<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Lancashire Life today click here

Lancashire chef Nigel Haworth

PUBLISHED: 03:32 17 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:22 19 January 2016

Nigel and Kath Haworth at Northcote

Nigel and Kath Haworth at Northcote

Few have done more than Northcote Manor's Michelin-starred chef Nigel Haworth, one of the Great British Menu stars, to promote the region's food

If you think life on television is all sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, then five minutes with Nigel Haworth will set you straight.

Millions saw the Michelin-starred chef cook his special version of Lancashire hotpot as the main course at a sumptuous welcome home banquet for troops who served in Afghanistan.

It was the emotional culmination of the BBC's Great British Menu, a competition between top chefs battling out to reach the final and then cook one of the courses. Stars in their Pies, if you like.

Lancashire cuisine

Accrington-born Nigel triumphed and it put him - and Lancashire cuisine - back in the limelight. It also provided several chefs with a following among female viewers captivated by the sight of a well risen soufflé.

Some of the younger chefs were sent certain items of apparel by admirers. 'The lads joked I was the one appealing to the more mature lady,' laughs Nigel. 'I got sent knitted tea-cosies! That's how rock 'n' roll it was.'

It's a typically self-deprecating story from Nigel. While there's no doubt he's an articulate boss who demands the highest standards, it's difficult to image him chasing anyone around the kitchen with a meat cleaver.

Gruelling experience

Unlike the Gordons and Marcos, Nigel is happy to let his cooking do most of the talking.

He appreciates that his increasing TV exposure has had a positive impact on his growing business, which spans the swish Northcote Manor to the Ribble Valley Inns dining pubs. But GBM was still quite a gruelling experience.

Apart from 25 days of filming, he also had to devise and develop the dishes. His wife Kath, who swapped a career in finance to study for a degree in interior design and construction, says: 'He was getting up at 5am to get into the kitchen when it was quiet so he could practice his dishes.'

Nigel adds: 'I know people thought I was going mad, but when I took part in the programme last year I didn't cook well. I was very frustrated about that and I was determined to make sure I got to cook at the banquet.

'But it was a sacrifice in terms of being away from the business and from family life. I'm lucky to have a partner of the calibre of Craig Bancroft or it wouldn't have been possible.

Very self-critical

'I still haven't watched the recordings of last year's competition. I'm very self-critical and I know I'll be sitting there thinking 'Why on earth did I do that!' We have this year's on DVD so I'll watch parts of it...eventually.'

The prospect of watching how he managed to make 35 large hotpots and then cook them in just two temperamental ovens would be enough to bring him out in a sweat.

Unlike Nigel, Kath was at home near Ribchester watching the BBC series unfold over the weeks. At times, the waspish panel of judges, Prue Leith, Matthew Fort and Oliver Peyton were blunt to the point of rudeness. 'I was incredibly proud of Nigel but some of the criticism was cruel, especially from Oliver.' The Irishman's rant against Nigel's cheese ice-cream still makes the chef chuckle. Kath's reaction was a little different.


More from Food & Drink

Ad Feature: La Locanda

Friday, February 16, 2018

When you visit La Locanda, a true taste of Italy is guaranteed, thanks to the owners, Maurizio and Cinzia Bocchi, a husband and wife team who hail from Lake Maggiore, in northern Italy...

Read more
Friday, February 9, 2018

The Boho Baker makes a traditional Lancashire cake that could be a great alternative to pancakes.

Read more
Thursday, February 8, 2018

Treat Mum to a deliciously authentic Italian meal to remember this Mother’s Day (Sunday, March 11th).

Read more
Thursday, February 1, 2018

A crafty collaboration has brought the worlds of beer and art together in Salford, as Rebekka O’Grady discovers

Read more
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Mother’s Day at The Lock - Sunday 11th of March.

Read more
Wednesday, January 31, 2018

It’s Pizza o’Clock at The Top Lock - Monday to Thursday from 4 ’til 9pm.

Read more
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Treat your mum to an extra special afternoon tea at The Butlers Arms this Mothers Day.

Read more
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Start the weekend The Butlers Arms way, with 2 for 1 from our Friday Seafood Menu, Fish & Chips and on Prosecco.

Read more
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

You’re a vegetarian, they love a steak. Perhaps it’s the other way round. Maybe you’ll both have the steak or you’ll both try vegan.

Read more
Tuesday, January 30, 2018

The contemporary vibe of this new Ribble Valley restaurant will have surprised customers who recall the old hotel dining room. Roger Borrell reports.

Read more
Lancashire Restaurants Whalley
Thursday, January 25, 2018

Contemporary Chinese restaurant Tattu is calling time on those January blues with a host of special events lined up for February from Valentine’s Day through to a week-long celebration for Chinese New Year.

Read more
Monday, January 22, 2018

Join Arlene Phillips and Strictly Come Dancing favourites Aljaz and Janette on this exclusive 8-day river cruise along the Danube

Read more
Monday, January 22, 2018

Take a break from your spending spree with this selection of afternoon teas located around the main shopping areas of King Street and Exchange Square in the centre of Manchester.

Read more
Afternoon Tea Manchester
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Our new columnist, Debby Donnelly-Addison is determined to fly the flag for produce from the county, as Emma Mayoh discovered

Read more
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Lancashire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search