These incredible chefs from Michelin star venues, award-winning gastro pubs and restaurants, each celebrated for excellence in their field, have offered their support to help raise the profile of Lancashire’s food and drink to attract more visitors and secure greater national and international recognition for the county.
Chef Patron of Moor Hall
“Being born and bred in Lancashire the dream was always to develop a world class restaurant in my home county. Somewhere people would travel to and that could really put Lancashire on the map as a dining destination.”
The surrounding ancient agricultural landscape of West Lancashire Moor Hall calls home, offers some of the most picturesque scenery in the country. When Mark Birchall set out on his Moor Hall journey with business partners Andy and Tracey Bell, they shared a vision to bring together the very best surroundings with an unrivalled dining experience.
“I wanted to bring the vision for a world class dining destination to this region, to where I’m from. With Moor Hall and The Barn’s successes we have built quite a dining destination in Aughton, I’m really proud of that.”
Mark’s hero product or recipe:
“I think Ormskirk Gingerbread deserves a special mention here, not only is the back story hugely inspiring, the gingerbread inspired me to create our own gingerbread dish with roots and pine, paying homage to this local tradition.
“That being said, I’m such a huge advocate for the local growers in the region, it would be impossible for me to pick one product! From Royal Oak Organics carrots to Croftpak Nurseries Tomatoes, or Lemken Farm Strawberries, we are so fortunate to have access to the best possible local produce, and it was a major deciding factor in choosing Moor Hall initially.
“Having these amazing, local growers on our doorstep alongside the ability to grow our own produce on site just made sense. Our whole ethos is built on this, everything we do here is about the produce and the traceable journey from field to plate.
“We want to bring together the very best surroundings with an unrivalled dining experience. Ultimately it’s about wanting the guests wanting to come back, I want them to feel as though they don’t want to leave.
“From the moment they arrive, everything is designed to offer the best possible experience, it’s not all about the dishes, it’s every single touch point considered and elevated to offer the ultimate multi-sensory experience.
Chef Patron of La Locanda
“Food is culture; it helps to understand the people, the traditions, the heritage, the territory, and the history of a place. I want to take people to the heart of Italian cuisine, cooking Italian dishes inspired recipes that go back generations.
“I’m passionate about the philosophy of Slow Food, and work with local suppliers to source only the best, seasonal ingredients for La Locanda.”
By staying true to the traditions of Italian cooking Maurizio makes the most of Lancashire’s wonderful seasonal foraged food and ingredients, from a growing number of inspiring and innovative local producers.
“I want people to enjoy food that gives a flavour of the tradition, culture of Italy with the honesty and hospitality of Lancashire, the place we are so proud to call our home”.
Head Chef at Cartford Inn
“To me the county means great produce, great sporting teams, seaside fun and family”
Being born and raised in Lancashire I have deep family roots in the county. My grandparents were from Darwen and my grandma cooked some great Lancastrian classics such as potato pie with corned beef, a really wholesome lamb broth and occasionally some tripe with salt and vinegar. Mum still runs a hotel in Blackpool, where I spent school holidays teaching myself how to cook. I remember when I was a child saying “I wish I didn’t live here, then we could come here on our holidays” It was such fun.
“I think people will be pleasantly surprised by the gastronomic experience of a visit to Lancashire and its ability to compete with any county on satisfying the tastebuds.”
I trained at a local restaurant in Lancashire and from the start was taught to appreciate Morecambe Bay shrimps, the catch coming in at Fleetwood, locally-grown vegetables and the suppliers who sourced the best of Lancashire produce. At The Cartford Inn I use the seasonal calendar of Lancashire produce to determine what is on the menu and when. Foraging has now become a big influence on dishes and when you get out and about in Lancashire it’s amazing how much you can find. My approach to cooking is to use the skills and knowledge gained over many years in th industry to marry the freshness of flavour in local produce with complimentary ingredients and textures to create a tasty celebration of food you would really like to eat.
Executive Head Chef at Northcote
“Lancashire has always been my home and provided me with wonderful opportunities. Outside work I love to spend time with my husband and son exploring this beautiful county – Lancashire really does have everything for a great work life balance.”
I’m passionate about using seasonal and locally sourced ingredients in my dishes. I look for interesting produce and techniques, to create dishes where the ingredients and their flavour shine through. I believe there are many unsung food heroes and new generations developing new products to be discovered and to work with. It’s about taking that local produce and putting my twist on it.
“I like to find rustic Lancashire dishes and reinvent them – taking the best of the county, making it new and exciting for today’s diners.”
I’d like people who eat at Northcote to experience my food first with their eyes, to enjoy its elegance and then to appreciate the incredible flavours of the dish. It must taste of what they see.
Chef Patron of The Three Fishes
“I believe in using only the best ingredients and Lancashire is where I get most of my inspiration.”
I have been cooking regional produce for over 35 years and Lancashire, its farmers and producers inspire me every day. I would like the people who visit our wonderful county to be able to appreciate the endeavours of our great suppliers and to taste the excellence of our producers, the true flavour of ‘Lancashire’ is in the produce.
“My Lancashire roots define me as a person. I am Lancashire born and bred with my family roots firmly in the beautiful Lancashire hills and the bustling market towns.”
Paul Heathcote MBE
“I have always been proud of my Lancashire roots. I associate the values with hard working, strong, reliable and creative people – I would like to think my family have inherited these traits.”
My cooking reflects these values, it comes from within, I don’t like pretence. Food should look good but it should not lie to you and therefore needs to taste even better than it appears. It should be reliable with strong flavours as well as creative. It requires lots of hard work to make it exceptional.
I worked in my early days with local producers, farmers, fishermen, and growers with the same mind set, it became easy to be enthusiastic about food – it became contagious. I cooked from what was on my ‘doorstep’, I believe this is why we gained two Michelin stars, it was our collective values.
Restaurants are all about people, it’s a people business. Great food served by well-trained people produces memories that last a lifetime. Visitors experiencing Lancashire hospitality should be greeted with a great smile and, more importantly, leave with one.
Chef Patron of Parkers Arms
“Living and working in Lancashire means a lot to me, with such great produce and wonderful places on our doorstep.”
This inspiring environment is key to my cooking. At Parkers Arms we are ingredient and terroir led, so hardly anything we use is imported – which always means fresh and seasonal menus.
I want visitors to Lancashire to have a memorable experience but it depends on where they eat and there’s always something to improve upon. As a county we never stand still.
Chef Director at 263
“I’m Lancashire through and through, brought up on good home-cooked food and family recipes. Those traditions mean a lot and teach you respect for produce, seasonality and making the most of what’s available in your community.”
I’ve been lucky to have worked in places and with people that really developed and heightened my appreciation of good local produce. Now, leading my own kitchen, I encourage the team to experiment, to forage and share the excitement of creating something incredible that truly reflects where we are.
“I’m nowhere happier than heading out to the coast, just minutes from my home in Lytham, to find something that will feature on the menu that day.”
We’re so lucky to live and work in a place that provides so many great ingredients and where producers put such love and effort into what they do. I want the people who eat my food to really understand the significance of those things and of course to keep returning for more.
Head Chef at The White Swan
“For someone who has lived here all my life, the countryside of Lancashire is the most beautiful place to live and work. I hope that the food I serve represents that.”
I think that it’s very important to cook food that represents who you are and where you come from. I am a Lancashire lad and have been around great producers all my life, it is important to continue to support each other – we’d find it extremely hard to do what we do without them. Food only tastes great because of the care and effort that these people put in daily
I would like visitors to The White Swan to go away having learnt something about the county’s wonderful food and drink and that before they leave, they’re already planning their next visit.
“It’s a fantastic county and I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.”
Chef Patron of Freemasons at Wiswell
“I’m incredibly proud of my Lancashire roots. Lancashire is a wonderful county, with an incredibly diverse, rich offering and most importantly, it’s a welcoming environment with warm, friendly people.”
Being able to run The Freemasons so close to home has been a real privilege, and to see the county go from strength to strength in recent years has been just fantastic. And the exciting thing is, there’s so much more to come!
I went to college in Blackburn and worked my way up the career ladder, working in some of the North’s best establishments, so the region has definitely had an influence on my cooking. The majority of our produce is sourced locally because of the quality of suppliers we have in the area but when it comes to creating our menus, I do like to fuse dishes, bringing in Asian flavours to sit alongside British flavours.
“Lancashire can now boast some of the best restaurants in the country, but we’re equally happy providing visitors with some of the best fish and chips or hotpot they’ll have ever tasted.”
On top of that there’s a warm welcome and genuine hospitable service – which encourages people to come back and visit us time and again.