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Top Lancashire chefs serve up Lancashire Day dinner at Hipping Hall

PUBLISHED: 15:18 15 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:18 15 December 2017

Quartet of chefs celebrate Lancashire Day at Hipping Hall, Lancashire. Oil Martin, Chris Bury, Tom Parker and Matt Smith. Picture by Paul Heyes

Quartet of chefs celebrate Lancashire Day at Hipping Hall, Lancashire. Oil Martin, Chris Bury, Tom Parker and Matt Smith. Picture by Paul Heyes

Paul Heyes Photography Limited

PHOTOGRAPHY: PAUL HEYES

Bury black pudding doughnut. Picture by Paul HeyesBury black pudding doughnut. Picture by Paul Heyes

Lancashire food and drink has experienced a renaissance. Over recent years top chefs, restaurateurs and retailers have been shining a spotlight on the wonderful food and drink available in the county. From the launch of the Ribble Valley Food Trail almost a decade ago, to a pop-up restaurant in London designed to turn the heads of people outside of our borders, we are a county that has become a foodie force to be reckoned with.

This was celebrated with an exclusive dinner at the five star Hipping Hall to mark Lancashire Day. Four of the county’s top ranked chefs created an eight course Lancashire Feast for the occasion held at the hotel in Cowan Bridge, near Kirkby Lonsdale. Oli Martin from Hipping Hall, Chris Bury from The Cartford Inn, Matt Smith from the Freemasons at Wiswell and Tom Parker from The White Swan at Fence designed dishes for the event.

Diners were treated to a variety of dishes that were inspired by the produce, history and provenance of the county. Courses included a Bury black pudding doughnut with celeriac and a mustard meringue, truffled Goosnargh chicken with Hesketh Bank potato and halibut, with Lytham buckthorn and Fylde Coast greens.

Oli, who has also worked at Northcote and Gilpin Hotel as well as in France and Australia, said: ‘Lancashire’s really got it going on at the moment and it was great to work with fellow chefs in the county to make the most of the great produce. We’re really lucky here, the landscapes give us great raw ingredients to work with, like salt marsh lamb and Goosnargh duck.

Lancashire shot grouse, pigs head and fermented apple. Picture by Paul Heyes,Lancashire shot grouse, pigs head and fermented apple. Picture by Paul Heyes,

‘Working alongside your fellow chefs is inspiring. We’re all working with the same ingredients, but the combinations and dishes are distinctively different. It’s as exciting for the chefs as it is for the eaters.’

Oli was joined by old college friend, Chris, who has been head chef at Little Eccleston’s Cartford Inn since 2015. Chris, who has worked in many prestigious establishments including Claridge’s and The Fat Duck, brought his enthusiasm for underused techniques, including curing, home-smoking and preserving to the Cartford.‘Lancashire’s food and drink scene is nationally recognised,’ said Chris, 30. ‘These events are all about building county pride and sharing what we do best, serving up great food with real integrity.

For hotelier Andrew Wildsmith, owner of Hipping Hall as well as the Michelin starred Forest Side in Grasmere and The Ryebeck, a country house hotel in Bowness, the event is a fitting tribute to Lancashire’s success.

‘I’m a very proud Lancastrian and I’ve wanted, for a long time, to be able to do something that celebrates the county,’ he said. ‘Bringing the type of chefs together as we have done for this event is great because it gets people talking about Lancashire food. And that’s when exciting things happen.

Wild halibut, Lytham buckthorn and Fylde Coast greens. Picture by Paul Heyes,Wild halibut, Lytham buckthorn and Fylde Coast greens. Picture by Paul Heyes,

‘Lancashire is becoming a culinary mecca. It’s important for the county to keep building on this.’

The event was a part of the ongoing Taste Lancashire campaign from Marketing Lancashire.

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