Staffordshires Food and Drink Scene.

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Michelin Dinner: John Williams & Rob Palmer at World of Wedgwood

Chefs John Williams MBE and Rob Palmer will be in Stoke-on-Trent this autumn for the Michelin Dinner 2019, raising money for the Douglas Macmillan Hospice. Two fantastic Michelin starred chefs…

Chefs John Williams MBE and Rob Palmer will be in Stoke-on-Trent this autumn for the Michelin Dinner 2019, raising money for the Douglas Macmillan Hospice.

Two fantastic Michelin starred chefs will prepare a 5 course tasting menu for 150 lucky guests in the stunning World of Wedgwood Tea Room at Barlaston on Monday 21 October. Coordinated by Michelin, whose UK headquarters are nearby on Campbell Road, the dinner is a fundraiser on behalf of Michelin employees’ chosen charity of the year.

Every pound raised will help Dougie Mac to continue providing priceless end of life care, free of charge, to people across North Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

Starting at 6.30pm, this special event gives Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire foodies the chance to enjoy a night celebrating exceptional food as well as the power of local businesses to work together to do good.

In the kitchen on 21 October will be two Michelin-starred chefs and their brigades. John Williams MBE has been executive chef at The Ritz London for the last 15 years, winning numerous industry accolades, and readers may recognise him from the TV documentary Inside the Ritz Hotel. Also soon to be seen on Channel 4’s Great Hotel Escape is Hampton Manor, where head chef Rob Palmer won his first Michelin star in 2016 at Peel’s Restaurant.

There will be some phenomenal prizes up for grabs in a charity auction on the evening too, including some practically priceless foodie experiences.

Last year, the first dinner raised £50,000 for the Donna Louise Trust. Stoke-on-Trent born chefs Niall Keating and Simon Hulstone treated diners to dishes including duck liver parfait, smoked duck and pickled cauliflower with windfall apple purée, and beef fillet with fermented lettuces, horseradish and dill.

Stoke-on-Trent foodies won’t want to miss out on this unique event. A few tickets are still available at the time of writing. At £175 per person they include a welcome drink on arrival, 5 course tasting menu and accompanying wine flight.

Go to the Dougie Mac website to book.

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Meynell Ingram Arms welcomes new executive chef

Matthew McKinley has joined the team at The Meynell Ingram Arms at Hoar Cross as Executive Chef. The rural Staffordshire pub and restaurant reopened after extensive refurbishment in May –…

Matthew McKinley has joined the team at The Meynell Ingram Arms at Hoar Cross as Executive Chef. The rural Staffordshire pub and restaurant reopened after extensive refurbishment in May – read our review here if you haven’t already.   

Matthew began his career in some of Northern Ireland’s finest restaurants, cutting his teeth with Northern Ireland’s first Michelin starred chef, Paul Rankin, at Paul’s signature restaurant Roscoff.  He later continued to develop his skills at Mourne Seafood Bar in Belfast.

After spending time cooking in Thailand, Matthew lived in Australia for four years, developing his own style and refining his technique. He returned to Northern Ireland in 2016, where he worked as Head Chef at The Old Inn, Crawfordsburn, which was awarded Northern Ireland’s AA Hotel of the Year 2017 during his time there. He recently moved to the Midlands to be with his fiancé.

“I’m delighted to have Matthew joining us; his wealth of experience in leading culinary environments will be a fabulous asset for The Meynell,” said Berkeley Inns’ Managing Director Howard Thacker.

“Customers are becoming constantly more discerning and demanding of authenticity. ‘World’ food is increasingly popular, and our menus feature dishes originating from all points of the globe.

“Matthew’s worldwide experience will facilitate our ability to deliver the authenticity required within these dishes.

“I’m really excited to see Matthew developing The Meynell menu over the coming months and hope and expect our customers will be delighted with the results.”

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Sunday Homework Sessions launch at The Boat Inn

On Sunday 1 September, Liam Dillon and the team at The Boat Inn will launch an innovative new concept – Sunday Homework Sessions – where the kitchen team will be…

On Sunday 1 September, Liam Dillon and the team at The Boat Inn will launch an innovative new concept – Sunday Homework Sessions – where the kitchen team will be creating new dishes based around a different ingredient each weekend. 

A select number of guests will play the role of critics while taking part in a dining experience quite out of the ordinary. The chefs’ original dishes and flavour combinations may or may not make it onto the menu, depending on your feedback.

Every Sunday, a small number of guests will be invited to dine at the chef’s table in order to help the kitchen team with their ‘homework’, tasting new flavours and plates, and giving their honest feedback on the different dishes served.

Developing dishes without constraints or limitations is something many chefs relish the chance to do. The Sunday Homework Sessions will give them the opportunity to do just that. Each chef in the team will be challenged to dig deep and channel their inner creativity, playing with fresh ingredients in order to produce plates of food that showcase their abilities. Only those that meet the diners’ critical approval will have the chance to win a coveted place on one of The Boat’s menus.

Tickets for the Sunday Homework Sessions are just £15 each and can be purchased through their website. Starting at 6pm, guests will be treated to a number of small plates throughout the evening, and each asked for their thoughts whilst trying a myriad of different combinations.

The first Sunday Homework Session will be on Sunday 1 September. Follow The Boat Inn on Instagram to see the focus ingredient revealed.

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Little Seeds 2.0 is coming soon

Popular Stone restaurant Little Seeds will shut its doors for a week at the end of August as the eatery receives a makeover to give it a fresh new look….

Popular Stone restaurant Little Seeds will shut its doors for a week at the end of August as the eatery receives a makeover to give it a fresh new look.

After opening its doors in June 2016, the restaurant has flourished in a town which is quickly becoming known as the foodie capital of Staffordshire. The team recently celebrated their third anniversary and are now gearing up to create a new dining environment to better reflect their ever evolving menu and ethos of using the best seasonal produce in the UK.

Owners Sophie and Jake describe the changes as ‘Little Seeds 2.0’. They hope to take the popular restaurant to a new level, developing an experience that all their customers can enjoy.

Alongside the fresh new look, they will be launching a new menu – ‘A Taste of Little Seeds’ – that’s been designed to provide guests with a fresh dining experience and the chance to try more of what Little Seeds can offer. The Taste menu will be running alongside their current à la carte menu on Friday and Saturday evenings.

The restaurant will be closed from Monday 26 August until Tuesday 3 September for the refresh. In the meantime, you can still view the summer menus and book your table via the Little Seeds website.

You can also follow @littleseedsstone on Instagram and Facebook to stay up-to-date with the team and news of the refurb.

Little Seeds strawberry trifle

Photos: Matthew Owen Photography

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Strong Staffordshire showing in Great Taste Awards 2019

No fewer than 40 food and drink products from Staffordshire companies made the list of winners in this year’s Great Taste Awards. The Great Taste Awards, organised by the Guild…

No fewer than 40 food and drink products from Staffordshire companies made the list of winners in this year’s Great Taste Awards.

The Great Taste Awards, organised by the Guild of Fine Food, is the acknowledged benchmark for fine food and drink. More than 500 judges, including food critics, chefs, cooks, restaurateurs, buyers, retailers and producers as well as specially trained food writers, blind-taste each of the entries in teams of three or four.

The one star award is for products judged to have fantastic flavour. Two stars mean the judges dubbed it above and beyond delicious, while the three star award means the product was described as ‘extraordinarily tasty’.

Out of 12,772 products sent in from more than 100 countries, 40 from the county received awards this year. Staffordshire producers featured range from long-established businesses like Packington Free Range and Cottage Delight (both with more than five products on the list of winners) to relative newcomers like Sead Foods, who achieved two stars for their sesame butter, and Trotting Potter Salts, whose pastis salt was also awarded two stars.

The Pie Life, based in Tean, won five awards for their luxury pies, including two stars for the roast lamb and mint. Suncream Dairies picked up five awards for various flavours of their Gelato Lusso range, while Mr Trotter, Jeyel’s Foods, Midland Snacks, Just Crisps, Zago and Judy’s House Foods were also recognised by the judges. 

Among independents previously featured in Sauce magazine, Seed Chocolate and The Good Life Meat Company also received accolades. Seed’s 75% Peruvian Yapatera dark chocolate won two stars, as did The Good Life Meat Company’s Organic Longhorn Bresaola.

Other winners include street food favourites The English Indian, for their mint and chilli mushy peas, and Stone-based Lee Walker Family Butchers, for their champion pork pie. Nelson’s Timur Gin was one of only three Staffordshire products to walk away with the coveted three stars. 

The Great Taste Awards 2019 will conclude on Sunday 1 September, when the Great Taste Golden Fork trophy winners for each region will be revealed, with final applause reserved for the Great Taste Supreme Champion 2019. 

You can view a list of all the winners on the Great Taste website.

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Have a Just Perfect evening at BEAR Stone

If you’re a fan of fizz, get yourself down to BEAR on Stone High Street this summer for an evening with an expert. BEAR have teamed up with Julia from…

If you’re a fan of fizz, get yourself down to BEAR on Stone High Street this summer for an evening with an expert.

BEAR have teamed up with Julia from Just Perfect Wines – the prosecco and sparkling wine specialists – to host their first prosecco tasting experience on Friday 9 August, starting at 7pm and running until around 9.30-10pm.

Julia, who owns Just Perfect Wines and featured in the Autumn/Winter 2018 edition of Sauce magazine, is extremely knowledgeable and keen to share her passion for prosecco and sparkling wines. She’ll be running the evening from the cosy mezzanine in BEAR’s Stone store.

Guests will receive a glass of bubbles on arrival, and then have time to settle into the mezzanine space before tasting a series of five different proseccos. Julia will talk through the origins of each and the processes that are involved in making them. Each wine will be carefully paired with a menu of special canapés made in-house by BEAR’s kitchen team.

Bottles of all the sparkling wines sampled on the evening will also be available to buy.

Tickets are priced at £25 per person and you can book your place via Eventbrite today.

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Midlands’ best restaurant launches Versus Supper Clubs

The Boat Inn at Muckley Corner, Lichfield, took Best Fine Dining Restaurant at The Midlands Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards 2019, while head chef Liam Dillon walked away with Best Chef for…

The Boat Inn at Muckley Corner, Lichfield, took Best Fine Dining Restaurant at The Midlands Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards 2019, while head chef Liam Dillon walked away with Best Chef for the second consecutive year.

Liam DillonThe fourth Midlands Food Drink & Hospitality Awards was hosted at Villa Park on Monday 24 June, and saw the movers and shakers of the food, drink and hospitality industry from across Birmingham and the rest of the Midlands come together for an evening of celebration. Liam Dillon and his restaurant were flying the flag for Staffordshire as the only representatives of the county to walk away with awards on the night.

Liam has recently launched his new Versus Supper Club series which will see guest chefs go head-to-head against him in The Boat’s open kitchen. The next event is an evening with Kray Treadwell – former head chef of Michelin-starred The Man Behind The Curtain in Leeds who was recently part of Great British Menu 2019 – on Monday 15 July.

The chefs create rival six-course menus and guests get a score card to track whose dishes are their favourite with the winner revealed at the end of the night. Tickets for each supper club are £75 per person, with a donation from each sale going to the guest chef’s chosen charity.

The Versus Supper Club line-up for the next six months looks like this:

Kray Treadwell – Monday 15 July

Bruce Cheyne, head chef at Swinfen Hall Hotel, Lichfield – Monday 12 August

Tom Shepherd, head chef of Adam’s Restaurant, Birmingham – Monday 23 September

Will Holland, executive head chef at The Atlantic, Jersey – Monday 7 October

Matt Cheal, head chef of Cheal’s of Henley – Monday 18 November

Louisa Ellis, MasterChef finalist and private chef – Monday 9 December

 To book tickets for any of these events, go to: theboatinnlichfield.com

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New dog-friendly café opens at Armitage

The new café and boutique bed and breakfast at Tuppenhurst Barn is in a beautiful rural setting within easy reach of Lichfield, Rugeley and Cannock. It opens on 22 June….

The new café and boutique bed and breakfast at Tuppenhurst Barn is in a beautiful rural setting within easy reach of Lichfield, Rugeley and Cannock. It opens on 22 June.

24 year old Melissa Bettson’s family have lived at Tuppenhurst Farm for more than 100 years, but since her father passed away their 500 acres of land has been let to other families who farm sheep and arable crops there. After graduating with a degree in Equine Business Management – and recovering from a spine injury – Melissa moved back home from Gloucester two years ago.

Wanting to make her own mark on the place and keep the family farm sustainable, she decided to transform a disused 17th century barn into a café and luxury B&B. £1 million has been invested in the project, which has seen parts of the listed building dismantled and rebuilt brick by brick. Four dog-friendly ensuite bedrooms have been created, including an accessible room on the ground floor.

The light and airy café will be open to the public from 9:00-17:00, seven days a week, from Saturday 22 June. Serving hot and cold drinks including Lichfield Tea and Iron & Fire coffee, as well as cakes from local baker Crumb & Burrow, the café also offers breakfasts and light lunches. 

With the canal just a couple of minutes away, it’s a lovely spot to have some refreshments after your walk. And your faithful friend doesn’t have to miss out – plant-based dog treats from Melissa’s other business, Bear’s Bites, are available and so is a ‘Doggie Breakfast’ of bacon and scrambled eggs.

If you’re particularly into old engines, there’s also a museum on the farm housing some very rare specimens that you can take a look at. And if you’re into horse-riding, Melissa has created a professional equestrian arena available to hire on an hourly basis.

Tuppenhurst Farm
Tuppenhurst Lane, Rugeley, WS15 4HJ
www.tuppenhurstfarm.co.uk

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Beer Central Festival comes to the Midlands

We Are Beer are putting on a stellar food and beer line up for their first Midlands festival in Birmingham this July. Beer Central Festival will take place on Friday…

We Are Beer are putting on a stellar food and beer line up for their first Midlands festival in Birmingham this July.

Beer Central Festival will take place on Friday 5 and Saturday 6 July at 119 Floodgate Street in Digbeth. Brad Carter, Original Patty Men, Baked in Brick and Purecraft Bar & Kitchen are heading the food line-up which aims to gather together the best in beer, food and music. It promises to be a packed day out and it’s right on the doorstep for hungry (and thirsty) Staffordshire foodies.

The ‘all-in’ ticket means all beer is covered during the event, with attendees able to choose from a vast selection of beers from more than 25 local and international breweries. It’s a line up that will get any craft beer fan drooling, with the likes of Northern Monk, Purity, Siren, Cloudwater, Verdant, Wild Beer all in attendance. The ticket price includes beer and a selection of cider, wine, gin, whisky, and soft drinks as well as a glass and festival magazine. Food isn’t included.

Chef Brad CarterOn Friday and Saturday night, Brad (whose restaurant Carters of Moseley earned a Michelin star in 2016) will be grilling and smoking a variety of meat, seafood and other seasonal ingredients using two specially created grills. The ingredient-led menu has been carefully designed to pair perfectly with beers from two of his favourite breweries, The Kernel and Braybrooke.

Award-winning burger purveyors Original Patty Men, who opened their restaurant in Digbeth in 2015 after starting out in street food, will be there, as will Baked in Brick, winner of Best Street Food Trader at the British and European Street Food Awards

In terms of music, revellers can expect a Kaiser Chiefs DJ set and a session from hip-hop turntablist DJ Yoda. Hip Hop Karaoke will be inviting people to sing some of their favourite hip hop tracks in front of a live audience. Also joining the line up are Ultimate Power, who run club nights across the UK playing hit after hit of the world’s greatest ballads.

Greg Wells, co-founder of We Are Beer, says: “We’re super excited to present a Michelin-starred chef as part of the food line-up for Beer Central. We’re super proud to host Brad and ‘Best Street Food Trader in Europe’ Lee DeSanges from Baked in Brick at the first Beer Central Festival. They along with street food kings Original Patty Men means we’ll be showcasing the breadth and best of what Birmingham’s food scene has to offer.”

You can buy tickets for Beer Central here.

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Have a foodie Father’s Day

This Father’s Day, leave the annual-new-pair-of-socks tradition in 2018 and get your dad something he really wants: good food and drink! We’ve been scouting some of the best foodie gift…

This Father’s Day, leave the annual-new-pair-of-socks tradition in 2018 and get your dad something he really wants: good food and drink! We’ve been scouting some of the best foodie gift ideas from across Staffordshire to really impress your dad this weekend.

DIY – Bradbury’s Farm Shop, Lichfield

Fancy flexing your culinary skills this Father’s Day? Nothing says ‘I love you, Dad’ quite like a home cooked meal, and if you really want to impress him, shopping local is the way to go. The family run farm shop is tucked away on the outskirts of Lichfield, and is a delightful little hidden gem for local produce. Bradbury’s Farm Shop only supply locally sourced meat from around Staffordshire and also from their own family farm which is located just a couple of miles from the farm shop. All of their traditional breed cattle and sheep are grass fed and naturally reared by father and son duo, Peter and Jake, so you are guaranteed ethical and tasty produce every time.

And what’s a Father’s Day Sunday lunch without crisp, fresh veg? Bradbury’s Farm Shop have an abundance of delicious, seasonal veggies which will perfectly complement your meat.

Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea & Canal Cruise – Georgie’s Canal Cruises, Penkridge 

Treat your Dad to a gentle two hour cruise along the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal with Georgie’s Canal Cruises at Penkridge. Not only can you enjoy the sights together and meander the Sunday afternoon away through the Staffordshire countryside, but they also offer a Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea, featuring home-cooked savoury delights. The Gentleman’s Afternoon tea features the sweet treats of the traditional Afternoon tea, but has some sumptuous savoury additions. Expect homemade onion marmalade sausage rolls, mini Cornish pasties, cheesy nachos, and to top to it all off a bottle of beer or ale. The Gentleman’s Afternoon tea is priced at £27.50 per person inclusive of the two hour cruise, and is available from 12:00-14:00 or 15:00-17:00. All aboard!

Father’s Day Sunday Lunch – The Dog & Doublet Inn, Sandon

Get the whole family together and make some memories this Father’s Day with a traditional Sunday lunch. Set in the picturesque village of Sandon, The Dog & Doublet Inn are offering a delectable three course Sunday for lunch for just £20.00 per person. The vast menu offers dishes such as poached pear and Wrekin Blue salad with candied walnuts to start, slow roast loin pork with crispy crackling and sage and onion stuffing, and to finish, rhubarb creme brûlée with shortbread fingers. Yes, please! Table reservations are filling up quickly, so get booked in now to avoid disappointment.

Brewery Tour with Live Music & Beer – Mart’s Brewhouse, Hanley

Every dad loves a beer on Father’s Day, so why not take it up a notch and get him a Brewery Tour with a Twist at Mart’s Brewhouse & Tap in Hanley’s Cultural Quarter? You and your dad can learn all about the art of local beer brewing, enjoy live music and good food, and of course, sample some of their incredible brews. We love Mart’s Dutch Letters marzipan stout and Mart’s Early Bird pale ale. This special Father’s Day tour will take place on Saturday 15 June at 11:00 for just £21.55 per person. Tickets must be booked in advance, so what are you waiting for?

Father’s Day Hamper – Canalside Farm and Shop, Great Haywood

If your dad can’t resist some good quality farm shop produce, then this is the gift for him. Canalside Farm Shop is offering traditional hampers packed full of delicious food and drink, and you can choose from four different structures. If you know your dad’s fave foodie treats like the back of your hand, call into the farm shop and select your hamper contents from Canalside’s array of quality produce. If you would rather leave it to the experts, the lovely folks at Canalside have been creating hampers for over thirty years and will select the products you. You just need to tell them a little bit about your dad’s tastes and interests, and they will construct the perfect gift. If Father’s Day has completely slipped your mind this year and you need a last minute gift, there are ready made hampers in store which are available to pick up straight away. And finally, if your dad is a real advocate of local Staffordshire produce, Canalside also offer a hamper which showcases the very best of Staffordshire’s food and drink. Give them a call in advance for this hamper, and they will handpick the products the day before you collect.

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