Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Game Is on for Some Great Local Dishes; A Taste of the North with James Close, Head Chef of the Raby Hunt Restaurant

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Game Is on for Some Great Local Dishes; A Taste of the North with James Close, Head Chef of the Raby Hunt Restaurant

Article excerpt

T has been an amazing two weeks at the Raby Hunt.

IFirstly we took our annual holiday to explore Europe once again, which I'll come to later. But first, the Good Food Guide named a North East restaurant in its UK top 50 for the first time. And it was the Raby Hunt.

Highly regarded by chefs and restaurant-goers alike, with particular attention paid to those chefs and restaurants who make it into the Top 50, the ranking is a real achievement and we are delighted. I was awoken very early by my fellow chefs trying to contact me as soon as the news broke. Needless to say it was quite a thing to wake up too.

So we arrived back to the restaurant full of new ideas and a renewed sense of achievement.

I have spent the last two weeks in France wandering around the local markets, which in my opinion are the holy grail of fresh produce and where I would shop for my food everyday given the chance. I try with my local veg producer to get new and exciting fresh vegetables and salad every day before incorporating it into a dish - it's the French ideal and I'm always hoping to replicate it.

Arriving back in September is a great time to come up with new ideas as game season is in full flow.

The North East is full of amazing places to hunt and acquire some of the worlds greatest game. We forget how blessed we are in the region to be surrounded by such wonderful countryside and varying wildlife.

New on the menu this month is grouse. This time of year its easy to get your hands on from any decent butcher.

Grouse can first be hunted on the August 12 - commonly referred to as the 'glorious twelfth'. Game dishes will always divide opinion in terms of taste and ethics. But source correctly and cook it right, it's a firm favourite and such a welcome change from our staple chicken or beef. I always make sure my grouse is responsibly sourced and third party accredited and this week, I put together a game salad using grouse and local veg. …

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