September & October Food Bites

Budding chef is apprentice of the year

An aspiring chef from Much Wenlock’s Raven Hotel has scooped the title of Apprentice of the Year from University College Birmingham. Tom Cull claimed the top spot in recognition of his outstanding work, beating off competition from over 150 apprentices. Raven manager Kirk Heywood said, “Tom is keen to learn and fits in well in the team here – we’ll continue to support his personal development.”

Local company bake brownies for Brownies

Catering company Fresh & Lush, based near Bridgnorth, prepared over 1,850 individual lunchboxes for the West Mercia Brownies’ Party in the Park event held at Weston Park to celebrate the organisation’s centenary. Owners Tom and Olivia Kearns also baked delicious chocolate brownies for girls and organisers alike – leaving sticky fingers and smiles all round.

Bridgnorth baking club gathers momentum

Nicola Westwood was so inspired by the Great British Bake Off, she decided to form the Bridgnorth Baking Club, promoted through Facebook. “I received a lot of interest,” said Nicola, “Numbers were up from four at the first meeting to almost 34 at the second. There are two rules: home bakers only and people must bring something they’ve baked. We judge each other’s bakes and vote for the winner!” The club meets at 7pm on the last Monday of each month, at Bamboo, Bridgnorth.

Chef Dan is curry supremo

Daniel Power of Broseley’s King and Thai was crowned Shropshire Council’s Curry Chef of the Year after a tense final ‘cook-off’. Chefs produced two curry dishes and a vegetable dish for a panel of judges. After 17 years of cooking, but only 18 months of Thai food under the tutorage of patron Suree Coates, Daniel produced a winning menu of vegetable green curry with tofu and cashew nuts, alongside chicken panang.

Ewe’ve got a new cheese!

Cheesemakers from the Ludlow Food Centre are working with the Pitchford Estate just outside Shrewsbury to create ewe’s milk cheese. Dudley Martin and Paul Bedford have turned their hands to working with the unusual milk, and their product has gone down a storm – in the recent British Cheese Awards, their soft sheep’s cheese picked up a silver medal in the New Cheese category.

A cracking banger – and that’s official!

Maynard’s Farm, the curer and producer of specialist pork products, has picked up a new award at the Great British Food Farm Produce Awards. The prize for the Best Traditional Sausage category was given to their Cracked Black Pepper Sausages. Owner Rob Cunningham has been responsible for developing a series of best-selling bangers since taking over in 2001.

DRINKS NEWS

Bridgnorth Beer Festival

Celebrating its 20th year is the Bridgnorth CAMRA Beer Festival, which will run from Thursday 4 until Saturday 6 September at Severn Valley Railway. This year, an even larger marquee will host eager visitors, who can enjoy 60 real ales plus 10 ciders and perries. Doors open at 3pm on Thursday, and 11am-11pm the rest of the weekend.

Not just another beer guide

Shropshire Tourism has launched its first ever Shropshire Real Ale Trail leaflet for visitors to get a taste of Shropshire’s great pubs and inns. The guide differs from other beer-focused publications because it showcases pubs, inns and micro-breweries that not only have great ales, but also provide quality local food too. Sponsored by Brunning & Price, the trail is supported by a dedicated website – visit shropshirefoodanddrink.co.uk to find out more.

Corvedale brew refreshes MPs

Norman and Justin Pearce of the Corvedale Brewery at Corton’s Sun Inn were invited by MP Philip Dunne to the House of Commons to celebrate the guest ale status of their Fuggling Good Beer. Norman is known in Shropshire brewing circles as the inspiration behind the Corvedale Brewery, which hosts the Ale in the Dale festival, and also the annual beer festival at Ludlow Castle. Shropshire resident Robert Humphries, who retires this month after 22 years as secretary to the All Party Parliamentary Beer Group, was on hand to welcome the brew to the Commons.

FOOD EVENTS

Ludlow is a feast for all the senses…

The 20th Ludlow Food Festival takes place from 12-14 September and is expected to attract 20,000 visitors, with more than 180 producers converging on Ludlow Castle. Chefs and experts including Masterchef winner Tim Anderson, Great British Menu star Jason Hodnett, and food writer Anna Jones, who has worked with Jamie Oliver for many years, will be demonstrating on the two main stages.

Three new books from locals will be launched: Chicken: The New Classics from Marcus Bean, Doing it in WelliesThe Journey from Boardroom to Smallholding by county entrepreneur Sam Gray and Gastronomical! – a cookery book for by from restaurateur Claire Bosi, of Ludlow’s Hibiscus. The festival will see the Pink Lady® Food Photographer of the Year Exhibition at the Assembly Rooms and of course, the ever-popular sausage, ale and bread trails will take place. Go to foodfestival.co.uk for details.

Masterchef Cookery School

Sun 21 September, 9.30am–5.30pm; The Hundred House, Bridgnorth Road, Norton.

All-day course lead by award-winning head chef Stuart Phillips. Learn in a personal environment with individual tuition. Booking is essential. hundredhouse.co.uk or call 01952 580240

Cookery Club

Sat 4 October, 10–11.30am; Apley Farm Shop, Stockton Buildings, Norton,

A free cookery club open to everyone, held first Saturday of every month in the Corn Loft above the shop. This meeting will be featuring Pickling and Cheese – bring a recipe that fits the theme to share with other members. apleyfarmshop.co.uk or call 01952 730 345

Orchard Day

Sun 12 October, 11.30am–5pm; Dudmaston Estate, Quatt, Bridgnorth

Apple pressing, produce show and best apple recipes. Decorate an apple head or create an autumnal oak fairy. nationaltrust.org.uk/dudmaston or call 01746 780838

Game Night

Fri 24 October, 6–9 pm; The Hundred House, Bridgnorth Road, Norton

A must for all those who enjoy the rich flavours of game. Booking is essential for this popular night. hundredhouse.co.uk or call 01952 580240

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