The Great Yorkshire Show Game Cookery Theatre

This year’s Game Cookery Theatre was bigger and better than ever. Here are some of the highlights…

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Glen Morrill from Rudding Park teamed up with Head Butcher from Fodder, Paul Nicolson, and both gents gave superb demonstrations on cooking up some fun dishes including Asian Spiced Venison Salad pictured above. These lads meant business with some fantastic butchery skills and up to the minute cookery from Glen using sous viede and many other techniques .

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Heather and her husband Rob cooked a venison burger in fine style even deep frying leaves for a crispy garnish. Farmer Copleys in action! Heather told the crowd of their great farm shop and some of the marketing they have been up to including spookily the square shaped pumpkin, an anti bullying campaign for school children as well as making a superb venison burger with crispy beetroot tops. Game plays a great part at Farmer Copleys.

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David Deacon from the Shoulder of Mutton makes gluten free biscuits with venison tasters… David’s wife is gluten free and so consequently David cooks a great deal of gluten free food. Great to know if you suffer from this problem. Here David shows a cheeky little appetiser to excite the taste buds.

Next up came Jason Moore from Provenance Inns with a Raspberry dusted grouse dish.  Stunning bird the grouse, the hardest to shoot and the most interesting to cook although partridge is my personal favourite!

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Jason’s dish really had packed in plenty of flavour. The raspberry dust giving the top of the grouse some real zing!

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Nothing gives Simon Crannage of Swinton Park more pleasure than using his own estate’s venison in his dishes..  Check these out. Venison rolled in onion ash to give it a unique flavour.

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The fabulous Robert Smith from Sykes helps me to warm up the crowd for a great demo. Robert gave us some of his culinary knowledge on game and its healthy eating properties.

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Chris Oakden and Jonny Purnell busy at work preparing four dishes including burgers and this pheasant dish. The Coniston Hotel has a large pheasant shoot and so these chefs cook a great deal of pheasant in season. They do a good job of it too!

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Ian Rae and David Spencer from the Cliffemount Hotel in Runswick Bay love game and give us some great game tips in this blistering heat! Love the hat Dave ! x

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Butchering the venison to get the portion of loin for the main course.

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Rosemary Shrager’s rabbit and pork belly dish fresh and inviting.

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A great dish from the Cliffemount Hotel chefs Ian and David using smoked duck, baby beets and potatoes.

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Dee Morrow from Dee Spice cooking some spicy game dishes. Dee is a Sri Lankan Chef who takes spices and turns food into hot stuff. This is curry that is not to be messed with! Hot and spicy game curry the Dee Spice way.

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James Mackenzie from the Pipe and Glass cooks up venison tartar and papperdelle game pasta with summer truffles. Two stunning dishes from one of Yorkshire’s Michelin starred chef’s.  Check out that crowd chef!

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Rob Green, Seafood Chef in Action with some wild fish!

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Stunning plate of wild fish three ways steamed , poached and roasted. Loved it Rob.

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A great looking dish from Jason Maine.  

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Paul Mackie from Rudding Park cooked up a stunning dish along with Robert Ramsden from Deli Fresh. Rob then did it again with Jason Maine from The Dean Clough Cookery School alongside Matthew Benson Smith.

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A mini speech from Simon Hamlyn on the beauty of Yorkshire game, the Countryside Alliance and their Game to Eat Campaign started Rosemary’s demo.

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Rosemary in action with her trusty sous chef Gilly Robinson and a very large crowd! Rabbit terrine looks good! The Venison samosas were delicious. I loved them and tried to eat one a day for my lunch!

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Next up, Kevin from The Food Academy at Flannels in Leeds. Kev pictured here with the moustache loves to cook with game and shows us how to get the most out of a pigeon.

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Wow what to say about the man who describes himself as the Glam Rock Pirate! Michael O’Hare, what a stunning plate of food or should I say a stunning table of pigeon roasted whole. The truffle puree tasted amazing (apparently made with celeriac cooked in milk then white truffle oil and squid ink to colour).  

Next up, me! cooking with my favourite game bird, the partridge, but as I was busy cooking I did not get any photos of the food and I couldn’t get near after the demo!

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Venison from Ashley McCarthy was a really great dish. The mini game pie worked a treat too.

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Next up the Provenance lads, Ben Turner and Josh, in the blistering heat they cooked up a lovely pigeon dish. Perfectly cooked lads!

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Rosemary cooks here with the Leeds City College students Amy and Emily. Her demo was entertaining and fun and she also imparted lots of rabbit knowledge.

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Next up came Chris and his son Tom from Leeds City College. Chris Moorby is the Head Butcher and Tom, his son, a former student. Chris showed us how to make game sausages. Not an easy thing to do I must add but they tasted sensational. Every home should have their own sausage maker!

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Nick Copland worked a great crowd of school children into a frenzy with this cookery. Some very interesting prep done to this rabbit with market fresh produce from Leeds.

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Tim Bilton the man and the dish! Yes folks Mr Bilton was really on form today cooking up a venison pie in shepherds pie style and some tasty Round Green Venison.

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Steven Bulmer is the new kid on the block and his first demo at the Great Yorkshire Show went down a storm with the crowd. Very entertaining and this former Raymond Blanc chef can cook up some lovely pasta in a very short space of time. I can understand why he’s Head Chef at Swinton Park Cookery School.

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Well after all the excitement the students and I enjoyed a beverage outside!

Well done one and all, a great effort to make it the best Great Yorkshire Show yet, certainly with the best weather! Next big show to look out for is the Autumn Flower Show at The Showground in Harrogate in September. I will be going cabbage mental guys !!!!!!
Cabbage heaven

Choux Choux !

Steph x

Yes I have seen the movie, yes I have eaten blinis and yes I have drunk the very rare glass of Vodka! Wild cooks, what Russia had in store for my friends and I on a recent trip was incredible. Prepare to be amazed!

Nothing can get you ready for being looked after like this – Moscow was definitely calling!

We were met at the Airport after a 3 ¾ hr flight by not one but two chauffeur driven Mercedes before taking a trip to downtown Moscow to our destination the Hotel Metropol where we met our hosts Stephen Quinn, Food and Beverage Director and his PR Manager Andreas. 

 My Bed room Hotel Metropol

The hotel is amazing, the history oozes out of it, and the gold leaf and chandeliers are incredible (I even had a chandelier in my bedroom!)

We ate caviar and blinis and listened to a grand piano in the restaurant before tucking in to a feast of marinated fish, smoked salmon, beef stroganoff, chicken kiev, cranberry juice and a glass of Vodka that was a far cry from our Saturday night tipple over here!

The restaurant has an incredibly high ceiling and is made up of hundreds of pieces of glass. We were dining in the hotel Kevin Costner and Robert Downey Junior had stayed in the week before and as we looked over the way Don King was sat with a boxer from America!

Refreshed by a wonderful supper, at about 1am Russian time we set off for a walk around Red Square with Stephen Quinn! But then off to bed worn out after a big day. I sunk into my giant double bed and slept like a baby!

We saw some amazing sights: St Basil Cathedral, The Kremlin, The Gateway to Red Square and the major shop a kin to Harrods “Gum”.

St Basils Cathedral Red Square

St Basil’s Cathedral Red Square

Day two I woke up and looked out of my window to see this amazing building what was it?

 view from my balcony Bolshoi Theatre

View from my balcony Bolshoi Theatre

Then a quick turn to the left and look, Red Square in the distance…

balcony towards red square

Balcony towards Red Square

What a view! Off for a hearty breakfast and then out into the Moscow city centre in the sunshine! After a satisfying breakfast of fruits, cereals, all usual meats, eggs, vegetables and mushrooms with some unusual items like soured milk, a dessert table and of course the blinis and caviar option we were given a tour by Andreas of our home for the next few nights, The Hotel Metropol.

I would describe the hotel as historic and beautiful and all the staff were incredibly friendly and informative. Even having worked at The Dorchester in my youth, the gold leaf and sheer opulence took my breath away. This is such a historic hotel, a real contrast to the contemporary features of Rudding Park.

The tour took in everything from the dining rooms to the private cinema theatre (not that different to Rudding Park then!), the renovations of the former nightclub, a desk once sat at by Churchill and a room Michael Jackson stayed in.

So out into Moscow and a trip to the Red Square by day in the hot weather (No Russian hats required even though the snow had been a foot deep the week before).

Gilly, Wendy, me and Elaine

Gilly, Wendy, me and Elaine

Next to Restaurant Varvare, known in Russian as “Barbarian!”. Nothing could be further from the truth. The food of  Anatoly Komm’s  Moscow restaurant was full of finesse and fun. I loved the delicate flavours and the humble concepts around his dishes of borsch and my veal sweetbreads were delightful.

Wow what a starter!

Wow what a starter!

 To start see above…
Paste from sea urchin, Russian beetroot powder with supplemented paste, bread and sunflower oil, caramelised sunflower bubble, cheese ice cream, beetroot paper with herring, beetroot powder with sour cream, cream of Jerusalem artichoke with pine kernels, herring and beetroot powder paper. To start with the sunflower oil tasted like bacon and the bubble was light and crisp and just cracked delicately. The herring was light and delicate the beetroot with a sushi was sensational.

We drank Russian rose wine which married perfectly to our challenging plate of flavours.

My sweetbreads had a white port sauce red pepper coulis and Ash burnt black salt with black rice crisps.

Borsch as you have never seen it before

Borsch as you have never seen it before

Warm soup juice was poured into a bowl filled with red vein sorrel, sour cream ice cream, shredded veal. Pain pushca (a bread crisp and light with a thin shard of rye flavoured bread almost tuille like in its consistency).

The ball of sour ice cream was hollow and melted gently into the beetroot powder and red vein sorrel.

Wendy's Quail with Starwberry dust!

Wendy’s Quail with Starwberry dust!

The quail had a deep water seaweed sauce, aubergine layers and strawberry dust.

Back to the Hotel Metropol for the Yorkshire Pudding vs Blini challenge – bring it on I say!

 Vladimir makes blinis

Vladimir makes blinis

Vladmir was busy making blinis and the kitchen was a hive of activity with Yorkies and blinis all over the place!

Plain flour and self-raising flour are not available in Russia so we used some flour given to us by the Sous Chef Hamdi, the only flour we could use. The milk was not what you would expect either. However, with Elaine Lemm (Author of the Yorkshire Pudding Book) on my team we felt confident, but I guess you never know!

Yorkshire Pudding preparation!

Yorkshire Pudding preparation!

Elaine and the Yorkshire Pudding boys

Elaine and the Yorkshire Pudding boys

(When looking around the hotel we came across some old style posters on the staff quarters wall)

I hope she is not the judge!

I hope she is not the judge!

The team from the Hotel Metropol included Ian, the pastry chef who is an English man in Moscow, along with Stephen who often dons his chef jacket,   Hamdi from Egypt and Igor and Vlad who are Russian.

The team in action! at The Hotel Metropol

The team in action! at The Hotel Metropol

Which do you prefer Yorkshire Pudding versis Russian Blinis

Which do you prefer Yorkshire Puddings versus Russian Blinis

Well… Director of Food and Beverage Mr Stephen Quinn was very diplomatic and declared both sides as winners!

Bolshoi is the theatre I can see from my bedroom window and who would have thought I would have the view of our next destination. A trip to the Bolshoi ballet is most peoples idea of heaven and we felt humble to be asked to be the guests of the Hotel Metropol to see “Ivan the Terrible”.

Bolshoi beware Ladies on Tour

Bolshoi beware Ladies on Tour

The ballet was wonderful! The dancers were extremely talented portraying a true Russian story.

 And then to the Kremlin…

Some of the many Kremlin towers

Some of the many Kremlin towers

The VIP pass to Putin’s private residence was incredible. We saw state room after state room clad in gold leaf and historic floors that have been danced on my many a Russian Tsar.

The Kremlin also has amazing collections of everything from diamonds and faberge eggs to coaches, some given as gifts from the English. There are many towers in the Kremlin churches and even the world’s largest cannon!

The markets were also amazing in their own way. I got into trouble for taking a photo of some fish in the window of a shop by the police! Thankfully we had Katiya with us to translate! Help…

The food was stunning – the fact that all the food was not packaged I found refreshing. Our EHO’s over here would have had many a comment but the variety and freshness of the food was truly fantastic.

00000000000000000000000000Katia and the Gherkins

Chickens at the market

Chickens at the market

Ladies looking after their stall of dried fish!

 Fish and a dammed good read!

Fish and a dammed good read!

Next a trip to Cafe Pushkin a modern cafe made to look very olde traditional Russian.

Thank you to everyone at Hotel Metropol for looking after us so well. It has been an amazing experience. We all loved Russia and the food was just inspirational.

Steph x

Honey and Steph in the Wild Garlic

Honey and Steph in the Wild Garlic

When you take a youngster out foraging there are always things to watch out for and today was no different! It was a glorious day and Honey my hound was up to mischief in the woods with the Wild Garlic!

But I promise not to always blog about the dog!

Honey and the wild garlic

Honey and the wild garlic

Let’s get down to the serious business of hunting for wild garlic….

How can I find wild garlic?
Well you are looking for a shady area usually woodland and often by running water. Wild garlic loves the lush ground and the bright green leaves are easy to find. Simply rub what you think might be a wild garlic leaf and you will be amazed by the garlic aroma. Then you will know you have the right thing!

What does the leaf look like?
Look for green pointed leaves about 3- 5 cm wide. They are lush and vibrant and grow in clumps, The white flower is stunning and lovely deep fried tempura style.

Is it safe to eat raw?
Yes after a good wash but it is quite harsh. I would recommend wilting the leaves down in soup or mash potato or something like that. Today I am cooking the garlic with some Jersey Royals – Yum yum!

Pick your garlic in a safe environment ideally with no dogs! Yes, I was watching Honey and there were no other dogs around where we went foraging! Also be wary of cows drinking the water in the beck as it is also important not to pick the garlic when cows are around!

So what to do with my finds….

Wild Garlic in the washing bowl

Wild Garlic in the washing bowl

First job is to always clean your wild garlic very well. Wash then allow to dry in a colander.

Next assemble your ingredients:

Wild Garlic dinner

Wild Garlic dinner

I opted for monkfish cut into pieces (or collops as they are known).

Some stunning Jersey Royals, baby carrots, wild garlic of course and some heirloom tomaotes amongst other things.

Monkfish on the  tray to cook with lemon and zest of lemon and Heirloom tomatoes

Monkfish on the tray to cook with lemon and zest of lemon and heirloom tomatoes

The little jar of truffle salt was an experiment but a good one – although not cheap!

To make the Jersey Royal Potatoes!
Scrub your spuds clean!

Simply cook the potatoes for 20 mins or until soft. Drain off any water and add a knob of butter then heat up with some shredded wild garlic.

Correct the seasonning and once the wild garlic has wilted place on the plate.

Wild Garlic dinner. Mustard Grain sparkling wine sauce - quick and easy

Wild Garlic dinner. Mustard Grain sparkling wine sauce – quick and easy

The sauce. A simple affair made easy.

Fry a chopped shallot in a little butter and once soft add a glass of sparkling wine. Reduce this down and add a tablespoon of wholegrain mustard.

Now add a little fish stock or even a little boullion of fish crumbled in.

Lastly cut the butter up into pieces and knock into the sauce using a whisk but do not reboil.

Correct the seasoning as necessary and pour over your plate of monkfish.

To cook the carrots simply bring to the boil in cold seasoned water. Cook until al-dente (This means with a slight bite!). Drain off the water and toss in a little butter and some runny Honey. Season once glazed all over on the plate.

To serve the whole dish:

Wild Garlic Jersey Royal potatoes with Monkfish ready to go!

Wild Garlic Jersey Royal potatoes with Monkfish ready to go!

Place the wild garlic Jersey Royal potatoes on the plate and place three pieces of monkfish on the top. Next stand up some baby carrots onto the plate by cutting the bottom of the carrot flat.

Add the heirloom tomatoes and some shredded garlic on the top and serve with the wholegrain mustard sauce.

I hope you enjoy.

No vampires around here tonight!

Steph x

Steph with Ed Baines BBC1 Chefs put your menu were your mouth is

Steph with Ed Baines BBC1 Chefs put your menu where your mouth is

Well what a year so far…

This new TV programme called Chefs Put Your Menu Where Your Mouth Is on BBC1 this afternoon has been an amazing opportunity for me to cook against some of the most well known chefs in the country.

My challenge starts off with Ed Baines at Stoke Park, a stunning Country Club, Hotel and Spa  down in Buckinghamshire. This is right up my alley and reminded me of the beauty of Rudding Park.

Our challenge is shown on BBC1 at 3:45pm on Thursday 11th April. I hope you enjoy.

Next up is Mr James Tanner, a chef who cut his stripes on Ready Steady Cook alongside Ed Baines. This chef has had more TV experience than I have had hot dinners!

James and I have a challenge with a difference but if you get chance to tune in you will see it was great fun. I am away that week in Moscow so thank the lord for I-Player!

James with Steph outside their challenge

James with Steph outside their challenge

My last challenge is also a corker! A chance to cook with Michelin starred and regular Saturday Kitchen chef Galton Blackiston.

We were up against it again right in the heart of London so if you get chance please watch my last programme. What an honour to be the last show of the series on Friday 26 April at 3:45pm on BBC1.

Steph with Galton Blackiston for BBC1 Chefs put your Menu were your mouth is

Steph with Galton Blackiston for BBC1 Chefs put your Menu where your mouth is

And what an honour to be up against these three greats… along with the team at Reef TV, what dudes Emma Roberts Price, Alex D

Bring it on!

Steph x

Being a lifelong Proclaimers fan a chance to meet Craig and Charlie had me in a spin!

Sean wheels 500 miles and now does 500 more!

Sean wheels 500 miles and now does 500 more!

Sean Allerton from RAF Church Fenton is wheelchair bound after he was paralysed when serving with the RAF. Sean decided to set himself a challenge to wheel 500 miles.

The Proclaimers with Sean finishing his first 500 miles

The Proclaimers with Sean finishing his first 500 miles

So who better than The Proclaimers to set him off and most importantly see him home!

This former gunner wheeled for 6 charities that had helped him with his life changing accident.

Craig and Charlie were there to set him off on his way, sadly the weather was a little different on the way back! I went along with a friend who I begged an invite from. Thanks Ron.

Charlie Ried and Steph in the pouring sleet and rain (I look about 30 yrs older! bitter cold needed to try and keep my ears warm!)

Charlie Reid and Steph in the pouring sleet and rain (I look about 30 yrs older! bitter cold needed to try and keep my ears warm!)

Meeting Charlie on the walk was great fun. We discussed their gig at the Grassington Music Festival I went to see a few years back. Also the fact The Proclaimers are going back to America and doing a tour.

To sponsor Sean visit http://www.push500.com as he is now doing 500 more – Just as The Proclaimers sing!

But in the bitter cold of the airfield and the sleet and rain I kept thinking I need a hot toddy to warm me up!

And if I could of I would have given one to Sean and The Proclaimer lads.

So a Wild Cooks hot toddy with a difference

Please see recipe here…..

One vital ingredient is Honey and being a Yorkshire food fan it made perfect sense to use Yorkshire Honey- this is the ingredient that inspired the name of the latest resident in the Moon household please meet Honey!

This is Honey Moon! I know it is cheesy but i love it! We only call her Honey and occasionally Honey Monster!

This is Honey Moon! I know it is cheesy but i love it! We only call her Honey and occasionally Honey Monster!

Yes I have a hound! A King Charles Cavalier and she is 10 wks old.

I hope you try this simple hot toddy with a difference and enjoy!

 “I’m on ma way” as the boys would sing…

Lets hope it is “Sunshine on Leeds” soon a Yorkshire twist to a classic song from the guys.

 Steph x

The North East Heat - Great British Menu

I cannot believe it as I watched the programmes this week (yes we get to see the end result at the same time as everyone else no sneak preview!). It was so close!

I loved Friday’s programme with the judges. Having been in the chambers once before, I knew the pressure and the feeling of competing in there.

Tim Brooke Taylor from The Goodies joined as the fourth judge and this was great news for me. A childhood favourite from my younger TV viewing years. He rocks as far as I am concerned!

The programme seemed to be very even and the judges comments were mostly phenomenal.

Oliver Peyton– After eating my starter
“Great job, flying start, we are in for a good day”

Matthew Fort – After eating my fish course
“This custard doesn’t quite cut the mustard!”

Tim Brooke Taylor – After eating my fish course

Tim Brooke Taylor – And main course
“Very even but I know who is leading in my book- come on Steph!”

Pru Leith – After eating my pudding
“I love it and the biscuit is so short, perfect, highly enjoyable”

I really did give Colin a run for his money.

Here are my four recipes from the Great British Menu. As you will see they are complex and will take you a while even if you are an experienced chef. They are hard core!

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Whitby Crab Custard Pie

Behind the Fun is some Serious Game

Raspberry Blower

Great British Menu has been supporting Comic Relief . Throughout filming I have learnt much more about the work they do. Rudding Park have also been supporting Comic Relief with their Menu Relief Afternoon Tea.

Finally, I would like to thank all the team from Great British Menu for an experience I will never forget and thank you to everyone for their wonderful support.

Keep laughing!

Steph x

Two courses down so onto the main course.

All three of us struggled with time. I think the  pressure got to us and we all rushed certain aspects. That’s why we lost a few points.


Jason however liked my title ‘Behind all the Fun is some Serious Game’ and there was some fantastic local produce used in my dish including the new Harrogate Blue Cheese.

I’m looking forward to tonight, you’ll be ‘blown’ away!!!

Steph x