Chefs keep it simple with local produce at Countryside Live

Talented chefs from reputed Yorkshire restaurants demonstrated how to make nutritious dishes from scratch in the show's cookery theatre, as sporting royalty in the form of retired World Cup winning rugby player Mike Tindall called in for a taste of the action.

Jon Appleby, head chef at The Blue Lion at East Witton giving his first ever cookery demonstration in the Cookery Theatre at Countryside Live. Picture by Gary Longbottom.

The cookery theatre was new to Countryside Live last year and this time the likes of Michael Carr, head chef of Harrogate’s Restaurant 92; Jon Appleby, head chef of The Blue Lion Inn at East Witton; and Adam Thur, head chef of Goldsborough Hall, near Knaresborough, used ingredients from the show’s Tasting Hub
to rustle up appealing plates of food.

Sue Nelson, the theatre’s co-ordinator, said: “We’ve had chefs using apples and gin in their cooking, and I did a soup with beer and wine. We wanted to give that understanding of what visitors see on the stands goes through to the plate.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“It’s a really important message to get across to people, the direct correlation between what comes out of the ground and what’s on plates, and we wanted to show people how easy it is to cook from scratch. It’s been about showing local produce and using it simply.”

Mike Tindall, the former England captain and Gloucester rugby player who is married to Zara Phillips, was a guest judge for the Royal Smithfield Club in the tastings for Ribs of Beef and Wagyu Beef in the Cookery Theatre. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Mrs Nelson, an accomplished cook who runs Yorkshire Food Finder from Wheldrake, York which, among other things, offers guided gourmet food trails. She is both passionate about Yorkshire produce and an advocate of finding good value in eating well.

“A Yorkshire chicken averages about two to 2.5kg and is maybe £10-12 but you can get so many different meals out of that rather than buying chicken breasts from the supermarket,” she said.

“It does pay if people put their mind to it, to cook from scratch and I do sense that more and more people are taking an interest in where their food comes from.”

On Sunday afternoon, special guest Mr Tindall, who hails from Otley, took part in a blindfolded taste test in which he tried Wagyu and Limousin X beef. The Wagyu scored highest.

Mike Tindall, the former England captain and Gloucester rugby player who is married to Zara Phillips, was a guest judge for the Royal Smithfield Club in the tastings for Ribs of Beef and Wagyu Beef in the Cookery Theatre. Picture by Jonathan Gawthorpe.

Afterwards, the former rugby great told The Yorkshire Post about how attitudes to food had changed in the sports world.

He said: “For athletes it’s not just about physical conditioning any more. There’s been a massive cultural change over the last 17 years. Now people are so conscious of what they eat.”