Lancashire Life Luncheon - The Black Bull at Rimington
PUBLISHED: 13:49 05 April 2011 | UPDATED: 22:06 21 October 2015
A Lancashire dining pub is set for more medals with an Olympic chef running the kitchen<br/>Photography by John Cocks
When you’ve swapped life sailing a boat between Florida and the Bahamas for a semi-derelict pub in wintry Lancashire, it displays an impressive level of commitment. Some might say madness.
But after a lifetime advising top industries around the world, consultants Katherine Lachance, who is American born, and Blackburn’s Steve Hodgson have never been daunted by a challenge.
And if the world of consultancy is all about creating successful outcomes, a visit to the Black Bull at Rimington in the Ribble Valley would leave you in no doubt about their sanity.
This wonderfully reconstructed French restaurant with rooms has become a major addition to the region’s pub dining scene to the extent it picked up a top gong in the recent Lancashire Life Food & Drink Awards.
Katherine and Steve, when not spending their leisure time afloat, clocked up many years living out of suitcases and they developed firm views about the hospitality industry. Importantly, it taught them a lot about how not to do it.
What they have done is produce a dining pub with terrific food and exemplary service in attractive, welcoming surroundings. As you would expect from people with successful careers in human resources, they have built a team that feels involved in the business and, consequently, they are passionate about continuing the Bull’s successful trajectory.
That was amply demonstrated during our most recent Lancashire Life â Luncheon. Head chef Paul Sutton and his team set the bar high with a selection of delicious canapés which included a cassoulet terrine accompanied by a refreshing fizz of blanc de blanc from wine merchants Corney & Barrow.
A delicate mixture of fish from the Wellgate suppliers in Clitheroe formed the starter with a pressed terrine in a dill jelly with a chilled beetroot salad and a beautifully cooked tempura oyster. A crisp Cotes de Gascogne was a comfortable match.
A melting dish of venison from Up Holland butchers H. Greaves & Sons was cooked two ways as the main course and came with a tarragon potato cake and celeriac puree. A cherry-ripe Rasteua Cotes du Rhone formed a great double act.
Dessert was a glazed tart citron which displayed a real understanding of the pastry-maker’s art and it came with a rich Monbazillac.
No wonder the elegant service and superbly-cooked food brought a thunderous round of applause.
Paul Sutton honed his career in some top restaurants working with Gary Rhodes at The Greenhouse in Mayfair when it secured a Michelin star. His CV also takes in the Box Tree in Ilkley and he worked at the Sydney Olympics cooking for VIPs. He and his team certainly deserve their places among the medals.