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Former Northcote chef joins Fence pub
A FORMER Young Chef of the Year has taken over the kitchen of a Pendle pub - but won’t be offering a menu.
Tom Parker, who used to work at Northcote Manor, is bringing his dishes to the White Swan in Wheatley Lane, Fence, known locally as the ‘Mucky Duck’.
The dishes are traditional – but Tom’s method of cooking is not.
There will be no menu, just an ever-changing chalk board using whatever produce he is offered on the day.
He said: “As far as I know, no-one else is cooking like this. I get to the kitchen at 9am and someone will turn up with a pheasant and it is on the board later that day.
“I only cook with what it seasonal and available. For example we’ve got some mallard coming, some partridge and possibly hare next week. I’ll decide the night before what to do with it.
“Then we speak to the vegetables guys to see what they’ve got. When you cook like this it is impossible to plan too far ahead.”
Tom, 23, spent seven years working at Northcote after writing to boss Nigel Haworth aged 16.
He worked every section of the Langho kitchen under the guidance of Lisa Allen – his close friend and mentor.
He said: “Lisa is really supportive of me and she is truly an awesome chef.
“I have learnt so much from working with her, from the food to creating the right environment to cook.”
Tom is using lamb from Barley and wants to encourage more local producers to get in touch.
“We want to use the small cheese makers and farmers,” he said.
“That’s something I learned at Northcote. Nigel has always been an advocate of buy local.
“Even though this is a totally different environment to Northcote, I still want to cook at the same level and standards.
“Fair enough, I can’t put 25 things on one plate, but I can still cook a brilliant braised piece of meat and make sure it is perfect.
“The whole idea of the White Swan is British food, very seasonal, local where possible, but always high quality and seasonal.
“It is a pub; we’re not trying to be a restaurant and serve fine dining food. Good portions, good ingredients, really good flavour and nice simple dishes with my own interpretation.”
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