Foodies Festival Christmas – Harrogate


Yorkshire’s foodies can tuck into a festive feast this weekend as Foodies Festival Christmas arrives in Harrogate, transforming the International Centre into a culinary winter wonderland with top local chefs, Bake Off winner Nadiya, artisan producers, food & drink masterclasses and international street food.

Foodies Festival Christmas Launch Picture

Murray Wilson Head chef at Norse, Chef consultant at Rudding Park Stephanie Moon & MasterChef finalist Sara Danesin-Medio


Festival-goers can watch this year’s Great British Bake Off winner Nadiya Hussain whip-up Christmas showstoppers in the Cake & Bake Theatre and get inspiration from Yorkshire’s acclaimed chefs cooking live in the Chefs Theatre. Confirmed chefs include:


  • Nadiya Hussain – 2015 Great British Bake Off Winner
  • Luis Troyano – Great British Bake Off
  • Murray Wilson – Norse
  • Stephanie Moon – Chef Consultant at Rudding Park
  • Martyn Hyde – Eat Me Cafe
  • Yves Quemerais – The French Chef at Home
  • Lionel Strub – The Clarendon Hotel
  • Ashley Kelly McCarthy – Ye Old Sun Inn
  • Whaheed Rojan – The Round Table Dining
  • Sara Danesin Medio – MasterChef Finalist 2011
  • Rahila Hussain – Winner of Food Glorious Food
  • Rachel Green – Top TV Chef
  • Richard Fox – Top TV Chef
  • Steve Bulmer – Swinton Park
  • Katy Beskow – Little Miss Meat Free

Visitors can shop and sample from over 150 producers in the Artisan Christmas Market selling cheeses, chutneys, jams, oils, biscuits and more; everything needed to make this Christmas extra tasty and special.

A Street Food Village serves flavours from around the world, with vegan and gluten-free options, and a Pudding Hall offers festive favourites to feast on including mince pies, Christmas cake, candy canes, marzipan bonbons, chocolate yule log, shortbread and macaroons.

Gin lovers will rejoice as Yorkshire’s small batch gin producers host daily Christmas Gin Cocktail masterclasses, and wine experts Charles Metcalfe and Neil Philips are on-hand helping visitors match wines with festive flavours in the Drinks Theatre. Beer expert Melissa Cole also joins the festival championing craft beers as an alternative to wine and champagne this Christmas.

An Elf Cookery School entertains children under 12 with gingerbread men and cookie decorating classes, while families and friends relax with warm mulled wine, spiced cider and chilled bubbly at the Ski Bar.

Just like Christmas day there is lots of post-feasting fun to be had with live music, carolling from local choirs and schools, and entertainment throughout the day.

Tickets are on sale now and are available at or by calling 0844 995 1111

Friday adult day ticket £10.00 / £8.00 concession

Saturday or Sunday adult day ticket £13.00 / £11.00 concession

3-day adult ticket £20.00 / £16.00 concession

Friday VIP ticket £35.00 / Saturday or Sunday VIP ticket £38.00

VIP tickets include a welcome glass of bubbly, access to the VIP lounge with private bar and refreshments throughout the day, priority entry to food and drink masterclasses, a festive goody bag and a showguide.

All children aged 12 and under go free to all Foodies Festivals when accompanied by an adult.

Opening times:

Friday 11th December: 10am – 6pm

Saturday 12th December: 10am – 6pm

Sunday 13th December: 10am – 5pm

Posted in Baking, chefs, Cocktails, Eating, Events, Food, Gin, Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales Food | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival

The long overdue and highly anticipated, Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival is coming to Skipton Auction Mart in 2016. With Yorkshire born James Martin as the event patron, this is an event not to be missed!

Yorkshire Dales Food and Drink Festival 2016

Promoting the ‘Field to Fork’ ethos and showcasing the finest food, drink and chefs principally from the Yorkshire Dales region, the festival is a combination of over 300 traders selling the best of regional produce. There is a Celebrity Chef Demonstration arena – featuring the Hairy Bikers on Saturday, 30 July and James Martin on Sunday, 31 July – and a Local Chef Demonstration arena showcasing our fantastic local talents. Timothy Taylor Brewery is hosting a bar area and there is a vibrant Street Food Arena.

We are transforming Skipton Auction Mart into a ‘Foodies Heaven’ with plenty to enjoy for all the family. 

Tickets available on Eventbrite

The Yorkshire Dales Food & Drink Festival Skipton

Keep up to date with us on facebook at

If you are interested in exhibiting at the event, please email for an application pack or visit the website for further details.

Posted in chefs, Eating, Events, farmers market, StreetFood, Yorkshire, Yorkshire Dales Food | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

A taste of Tuscany

Exploring the secret world of the Italian Pork Butcher – Norcini.  (They all look like slightly past it Italian Porn stars!)

A few images & experiences from my recent trip to the Garfagnana area of Italy.

Italian Salumi from Prosciutto & Biroldi to Sopressata…..

A full write up of my experiences to follow….

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Gammon, Bacon or Ham… What’s the difference?

Brilliant Bacon

Back, streaky and middle bacon rashers come from either the back or belly of the pig.  The curing process uses a salt preparation to remove water from the meat; either in the form of a dry cure rubbed over the meat or a wet cure in which the meat is immersed or injected.  Wet cure tends to add weight to the meat and therefore when cooked a curd type white liquid will be released into your pan.  Dry cure removes water from the meat and will give a superior cooked bacon without the white scum.   After curing, bacon may be smoked to give another subtle level of flavour.
Streaky, back or middle are the most popular rashers, but bacon can also be produced from collar.

mangalitza back bacon

Mangalitza back bacon

Glorious Gammon

This is cured pork from the hind legs of the pig.  The curing process is the same as that used for bacon, a highly skilled method of preserving meat using salt (either in a brine solution or dry cured using a salt based rub).  Dry curing tends to prduce more subtle flavour and an improved meat texture.  After curing, gammon may also be smoked to give a more intense flavour.
Gammon is available from your butcher as a bone-in or boneless joint and also as gammon steaks.

Hero Ham

Ham is quite simply another term for the slices from a cooked gammon – sometimes known as Gammon ham.
Ham is often flavoured during the cooking process with specialist coatings: honey, mustard or a brown sugar glaze.  It is possible to buy a raw ham joint to cook at home but most people prefer to buy ham that is pre-cooked, sliced and ready to eat.
Whilst ham is traditionally served in sandwiches and salads it’s great combined with pasta, or added to omelettes. pies and quiches, savoury scones and muffins.

The Cuts – Rashers, Joints or Steaks… what’s the difference?

Collar Joint

This cut makes an excellent joint which can be boiled or braised.  The collar joint may also be sliced into rashers.  As a joint it needs to be well soaked before cooking.

Back Bacon Rashers

Made from the loin or back of the pig, can be dry cured or brine cured.  This cut is usually sold as rashers or thick bacon chops.  It is lean and cut thinly as rashers.  Bacon chops can be fried, grilled or baked.  Alternatively a thick piece can also be used for boiling, braising or roasting.

Middle Bacon Rashers

An economical buy, middle rashers are a breakfast time favourite for many and are essentially both the back bacon rashers and streaky bacon rashers in one piece.  Usually rolled.

middle bacon on slicer

middle bacon on slicer

Forehock or Gammon Hock

Hocks provide really tasty meat for casseroles, soups, pies, terrines and mincing.

Streaky Bacon Rashers

Streaky bacon is cured pork belly.  A firm favourite with some, streaky bacon rashers offer a balance of tasty lean with fat and are best when grilled.  A joint of streaky bacon is good boiled and pressed, to eat cold.  Streaky bacon gives especially good value for money.

streaky bacon on slicer

streaky bacon on slicer

Middle Gammon

A lean, meaty cut for boiling, braising, roasting or baking.  This is a prime joint and a convenient size for many uses.  Gammon steaks are usually cut from this joint.  They are excellent grilled or fried.

For more information see

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Masons Gin & Orange Ice Cream? Yummy Yorkshire!

Yummy Yorkshire swirls into partnership with Masons Gin

masons yorkshire gin and orange ice cream yummy yorkshire

Artisan ice cream producer Yummy Yorkshire has joined forces with renowned Yorkshire gin producer Masons to create a new ice cream flavour combination, Gin & Orange Ripple.

After tasting Masons Gin, which is traditionally served with a slice of orange, Jeremy Holmes, founder of Yummy Yorkshire, approached the craft gin distiller to create a limited edition ice cream which combines the brand heritage of Masons with Yummy Yorkshire’s reputation for producing outstanding ice cream.

The ice cream is made by combining the perfectly balanced gin with a pure, unadulterated natural ice cream base, allowing the subtle gin flavours to shine through, the base is then swirled with a luxurious orange marmalade, interspersed with fresh orange zest to create the perfect refresher for summer dinner parties and grown-up picnics.

Using fresh milk from the farm’s 150 Friesian Holstein herd, Yummy Yorkshire produces luxurious, creamy and smooth ice cream that combines modern and contemporary flavours with traditional values and fresh local ingredients such as strawberries and liquorice.

Yummy Yorkshire is located on the outskirts of Huddersfield, off the A629 between Ingbirchworth and High Flatts. Visit for further information.

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Wimbledon – Fortnum & Mason & Scotch Eggs

I love a good Scotch Egg but they are not as Scottish as you think! allegedly invented by Fortnum’s as picnic food, ideal for sustenance on early train journeys!  I therefore loved this PR stunt put on by Fortnum & Mason early this morning in SW19 the Wimbledon Tennis queue…

Fortnum & Mason Scotch Eggs Wimbledon Queue

“Early risers joining the queue for Wimbledon tickets got an unexpected surprise this morning when a team of suave Fortnum & Mason red tails descended on SW19 to hand out some much needed sustenance. Dressed to the nines, the dashing fleet treated tennis goers to gourmet Scotch Eggs – rumoured to have been invented by Fortnum’s in 1738.”

Fortnum & Mason Scotch Eggs Wimbledon Queue

Fortnum & Mason Scotch Eggs Wimbledon Queue

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Hesper Farm Icelandic Style Skyr Yogurt

hesper farm skyr

Skyr is Iceland’s traditional dairy product – a bit like a yogurt but thicker, super-nutritious and naturally 0% fat.

Each delicious pot contains about three times as much protein as typical yogurt and is  naturally rich in calcium. With low sugar and only the best simple ingredients we can find, our skyr is virtuous as well as velvety.

We travelled to Iceland to learn how to make it. Back home at Hesper Farm, we make skyr in our purpose-built dairy, with milk from our own award-winning pedigree Holstein Friesians. Set off the beaten track, in the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, our cows enjoy a good life, outdoors in tune with the seasons.

We care about quality and are passionate about our product. We’re proud to be going our own way, being the first British farm to bring you skyr.

Hesper Farm Skyr is available in Original, Vanilla, Blueberry & Strawberry.

Available from Town End Farm Shop in 150g portion pots & 450g serving pots.

Hesper Farm, Bell Busk, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 4DU

hesper farm skyr pots

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Grassington Food Festival

A few shots from Grassington Food Festival 2015…

grassington festival stephanie moon grassington food festival 2015

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Masons Yorkshire Gins & Yorkshire Vodka

Masons Yorkshire Gin announces release of three new products in celebration of turning two.

Masons Yorkshire Gin
Soon to be in a bar near you, up and coming Masons gin announces the release of three new uniquely Yorkshire drinks in celebration of its second birthday. To be launched on World Gin day, (13th June) these include Masons with a hearty Yorkshire tea infusion, a delicate Yorkshire Lavender flavour, and an entirely new beverage all together – Masons Yorkshire Vodka.
Creator Karl says: ‘These drinks have been a work in progress for some time now, and we are extremely excited to finally share them. We really think they are something special that people won’t have had before’.
These drinks will be available for purchase from the 13th June, and alongside the traditional flavour, will be sold at various bars, restaurants, stores and food and drink fairs across the country.

Available from Town End Farm Shop, Airton

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Gregg Wallace backs ‘Leeds Food Month’


-TV presenter sampled the city’s culinary delights as Leeds launches first ‘Food Month’-

Gregg Wallace shares a pint with Northern Monk Brewery founder Russell B...

A month-long celebration of food and drink in Leeds starts today and has been given the seal of approval by one of the UK’s most famous foodie faces – the BBC’s Gregg Wallace.

The ‘Masterchef’ host visited the city to launch the inaugural Leeds Food Month and record a special film about some of the city’s best-loved food and drink destinations.

During his visit Gregg met brewers, bakers and chefs to learn more about the dynamic and delicious Leeds food and drink scene and to find out what visitors can expect during the four-week programme of food heaven.

Rola Wala and Northern Bloc in Trinity Kitchen, authentic Thai restaurant Sukhothai and independent start-ups Leeds Bread Cooperative and Northern Monk Brewery were all paid a visit by Gregg and the exuberant food-lover was delighted with what he saw.

Gregg said: “I’d heard great things about the food and drink scene in Leeds and couldn’t wait to get stuck in and try it out for myself.  I’m really impressed with everything I’ve tried in the city – but even more so with the passion of the people I’ve met.  Leeds Food Month should be a very special few weeks and from what I’ve experienced – and tasted – I’m sure that it’ll be a fantastic celebration of the food of Yorkshire.”

Behind the scenes with Gregg Wallace and Northern Monk Brewery's Russell...

Leeds Food Month kicks off with the Leeds Indie Food Festival taking place from May 7- May 24, 2015 leading into the Leeds Food and Drink Festival starting on May 22, 2015. The month then culminates in the three-day Yorkshire Food and Drink Show in Millennium Square featuring more than 100 exhibitors including some of the region’s best restaurants and producers from June 5-7, 2015.

Leeds Food Month kicks off with the Leeds Indie Food Festival taking place from May 7- May 24, 2015 leading into the Leeds Food and Drink Festival starting on May 22, 2015. The month then culminates in the three-day Yorkshire Food and Drink Show in Millennium Square featuring more than 100 exhibitors including some of the region’s best restaurants and producers from June 5-7, 2015.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Leeds Food and Drink Festival, and the fourth in association with Asda. The festival which takes place over two-weeks has something for food lovers of all ages to enjoy, including special menus, offers and events that will take visitors on a culinary tour of the city.

Thousands from across the country are expected to flock to the city to discover a whole host of gastronomic treats from gourmet dishes to brilliant burgers and everything in between. Beer experts and cocktail connoisseurs are sure to find plenty to savour too, thanks to the Leeds’ exciting and ever-growing bar scene.

Visitors can explore mouth-watering markets and enjoy special offers from some of the city’s most popular eateries and bars.  Events also include a Thai cookery class with Chaopraya, a culinary tour of Italy with Ipsum Vinoteca, and Leeds’ first pop-up wine festival Grapeful where guests can sample up to 100 wines from around the world in the stunning surroundings of Leeds Town Hall

The Leeds Food and Drink Festival will culminate in the renowned Yorkshire Food and Drink Show, taking place in Millennium Square from June 5-7, 2015.  This spectacular event is free to attend and brings together some of the most famous names from the Leeds food scene with over 20 chefs taking part.  Unique market stalls sit alongside a live demo kitchen where chefs prepare delicious fresh food for guests.

For more information on Leeds Food Month visit to download the festival ‘menu’, or for regular updates follow @LeedsFoodFest on Twitter.

Posted in burgers, cheese, chefs, Cocktails, coffee, Drinks, Eating, farmers market, Food | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment