After making a splash at this year's Leeds Indie Food Festival with a 50-course meal, leading Harrogate independent restaurant Norse is set to welcome a top London chef.
The acclaimed restaurant on Oxford Street has just announced a new series of events that should help it win even more fans.
Norse is to host monthly tasting events showcasing the skills and varied cooking styles of some of the UK’s best young chefs.
It is hoping ‘The Wandering Chef’ initiative will help to create a buzz around Harrogate and Yorkshire’s independent dining scene.
While still adhering to Norse’s ambition of providing guests with unpretentious fine dining, the events will offer guests the chance to sample different types of cuisine instead of the Scandinavian-inspired dishes usually served at the restaurant.
The series kicks off in June with two tasting evenings from one of London’s rising stars.
Ben Spalding, 29, is an award-winning chef who’s been widely praised for his work at some of the city’s top restaurants including Roganic, John Salt and Aqua in the Shard.
He’ll be joining the team at Norse on June 7 and 8 to present a seven course tasting menu which will demonstrate his distinctive and celebrated style of cooking, with none of the pretensions which often accompany fine dining.
Paul Rawlinson, owner of Norse, said: “Trust us when we say this is going to be a good one, with some really amazing textures, flavours and presentation.
“Like us, Ben is a big advocate of breaking away from the image of stiff fine dining. So we think he’s the perfect choice to help us launch The Wandering Chef series.
“The Wandering Chef is all about giving our guests opportunities to sample some of the best cooking that’s going on in the UK at the moment. We’re hoping it will help to spotlight Harrogate’s thriving indie restaurant scene, and create events that get both locals and visitors excited.
“It will also be great for our team to work with chefs from a broad range of backgrounds. There’ll be lots to learn and we’re sure it will give our own chefs some amazing new ideas for the Norse menu.”
Ben Spalding trained at some of the world’s finest Michelin starred restaurants in Gothenburg, New York, Melbourne and the UK, including Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck and L’Enclume.
He now creates and launches dining concepts such as StrippedBack, NoRules and WorldDinners, which have received huge critical acclaim. He was an integral part of the Street Food movement in 2011, and has taken StrippedBack to global location including the Coachella music festival in Los Angeles.
This year, Ben began writing his first cookbook as well as moving further into creative and operational consultancy for hospitality businesses worldwide. He has also held cutting edge public dining events such as AllGunsBlazing and The Great British Fry Up.
Ben said: “I wanted to come and cook at Norse as I felt they genuinely care about providing a great guest experience. Plus, to invite a chef you don’t know to come up and cook in your business for a night takes courage and a little bit of madness, which is what I am all about!”
He wouldn’t give much away about what diners can expect from the tasting evenings, saying that “anticipation and surprise is key” but he did say some dishes would be specially created for the events.
He added: “I’m really looking forward to giving a couple of nights of great cooking, drinks and vibes to guests at Norse.”
Ben Spalding will be cooking at Norse on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 7 and 8.
The event opens at 6.45pm for a 7.30pm start. Tickets are available at https://norse.tocktix.com/