Roux Scholarship

Just to update you on the Roux Scholarship finals, (see below) which took place on Monday. Sadly Richard Pascoe didn’t win after all, that went to the delightfully named Ian Scaramuzza, head chef from Hibiscus. Congratulations to Ian who wins £6000 and would like to take his stage at the three star Benu in San Francisco. Commiserations to Richard.

Richard editedCongratulations to young chef Richard Pascoe from the Feversham Arms, Helmsley. He’s made it to the national finals of the Roux Scholarship, a prestigious competition for chefs under 30. For the winner it can be life changing as the prize is an all expenses paid, three month stage at any 3 star Michelin restaurant in the world. Chefs then invariably go on to positions in top restaurants.  One past winner is Adam Smith who chose Le Meurice in Paris, then got a job at the Ritz and is now head chefs at the Burlington restaurant  Devonshire Arms, Bolton Abbey. Good luck to Richard for the finals on 30 March.


Top chefs invade the Devonshire Arms

If you want to sample dishes prepared by the best Yorkshire chefs then you need to book a place at the Devonshire Arms (Bolton Abbey) Food and Wine Week which begins on Monday.

Mandy and I were invited last year for a cook-off lunch between the Dev’s chef Adam Smith and the Box Tree’s Lawrence Yates and it was terrific.


Adam Smith, head chef of the Devonshire Arms

This year it kicks off with a dinner cooked by what is arguably Yorkshire’s top five chefs: Adam Smith (Devonshire Arms), Andrew Pern (Star at Harome), James Mackenzie (Pipe & Glass), Tim Bilton (Spiced Pear) and Stephanie Moon (Rudding Park).

On Tuesday it will be a War of the Roses lunch pitching Nigel Haworth from Northcote Manor in Lancashire, (who has his own food festival coming up) against Adam Smith.

If you’ve never been to the famous L’Enclume in Cartmel, Thursday is a chance to sample some of head chef Mark Birchall’s remarkable food.

The food and wine week closes on Sunday 7th December with an evening of wines from Joe Fattorini of Bibendum Wines and a tasting menu prepared by Adam Smith. Prices range from £30 to £95.

For more information go to

To book: or T: 01756 718155


Hot Chefs Head to Head

We were well and truly cosseted last week at the Devonshire Food Festival, a week long extravaganza showcasing the work of the best chefs in the region and beyond.

Chocolate hedgehogDevonshire here means the Devonshire Arms Hotel at Bolton Abbey where the new, young executive chef of the Burlington Restaurant, Adam Smith – just four months in post – was well and truly in at the deep end, cooking and overseeing lunch and dinner by a series of visiting guest chefs over the seven days of the Festival.

If he was on his knees he wasn’t showing it on our visit which was a light-hearted competition between Smith and his potential arch rival six miles down the road at Ilkley’s Box Tree, Lawrence Yates another young ‘un who by coincidence was also just four months into the job.

Over champagne in the lounge, we were asked to choose from two menus, A & B without knowing who was cooking what.

It was a tough call so Mandy and I did the obvious and chose a menu each. Do we need to tell you they were both brilliant? Refined, labour intensive but beautifully matched so that each flavour was allowed to sing.

My highlight was a starter of langoustine and suckling pig served with a rich shellfish bisque; Mandy’s was her peach soufflé, sweet and light as air with a little jug of peach sauce that you add more or less to take down the sweetness so it’s just to your liking. Clever.


Menu A

Sauté Langoustine
suckling pig and spiced garden apple
Ruinart Blanc de Blanc

Peppered Venison
chestnut, pear and celeriac
Springfontein Ulumbaza Shiraz, Walker Bay, South Africa

Milk Chocolate Hedgehog
tonka bean and hazelnut
Nicholis Recioto Della Valpolicella Classico, Italy


Both menus were text-book in execution. Menu A was the prettier, more delicate and had more elements on the plate. Menu B was more substantial, seemingly simpler but with flavours and textures that married perfectly.


Menu B

Seared Scottish Scallops
roasted pumpkin seeds and paste
Il Feudiccio, Pecorina, Colline Teatine, Italy

Fillet of Grass Fed Beef
Braised cheek and bone marrow, shallot marmalade, red wine sauce
Rockford Basket Press, Shiraz, Barossa Valley

Ruby Peach Souffle
almond ice cream
Veuve Cliquot Demi Sec


Box Tree BeefAnd the winner? Menu B, by Lawrence Yates from the Box Tree but only by a whisker (and not we trust by any vote rigging from the Box Tree table!) And it turns out the chefs are not rivals after all, but two enthusiastic young chefs loving their new jobs and crazy for all the fine Yorkshire produce on their doorstep.

If you missed the Festival this year, put a note in your diary for mid November 2014 or splash out and catch these keen young chefs on the rise.




Devonshire Food Festival

Food festivals are two a penny these days with regulation food stalls, cookery demos, you know the score, but the Devonshire Arms Food Festival promises to be a bit different.

Every day for a week, between 18-24 November top regional and national chefs will be preparing lunch and dinner.  At lunchtime it will be in the form of a lighthearted competitive

Devonshire Arms Hotel, Bolton Abbey

Devonshire Arms Hotel, Bolton Abbey

cook-off – two chefs head to head (£39) over the best lunch.  In the evening it ramps up a bit with a sophisticated six course dinner (£59) prepared by a guest chef.

It’s an impressive line-up from Yorkshire and beyond: Rakesh Ravindran from London’s Cinnamon Club; Matthew Tomkinson of the Michelin-starred Montagu Arms in the New Forest; Mark Poynton from Alimentum, another Michelin-starred restaurant in Cambridge. Then there are three Yorkshire chefs Oliver Adams from the Devonshire Fell; James Mackenzie from the Pipe & Glass and Simon Crannage from Swinton Park.

Adam Smith, head chef at the Burlington, Bolton Abbey

Adam Smith, head chef at the Burlington, Bolton Abbey

The host, naturally, is the Dev’s new young chef Adam Smith who will be competing on Thursday, showcasing on the Saturday night dinner and preparing a fancy-pants afternoon tea (he is ex-Ritz after all) on Sunday.

We’ll be there on Thursday voting in the lunchtime friendly between Adam Smith and another new chef, Lawrence Yates of the Box Tree.

We’ll report back on the winner and, of course, the food.

Devonshire Food Festival, 14-18 November. Devonshire Arms Hotel, Bolton Abbey. To book your place: 01756 710441


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