Budding Blyth chefs join forces with The Commissioners Quay Inn to celebrate Northumberland Day
Budding Blyth chefs came up with a tasty way of marking Northumberland Day with The Commissioners Quay Inn.
Youngsters from The Dales School rose to a culinary challenge laid down by the inn, to come up with dishes worthy of celebrating the county’s first ever Northumberland Day.
Dishes inspired by the young chefs’ creations took pride of place on the specials board at The Commissioners Quay Inn at Blyth for a week from May 28 – the date chosen to fly the flag for all things Northumbrian.
Head chef Richie Moore had set youngsters the challenge of coming up with recipes that summed up the taste and essence of England’s border county.
And to inspire the children aged seven to 11, Richie visited The Dales School where he carried out a cookery demonstration, making an upside down cheesecake complete with foam shrimps and jelly starfish in a sandcastle bucket, to represent Blyth’s South Beach.
Richie said: “The response from the children has been exceptional. All the children really enjoyed the taster session we had at the school, and it certainly seems to have set their creative juices flowing.
“Their suggestions were excellent, with dishes, including roast North Sea Cod and local Langoustines, pan haggerty, shepherd’s pie with local lamb, and a dessert using cherry and vanilla ice cream to represent the red and yellow of the Northumberland flag.
The children took part in a visit to The Commissioners Quay Inn where they enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the inn and saw a selection of their dishes being made before taking part in a taste-test session.
Bailey Parker, 11, said: “I liked everything about the visit. The food we tasted has been delicious. It was fun trying new things and looking around the hotel. It was like a ship.”
Tracy Park, a teaching assistant at The Dales School, said: “The children at the Dales really enjoy coking and all the experiences that go with it. We hope this venture continues to motivate and inspire the children to do more cooking.”
For Richie, being involved in the competition has been a doubly rewarding experience. Not only is the 47 year old originally from Blyth, but he grew up opposite The Dales School when it was Bebside Middle.
Passionate about his home town, he is delighted that The Commissioners Quay Inn has set out to put itself at the heart of the community.
He is particularly keen to inspire the chefs of the future. “I want to encourage young cooks like those at The Dales School to develop their passion for food, and I am looking forward to hopefully working with them again and inspiring them to develop their enjoyment of cooking and embark upon a career in a professional kitchen.”
Keith Liddell CEO of The Inn Collection Group which operates The Commissioners Quay Inn, said: “I was very impressed by the high standard of the recipes and the way all the children captured the flavour, spirit, and contrasting landscape of Northumberland through their use of ingredients.
“Northumberland is a hearty, honest and robust county, and this was reflected in the likes of the pan haggerty dish, while the use of fish and lamb showcased the area’s spectacular coast and countryside beautifully.
“We have a lot to be proud of in Northumberland, not least the food, and we need to be celebrating all those good things and shouting about them further afield.”
Northumberland Day took place on May 28 with events across the county. The date has been chosen to coincide with Northumberland County Show on May 29 and because it fell in the school half-term, allowing families to get involved and celebrate the day.