North East‘s only Michelin-starred chef to demo at Universal Cookery & Food Festival

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 10th September 2015
The North East‘s only Michelin-starred chef is to demonstrate the skill that earned him the top award, at a food festival celebrating the region’s food industry. 4James Close, 35, head chef at Raby Hunt, Darlington, was awarded his first star in 2012, after just two years in the industry, making him the fastest, self-taught British chef ever to receive the accolade. And, on September 23, he will give a masterclass to visitors at the Universal Cookery and Food Festival 2015 (UCFF), Vallum Farm, near Matfen, Northumberland. The one day trade event aims to bring chefs, from across the UK, together with game-keepers, farmers, growers and food producers. And, in a coup for organisers, James will make a rare public appearance to demonstrate one of his signature dishes, The Walled Garden 2015. The dish, which features in Raby Hunt’s taster menu, comprises 40 differing, layered, vegetables, prepared using a variety of techniques and cooking methods.3 “It is without a doubt one of the most technically challenging dishes I’ve ever created,” said James, whose demonstration will be accompanied by a talk from his vegetable supplier, Northumberland-based Ken Holland. “Not only do the vegetables, flowers, leaves and herbs need to be of the highest quality but they need to be cooked, pickled and presented perfectly – it’s all about precision.” This is the first time the Universal Cookery and Food Festival has been held in the north of England, which is why James has agreed to take a rare break from his kitchen to attend it. Print“My work is pretty all consuming and it’s a big thing for me to leave the kitchen,” he said. “In fact, I wouldn’t do it for any other event. This is important, though, because it’s celebrating the superb produce and the culinary skill and ability that exist in the region.” Tickets to attend the event cost £99 per person plus VAT and include access to the full event, exhibition and refreshments along with live music and the evening barbecue. Attendees can register online at www.cookeryandfoodfestival.co.uk

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The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 10th September 2015

North East‘s only Michelin-starred chef to demo at Universal Cookery & Food Festival