Easter and a weekend break in May in Morecambe.
The Manchester-based company, has been in touch to pass on details about its food and drink day, weekend and tailor-made guided walks with a difference.
The idea is to take the hassle out of discovering and meeting the most interesting and passionate local food producers. They devise gentle walks, arrange behind the scenes tours and tastings, and provide lunches or dinners of the local produce.
The new programme includes: a day walk on April 5th visiting an award winning corn fed duck farm and a traditional Lancashire cheese maker in beautiful rural Lancashire; a day on April 11th in the Colne Valley near Huddersfield to visit artisan breadmakers, a micro brewer and organic vegetable growers as well as a weekend, May 11th to 13th, to sample from the tremendous variety of excellent local food producers in and around Morecambe Bay and including a guided walk across Morecambe Bay itself.
Yvonne Hosker, co-director of Footloose Food Walks says:“All our events are informal and friendly. We walk in small groups on gentle paths and lanes to meet and sample from the small local producers we’ve hand picked. In between we sit down to a fabulous lunch of the locally made food and drink.”
“Footloose Food Walks combines our love of walking and guiding walks with eating and drinking locally made food.” says Heidi Schaefer co-director of Footloose Food Walks. “We think it is a great chance not only to walk and taste great food but also to meet the people that produce it.”
* Find more food events at the noticeboard here and feel free to post your own and I’ll feature some of them here on the blog too.