Author: Georga Spottiswood

Richard Picard-Edwards : A New Chapter

His dream was to reach for the stars … a Michelin star, that is. Now Richard Picard-Edwards has achieved that dream, he’s set himself a new challenge to revolutionalise an entire industry, as head chef at the heart-stoppingly beautiful, Lartington Hall All Richard Picard-Edwards ever dreamt of was a Michelin star. “I was driven, determined, it’s all I ever wanted. Never two, just one. If there was a formula to get two stars, I would have done it – but I’d have to work 20 hours a day for 10 years and I love seeing my family,” says Richard,...

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Michel Roux Jr : Chef Interview

He’s cooking royalty in the hospitality industry but Michel Roux Jr admits he still loves macaroni cheese. Savour editor Georga Spottiswood chats with the legend himself.   Michel Roux Jr is wafting his hand over his mouth. “Those chips are hot,” he says as we stand in The Vault, the UK’s first hotel and restaurant for young people with autism and learning difficulties. Formerly River’s Edge Hotel, the venue in Gateshead has been transformed during the past year into a training facility for youngsters to get hands-on experience, equipping them with the skills needed to work in the hospitality...

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Launch of Region’s First Whisky Draws Closer

  DURHAM Distillery, the name behind the popular Durham Gin and Durham Vodka brands, has released a teaser video to mark the year when it will start production of the first whisky to be distilled in the North East of England. The small-batch craft distillery plans a relocation to Durham’s city centre as part of an expansion in 2018, where the initial and future batches of Durham Whisky will be created. Those keen to be part of whisky history can now sign up to reserve a Founder’s Cask from the first whisky run, as well as cases or bottles, which will be ready to drink in 2021.   Already widely known for its gin and vodka products, which launched in 2014 and are stocked in the likes of Fenwick Food Hall and Majestic Wines stores across the UK, distillery owner Jon Chadwick and head distiller Jessica Tomlinson are eager to reach this next milestone for Durham Distillery following its rapid growth.  Jon said: “We are gearing up for what will be a huge year for the business, moving from the outskirts of Durham to a larger city centre premises to begin producing the first whisky to be made in this region, alongside increased production of our gin and vodka. “Our new home will not only give us additional operations and storage capacity, but will enable us to become a...

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Tea with Spirit: Noveltea

Alcoholic tea? YES PLEASE. Get these two cuppas down you this NYE. THE TALE OF TANGIER  Enjoy a journey of the senses with this tale, which infuses Moroccan mint tea with spiced rum. SOME LIKE IT COLD Serve it on the rocks, adding ice cubes to a tumbler and 125ml of The Tale of Tangier. Garnish with fresh mint. SOME LIKE IT HOT Pour the alcoholic tea into a pot, heat up to about 40 degrees and serve. Garnish with mint.   THE TALE OF EARL GREY  Take a journey through Great Britain with this tale, which features bergamot...

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Cocktail O’clock: Blood and Sand

Be whisky-ed away with this Blood and Sand cocktail by The Lakes Distillery.   INGREDIENTS 25ml The One British Blended Whisky 25ml sweet Vermouth 25ml cherry liqueur 35ml orange juice   METHOD Add all ingredients to a shaker and shake gently. Strain into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with an orange...

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Cocktail O’clock: The Lakes Gin Sparkle

The Lakes Gin Sparkle This is THE perfect drink to welcome in the New Year with. It’s elegant, delicious and easy to make. The explosion from The Lakes Gin Explorer and Elderflower Gin Liqueur will not only tantalise your taste buds but give you a new favourite drink for 2018. INGREDIENTS  12.5ml of The Lakes Gin Explorer 12.5ml The Lakes Elderflower Gin Liqueur 10ml lychee syrup Prosecco   METHOD Pour The Lakes Gin Explorer, The Lakes Elderflower Gin Liqueur and the lychee syrup into a Champagne flute. Top with Prosecco and enjoy.   The Lakes Distillery sells whisky, vodka,...

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New Food Event Champions Independent Food and Drink Producers

A NEW event which is championing independent food and drink producers will give visitors the chance to take a trip around the world – without even leaving the north east. The inaugural Flavours and Beats Festival will be held at Jarrow Hall, Church Bank, Jarrow, on Friday, November 24 and Saturday, November 25, with a feast of a programme packed with fine food and music – along with the opportunity to test out the products from craft breweries and distilleries. Festival organisers Groundwork South Tyneside and Newcastle (STAN), have teamed up with street food vendors Geordie Bangers – which has a...

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Newcastle Restaurant Launches Fish Friday

A North East restaurant is dishing up its take on a British classic with the launch of a new weekly offer. artisan, located in The Biscuit Factory, Newcastle, is debuting its all-new Fish Friday menu tomorrow. Every week, the restaurant’s award-winning head chef Andrew Wilkinson will be plating up freshly-caught, locally-sourced fish from the Hodgson’s Fish day boats in Hartlepool, with artisan’s signature twist. Diners can expect a host of seasonal garnishes that subtly encompass the tastes, textures and aromas of classic fish and chips. For its first outing, the restaurant will be serving Steamed Day Boat Brill with...

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North Yorkshire’s The Black Swan ‘best restaurant in world’

A pub in North Yorkshire has been named the best restaurant in the world. The Black Swan in Oldstead beat Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir in an international poll based on customer reviews. It was ran by TripAdvisor which said it was the first time a British restaurant had won the title since the awards began in 2012. The travel website said the winner was selected based on the millions of reviews and opinions collected on the site over a 12-month period. The Black Swan has a Michelin star and 4 AA Rosettes. It is...

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Michelin Star Restaurants in the North East and Yorkshire revealed in the 2018 Michelin Guide

Photograph: A dish by Kenny Atkinson, owner of Newcastle’s House of Tides. Credit: Sean Elliott Photography  Michelin today unveiled the 2018 list of restaurants that held, gained or lost the coveted stars in Great Britain and Ireland. The Araki, a sushi bar in Mayfair, London – with just nine seats and costing around £300 per person – gained three stars. It joins the ranks of Heston Blumenthal, Gordon Ramsay, Alain Ducasse and the Roux family. The guide’s other big winner was Claude Bosi, who gained two stars for South Kensington’s Bibendum restaurant. It was also great news for the North...

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LORD CREWE ARMS NAMED ‘INN OF THE YEAR’

  Photograph: Sean Elliott Photography The Lord Crewe Arms has been named “Inn of the Year” by the Good Pub Guide 2018. The posh-pub-cum-hotel in Blanchland – on the Northumberland and Durham border – was crowned number one out of hundreds of potential contenders in the UK. General manager Tommy Mark said: “With such strong competition across the whole of the UK to be singled out for this title is a tremendous coup.  This is a big pat on the back to all the team for their hard work.  It’s a fantastic accolade which follows hot on the heels...

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Come Dine With Me Is Searching For North East Contestants

Think you can whip up a food frenzy and host a dinner party like no other? Think you’ve got what it takes to walk away with a £1,000? Channel 4’s Come Dine With Me is looking for contestants from the North East. The only criteria is that you must be over 18 – and not working or trained as a professional chef. Filming dates will take place between August 28 and September 1. To apply, email cdwm@shiver.tv with your name, age, contact details and postcode or call 0207 157...

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Review: The Lamp Room, Seaham, County Durham

By Georga Spottiswood Pictures on social media, a fellow journalist’s review in the newspaper, customer comments in food groups – I’d heard so much about The Lamp Room but had never eaten there. I say “not eaten”, I’d tried the food after Savour’s lead photographer, Sean Elliott, and I had been to the bistro-cum-restaurant on Seaham’s seafront during food shoots for the magazine – but that’s not exactly eating out. What I mean is sitting down with friends, socialising over food and soaking up the atmosphere. So the ladies and I booked. Now, I wouldn’t normally jump straight to...

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The North East Chilli Fest Kicks Off Tomorrow

Above: Heaven 17 will top the bill tomorrow night The North East Chilli Fest opens its doors tomorrow and is set to be one of the hottest events in the food and music calendar. As well as a producers’ market featuring some of the UK’s top chilli producers – selling chilli inspired food and drink – there’ll be tasty delights from artisans, and dozens of musical, comedy and entertainment acts.       The event, held in Seaton Sluice, Northumberland – opposite Gloucester Lodge Farm – kicks off at 5pm tomorrow (until 11pm) with 80s icons Heaven 17 topping the bill....

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Meet The Producers – Part Two

Ahead of food festival season, meet the producers who put nothing but passion into their produce. Find out which festivals they’ll be at and where to stock up on their goods after the events …     CALDER’S KITCHEN  Sunderland-based street food business Calder’s Kitchen is a firm favourite on the food festival scene. It is owned by Anne-Marie and Andrew Calder who make traditional piccalilli from a family recipe. They started making the piccalilli as gifts for friends and family, which became so popular that in 2015, they set up Calder’s Kitchen. Now, Calder’s Kitchen has three products...

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Meet The Producers

It’s food festival season. So we’ve rounded up some of the region’s best producers who put nothing but passion into their produce. Get visiting some of them at this weekend’s North East Chilli Festival, Kells Lane Food Market, in Low Fell – as well as many other events. And don’t miss part two of our Meet The Producers feature  – online tomorrow.     THE CLUCKING PIG  The Clucking Pig Company is one stall you need to seek out during food festival season. Did you know its gourmet Scotch eggs have been given royal approval and tasted by none...

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Raise Your Kitchen Game

Innerglass’s showroom features a fabulous array of cocktail making equipment, barware, kitchen products and tabletop items. It is open to the trade and public, so whether you’re an industry expert or just looking for something spectacular for your own home, you need to visit. www.ig-group.com Here’s our top picks …    Viners Eminence Gold 16 Piece Gift Box, £45.00 (above)   Copper Sugar, Tea and Coffee Tins, £9.95 each. Buy all 3 for £24.95 (above)    Hammered Copper Salt and Pepper Mills, £19.95 per set (above) Brass Finish Cocktail Tool Set, £16.95 (above)  Marble Wine Cooler with 2 Flutes, £18.95...

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Michelin-starred Chef Breaks Mould With Own Chocolate Range

Two Michelin-star chef James Close is enjoying the sweet taste of success with the launch of his own range of innovative chocolates. The limited edition collection is a joint venture between the man behind the acclaimed The Raby Hunt Restaurant in County Durham and fellow chef Maria Guseva. Simply called Chocolates by James Close and Maria Guseva, the selection of six slick, smart and edgy bite-sized confections and two bars are available to buy exclusively from Fenwick Food Hall in Newcastle until May 21 – or while stocks last, with just 1000 being made available to buy. James and...

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Wok This Way

Photography: Marie Harkness Wok into Ian Wong’s restaurant and you won’t want to Wok out. Because if his food doesn’t leave you tongue Thai’d, we don’t know what will. The owner of Asiana Fusion, in Sunderland, is a legend within the city – always leaving his customers wonton more of his pan-Asian dishes. He’s travelled to far-flung corners of the globe, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore, and blends together the flavours and cooking techniques in all of his dishes.     His main influence, however, was growing up in a family of restauranteurs: his father and uncles owned Chinese...

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Interview: Mark Bennett, executive chef for Ramside Estates and The Lobster Ball

Lobster, fizz and a fabulous time – the annual Lobster Ball promises to be all three when it takes place at Hardwick Hall Hotel, in Sedgefield, this Friday. We chat to executive chef Mark Bennett who’s in charge of cooking for the 1,400 guests   He’s the man responsible for prepping and cooking 700 lobsters and 1,400 starters and desserts for the annual Lobster Charity Ball – but Mark Bennett takes it all in his stride. “I’ve been doing it for three years now so the numbers don’t phase me,” says Ramside Estate’s executive chef, who’s in charge of the...

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Destination Darlington

Whisk yourself off to Monte ‘Darlo’ and you’ll find it’s a foodie haven that’ll satisfy the most insatiable of appetites. Here’s where to go … Cracking Cocktails at Prego, in Grange Road  From Pink Mojitos to a Red Hot Passion, Prego is well known in the area for pretty awesome drinks. During the day, it  is a coffee shop that offers paninis, bacon and blue cheese scones and cakes, but by night it turns into a swanky cocktail bar. It’s open from 8.30am to 10pm, with food finishing at 4pm. Facebook: Prego Cafe & Wine Bar   Fancy Food...

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Chef Steve Jobson is the Perfect Catch for Newcastle Restaurant

He’s the perfect catch for Newcastle Quayside’s trendy new bar and restaurant. Savour chats to Steve Jobson, head chef at The Jolly Fisherman on the Quay. Photography: Marie Harkness   Fish and chips with beef dripping and a signature fish pie – Steve Jobson hopes to be reeling in the customers at The Jolly Fisherman on the Quay. He’s taken the reins in the kitchen and since joining in January as head chef, he’s revamped the menu to offer “good, honest food”. “We’re not stiff and starchy. It’s a relaxed setting with honest food and cracking views,” says Steve. “The restaurant opened...

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Culinary Wizardry is Being Cast over Wynyard Hall

Culinary wizardry is being cast over Wynyard Hall. We chat to chef Mehdi Amiri about the multi-million-pound food operation and the opening of The Glasshouse – a stunning new building that will host a range of culinary experiences, including cookery workshops and pop-up dining events. Photographs: Sean Elliott Photography    Watching Mehdi Amiri at work is like watching a spectacle at the theatre. He’s placing the finishing touches to his ‘Essence of Granny Smith’ dish with his chef’s tweezers, and he does it with such finesse that we’re completely captivated.   It’s photoshoot day at Wynyard Hall, in Tees...

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A New Gin School Is Set To Launch in Newcastle

Sit up straight, pens down – prepare for a lesson like no other with the introduction of Newcastle’s first Gin School. This new gin-tasting experience – which includes tastings and interactive talks – aims to cause a stir among spirit-lovers when it launches next month at The Gin Bar, Crowne Plaza, Stephenson Quarter. Students will learn all about the history, science and art of the quintessentially British spirit, including the distillation process, the art of mixing and the recent gin revival. Monthly sessions are led by expert ‘ginstructors’ from award-winning distillers including Hendrick’s and Masons of Yorkshire. The guest...

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