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Author: Cecilia Created: Sunday, June 07, 2009 9:25 PM
Good food, interesting people and news from the Cumbrian food scene

Russian theme at the Lodore Falls Hotel
By Cecilia on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 8:53 AM
If you want to try something a bit different this Christmas, head for Lodore Falls Hotel in beautiful Borrowdale and have their Russian themed Christmas menu. Head Chef Mike Ward has introduced Russian inspired dishes to the festive menu - including Borscht (Beetroot Soup), Chicken Kiev’s and Sugar Plum Fairy cake.
For more info, go to the hotel website.

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Annette Gibbons' fruity Christmas pudding
By Cecilia on Wednesday, December 08, 2010 5:09 PM
I have to confess, I had never dreamed of making my own Christmas pud until I watched Annette make hers – so fresh and fruity, with no flour (bread crumbs instead), and no fat. Just lovely gin soaked damsons, fresh apple and banana, lemon zest and a few other bits.


The video of her talking about and making the pud is in the Christmas edition of Artisan-food e-magazine.

Here's the written recipe:

1 lb wholemeal breadcrumbs
6 oz brown sugar
4 oz gin soaked damsons
4 oz raisins washed
4 oz chopped mixed nuts
1 oz flaked almonds
1 eating apple grated
1 banana< ...
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Gráinne Jakobson's glazed ham
By Cecilia on Wednesday, December 08, 2010 9:38 AM

We've recently made a new acquaintance on the Cumbrian cooking scene. Gráinne Jakobson runs cookery courses out of her beautiful Georgian house just outside Egremont in western Cumbria, and she graciously agreed to do a video recipe for the Christmas issue of our e-magazine.


The recipe, which you can view in the magazine, is written out below. Glaze your own ham this Christmas, you'll love it! Underneath the Glazed ham recipe is the recipe for the Spiced Orange and Pear Chutney to go with it.


This ham with its sweet, sticky glaze is a great alternative to the more traditional turkey a ...
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Ivan brings historic Christmases to life at Holker Hall
By Cecilia on Thursday, December 02, 2010 10:22 AM

Ivan Day is Cumbria’s, and no doubt even Great Britain’s, most knowledgeable food historian – above he glazing a ham in his kitchen using a so called salamander. Not only that, he is a fantastic story teller, an amazing cook and just generally the perfect person to make forgotten Christmas food traditions come to life. Which is exactly what he will be doing at Holker Hall on December 9.


Some five years ago he made an replica Elizabethan banquet for Chatsworth House in Derbyshire, which is now on loan at Holker Hall. In the mornin ...
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Christmas market at Orton
By Cecilia on Thursday, December 02, 2010 10:09 AM
There’ll be a definite flavour of Christmas in Orton on Saturday 11 December as the annual Christmas Farmers’ Market takes over the village. As well as the best of local meat, fish, vegetables, cheese and baking, there will be free mince pies on offer, locally made Christmas decorations and wreaths, a selection of Christmas trees and a seasonal surprise visitor for the children.


“December’s Orton Farmers’ Market always feels really Christmassy,” says Market Co-ordinator, Leanne Duerden, “and there are plenty of opportunities to shop for food, pick up locally-made gifts and join in with some carol singing.  For the first time, we’ll have Appleby Silver Band on the market square adding to the atmosphere with traditional Christmas music.”
&l ...
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Cumbria home to world's hottest chilli
By Cecilia on Wednesday, November 03, 2010 1:30 PM
Thanks to Gerald Fowler of the Chilli Pepper Company in Cark, Cumbria is now home to the world’s hottest chilli. Gerald has spent a couple of years developing the new Naga Viper plant by crossing the three hottest chillies in the world – the Bhut Jolokia, Naga Morich and Trinidad Scorpion. ”The key is to isolate the perfect new specimens, and stop them from cross polenating with the other fruits on the same plant. We have now achieved this,” says Gerald.


The Naga Viper chilli has been tested at Warwick University, and measures 1,340,969 Scoville Heat Units (compared to e g the Jalapeño at 2,500–5,000 SHUs). Gerald set up his company some ten years ago with the aim of selling chilli seeds. A few years back him and his wife Diane diversified ...
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Cumbrian chefs on tour
By Cecilia on Monday, October 18, 2010 12:19 PM
Head chefs Mark Teasdale of Sharrow Bay and Nigel Mendham at the Samling, both hotels belonging to the von Essen group, are going on a five day tour which will run from October 25th until October 29th. They will be joined by fellow top Michelin starred chef, Shane Hughes, from Ynyshir Hall in Wales.  The annual event has been designed to celebrate von Essen hotels culinary success, as the collection now has the most Michelin starred properties of any hotel group the UK, according to the press release.
Mark Teasdale

The tour sounds like a good idea, unfortunately the trio will not be cooking in Cumbria, the tour goes to von Essen hotels in Devon, Wiltshire, Berkshire and Gloucestershire. Nevertheless - always good that the fantastic food produ ...
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Wonderful cheeses at Rheged's first Cheese festival
By Cecilia on Monday, October 18, 2010 11:39 AM
Saturday the doors opened on the first annual Great Northern Cheese Festival at Rheged. Cheese producers from the North offered their fantastic products alongside producers of "related" food stuffs, including chutneys and wine.
Eric Horne of Slack House Farm was there selling his amazing organic Birdoswald cheese, which he produces on the farm. Eric said trade has been very busy recently, and he is now selling cheese made in June – although it would develop even more flavour if it were allowed to mature for another two or three months. Well, it may be young, but it's still delicious!

Lynn Ballantine-Dykes at
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It's Apple Day again!
By Cecilia on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 6:16 PM
October 17 is Apple Day in Cumbria – a time of celebration of this lovely fruit which does well here. The most popular event is at the National Trust’s Acorn Bank in Temple Sowerby. Whether you want to learn anything about apples or just have a lovely day out with the family, this is the place to go.


There is apple identification, advice surgeries, pruning demonstrations, apple tasting and grafted trees for sale. There’s also entertainment for all the family with archery, Punch and Judy, children’s craft workshops, a treasure hunt and apple games. Take the opportunity to buy some Cumbrian produce at the food market, or watch food demonstrations. To get to Temple Sowerby, take the A66 east from Penrith.
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L'Enclume wins 5th Rosette
By Cecilia on Tuesday, October 12, 2010 5:18 PM
Simon Rogan goes from strength to strength - his restaurant L'Enclume was recently named the best in the country by the Good Food Guide. Now, the restaurant has received its fifth rosette from the AA.

Some great pics from the award ceremony by Yes Chef! magazine here.

We think the reason for Simon's recent success is that he has changed his focus, and is working with Julia Sayburn at Howbarrow Organic Farm in creating the restaurant's own kitchen garden. Watch our recent interview with him.


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