CHEF PATRON, TREDWELLS
GROUP OPERATIONS DIRECTOR, MARCUS WAREING RESTAURANTS
I was lucky enough to be invited back to Obsession 2017 at Northcote Manor for the second year in a row. Lisa Allen is a great friend of mine and we really enjoy cooking together. She is an inspiration to be around and a very talented chef, who has a fantastic brigade of chefs, with Nigel Haworth.
Northcote Manor is a little escape from the hustle and bustle of London. Located in Lancashire it is rather isolated, adding to its charm. Operated by Craig Bancroft and Nigel Haworth, who have worked together at Northcote for more than 30 years, it is a fine example of great British, predominantly Northern, hospitality.
Obsession first began in 2001, and 16 years later is stronger than ever. With chefs from around the globe cooking each night, it is a festival of culinary inspiration and passion.
As is the tradition, as a chef you are invited to dine the evening before your night. I was lucky enough to enjoy the food from Gennaro Esposito, a 2 Michelin starred chef from Italy. With a meal of all seafood it was delicious, and of course, perfectly matched with accompanying wines from the legendary Craig Bancroft. The highlight for me was an incredible Nocellara olive soup that was packed with flavour, and silky smooth.
Our night was Tuesday 24th January, and our lineup included Anna Hansen (a fellow kiwi, who founded the Modern Pantry), myself, Lisa and Claire Clark (founder of Pretty Sweet London and world renowned pastry chef). Our menu started off with a wonderful octopus dish from Anna, with smoked ricotta, liquorice and macadamia nuts, and seed crackers. Anna slow cooked the octopus in lots of garlic, chilli and olive oil then finished it on the charcoal grill.
I had the next 2 courses, a chicken liver parfait dish with malt loaf, almond and honey meringue, pickled ginger and smoked almonds. The following course included a Tredwells favourite; chorizo jam! The dish was slow cooked cod, basically cooked in chorizo oil, with the chorizo jam, caramelised celeriac purée and smoked mascarpone. Craig (aka Mr B) paired this with a rich and decadent white Rioja, which I felt was the perfect match.
Lisa was up next with the main course of pork neck with confit potatoes (cooked in Iberico pork fat …), sorrel mayonnaise and pickled onions. She slow cooked the pork neck, in a spiced BBQ rub, for 20 hours then finished it on the grill, glazing it with a miso and soy syrup. It was so tender and flavoursome!
The pre dessert was a ‘peppermint crisp’, created also by Lisa. Think an Aero bar, with a yuzu and mint explosion. Pretty clever!
Claire finished the evening with a kalamansi and mango mousse, pecan granola and yogurt snow. The dessert looked, and tasted, stunning.
All in all a great night with a huge amount raised for charity for Hospitality Action. We then finished the night with a few G&Ts and a pork neck burger!
Thanks again to Lisa, Craig, Nigel and their wonderful teams for having me at Northcote again. It is a very special place that I am honoured to be part of the family of.
Visit Northcote’s Facebook page for more photos from #Obsession2017 here.