Sunday 7 February 2016
Lancastrian chef Nigel Haworth has been the driving culinary force behind Northcote for more than 30 years and has made Langho a place of gastronomic pilgrimage for foodies from all over the country. His championing of regional British produce and traditional British dishes has helped define the path of modern British cooking, inspiring countless chefs across the country to follow his local, seasonal model.
From humble beginning as a student at Rossendale Catering College in Lancashire, Haworth worked at the Royal Berkshire hotel in Ascot, Gleneagles in Scotland and London’s Grosvenor House hotel before spending several years in Switzerland. After an 18 month sojourn as lecturer at his old college, Haworth took the head chef ’s job at Northcote Manor (as it was then known) and never looked back.
Black pudding and buttered pink trout with mustard and nettle sauce is a longstanding signature dish that is robustly Northern, yet retains a certain delicacy; it delivers big flavours but with refinement and cleverly balances tradition with modern sensibilities. Its a good signifier for the Northcote culinary style that ranges from a luxurious, inventive assembly of chargrilled west coast langoustine with whipped Wilja potato, organic garden leeks, Exmoor caviar and Korean hyssop to a reassuring plate of five week aged Angus beef fillet with triple cooked chips.
‘Our journey now at Nothcote is to develop and refine what we do as a team,’ says Haworth. The food has evolved over 30 years because we keep moving and pushing and trying new things. We’re trying to find the ultimate quality in local ingredients like mutton, black pudding and shrimps and utilise and showcase them in a better way. It’s about embracing new techniques and opening up the dimensions of what you can achieve’.
Despite his long association with British food, Haworth continues to uncover new aspects of his native cuisine. ‘There’s still lots to be inspired by and lots to explore. I’m looking at dishes that are linked to this area that can be taken to a higher level just by pure simplicity and quality of ingredients.’
In addition to retaining a Michelin star for twenty years while expanding and improving Northcote almost beyond recognition, Haworth has become a popular, jovial presence on British TV screens with appearances on shows such as Saturday Kitchen; Market Kitchen; Paul Hollywood’s Pie & Puds and a winning appearance on the 2009 series of Great British Menu.
Nigel Haworth's Obsession 16 Menu:
PRESSED SHELLFISH, EXMOOR CAVIAR, AVOCADO
Blanc de Blancs, Nyetimber, West Sussex, England, 2017
COD CHEEKS, LARDO, MARROWFAT PEAS, BLACK PEA HOUMOUS
Sequillo, Sadie Family, Swartland, South Africa, 2013
10 WEEK AGED HEREFORD BEEF, DUCK LIVER, TOASTED BLACK FIGS, MALT DRESSING
Rose of Virginia, Charles Melton, Barossa Valley, Australia, 2014
GOOSNARGH DUCKLING, SMOKED DUCK HAM, PULLED LEG, SPICY CABBAGE & BLOOD ORANGE
Beaune, 1er Cru, Clos des Mouches Rouge, Domaine Chanson, Burgundy, France, 2009
TRUFFLE’D TIRAMISU, BANANA SPLIT, SALTED CARAMEL
Muscat, Campbells, Rutherglen, Victoria, Australia, NV