Taking a seat at the Chef’s table with a Great British Menu star

Salmon and sausage roll starters

Salmon and sausage roll starters on a Northcote At Home menu - Credit: Northcote

Our food editor, Emma Mayoh, took a masterclass in fine dining with Northcote super chef and Great British Menu star Lisa Goodwin-Allen 

This is the way Friday evenings should be spent. Walking out of my office to do the one-minute commute – to my kitchen – a large glass of chianti is ready and my laptop charged, ready for my online cookery class. Now, don’t get me wrong, nothing can replace the joy and anticipation of sitting in a restaurant, but one of the happy outcomes of the not-so-happy pandemic is still being able to enjoy some of life’s indulgent pleasures, without leaving the house. 

This was no ordinary cookery class, though, this was a masterclass from Michelin star and Great British Menu chef Lisa Goodwin-Allen, queen bee of the Northcote kitchens in Langho, in Lancashire’s glorious Ribble Valley. Part of the restaurant’s A Seat at the Chef’s Table event, which for now is a one-off taking place on March 26th - but fingers crossed it won’t be – the event is an addition to the talented chef’s already in demand food boxes that have been a big hit for customers across the country.  

A box brimming with goodies from the Northcote kitchen was delivered the day before, ready for my Friday evening cook-off. The menu for the night, which served two, included Northcote’s signature cheese bread, snacks of smoked salmon, salmon caviar, Lemon, Caper and Northcote Sausage Roll, all to be warmed up and grazed on before the session started. The main course – which I cooked with Lisa, was a glorious duck dish which, excitedly required the use of a blow torch, handily provided in the box. Lisa expertly guided me through cooking the duck, smoked bacon, turnip and shoots, while passing out insider tips and tricks. While the duck cooked, we made rhubarb and custard – a delicate ball of deliciousness which we combined with oat crumble and fun-to-make ginger snow.  

Back to the duck, it was time for a real highlight. Having removed the breast from the oven a few minutes before, I was let loose with the blow torch to crisp up the skin – what glee! Plated up, this dish felt like a triumph.  

Roast Duck main in a Northcote At Home menu

Roast Duck main in a Northcote At Home menu - Credit: Northcote

One of the many delights of the evening was being able to cook just enough that you felt you were trying out some seriously fancy pants cooking, but Lisa and her team had done the real hard work, leaving us to revel in all of the fun bits. Brilliant.  

Following the phenomenal popularity of Northcote’s home delivery boxes and the restaurant’s cookery school, Lisa and the team at Northcote have combined both experiences to create a limited number of Seat at The Chef’s Table Boxes, priced at £195, which guests can cook, along with Lisa, from 7pm to 8:15pm on Friday 26th March. 


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