Michelin stars, Masterchef winners and emerging culinary talent
Thousands of local chefs, restaurateurs, front of house teams and bar staff are expected to attend this year’s Northern Restaurant and Bar Show at Manchester Central from 19-20 March.
And they’ll have the opportunity to learn from some of the best, thanks to Chef Live; a huge demo stage, which will see twelve of the North’s leading chefs prepare their signature dishes.
Chefs who are not only exceptional but represent all that is exciting, contemporary and relevant about cooking in the region
“I’m so proud of the line-up for NRB this year,” said CEO Thom Hetherington. “The North of England boasts an unprecedented proportion of the UK’s best restaurants, and I think that has enabled us to pull together a set of chefs who are not only exceptional but represent all that is exciting, contemporary and relevant about cooking in the region.
“There are so many of my personal favourites at NRB19, and I am sure our industry visitors will feel the same. I suspect spots at our exclusive Chef’s Table, where fellow chefs and leading food writers get to sit alongside their cooking idols as they work - and taste the finished dishes - will be in huge demand this year.”
The Chef Live line-up...
Alisdair Brooke-Taylor, The Moorcock, West Yorkshire
'The restaurant has stellar promise, but it is wonderful to see the pub side is not disregarded. The Moorcock is the stuff of dreams.' - Neil Sowerby, Manchester Confidential
The Moorcock made it to number 4 in Confidentials' guide to the Top 100 restaurants in the North. This unassuming pub serves foraged and regional ingredients in thrilling configurations, catching the eye of national food critics and diners alike. The Moorcock team are Alisdair Brooke-Taylor (chef) and Aimee Turford (front of house). They worked together in Australia, then at Belgium’s much-missed, Michelin-starred restaurant In De Wulf. Despite only opening their joint venture in 2017, they’ve got a success on their hands. The setting is back-to-basic pub with a bar in one room, restaurant space in the other. A rising star that looks set to eclipse many of its neighbours.
Michael Wignall, The Angel at Hetton, North Yorkshire
'The Angel at Hetton is a Yorkshire institution and under new chef Michael Wignall it looks set to soar' - Elaine Lemm, The Yorkshire Post
Michael Wignall is returning to the North having taken the helm at the legendary Angel at Hetton – arguably the UK’s first gastropub. Wignall has enjoyed a Michelin-starred career as former chef of Gidleigh Park and The Latymer Restaurant at Pennyhill Park. Later in 2019, he's planning to open The Cove, expanding on The Angel’s original wine cave. The expansive steel and glass structure will be a modern, luxurious haven – the space audaciously connecting the old with the new, allowing diners to feel part of the dramatic Yorkshire Dales landscape whilst enjoying a spectacular gastronomic experience with a less formal approach to fine cuisine.
Mark Birchall, Moor Hall, Lancashire
'I’ve given up worrying about whether this sounds pretentious, but a meal at this level is comparable to some kind of high-brow artistic performance.' – Deanna Thomas, Manchester Confidential
Having trained at the three star El Celler de Can Roca in Girona (twice voted the best restaurant in the world), Mark Birchall went on to win the Roux scholarship in 2011. Formerly head chef at L’Enclume, he's now chef-patron at Moor Hall: an outstanding one Michelin star, 4 AA Rosette restaurant with rooms that placed second in our Top 100 restaurants in the North.
Adam Reid, Adam Reid at The French, Manchester
'The Fat One's going to hang his hat on Reid. Personable, good looking, understated and self-deprecating, everything another high-end chef, recently arrived to the city, isn’t.' – Gordo, Manchester Confidential
Placed at number 6 in our Top 100, expect Culinary rock’n’roll from Simon Rogan’s protegé, Adam Reid. Guests enjoy fine dining in the Grade II listed Victorian surrounds of his restaurant, with a side order of Mancunian attitude. Reid won the Great British Menu dessert round; a similar creation called ‘Golden Empire’ is now available to order at The French.
Stosie Madi, The Parkers Arms, Lancashire
'This tastefully renovated pub and restaurant has everything the worldly gourmand could desire, with none of the faff and pretension that usually comes with that title' - Confidential Guides
Over the past twelve years, Stosi Madi and her team have created a homely destination dining pub, serving and baking extraordinary, modern European food - a wonderful place to go and recharge the batteries. The Confidential team make any excuse for a visit and were thrilled to award The Parkers Arms fifteenth place in our Top 100.
Shaun Rankin, Grantley Hall, North Yorkshire
Michelin starred chef Shaun Rankin is a renowned, published chef with TV accolades and a passion for the fresh produce of the Channel Islands where he resides. Rankin is returning to his Yorkshire roots to open a fine dining restaurant at Grantley Hall, which is due to open in summer 2019.
Tom Parker, White Swan at Fence, Lancashire
'The special ingredient in all this? Tom Parker. This chef is smoking hot at the moment. Make the trek' - Neil Sowerby, Manchester Confidential
You might struggle to bag a seat at White Swan in the next twelve months or so, following its new Michelin star. Over the past three years, the venue has established itself as a destination fine dining spot thanks to 20-something chef Tom Parker. From up the road in Burnley, at sixteen he begged a start at Michelin-starred Northcote, becoming a protégé of Lisa Allen and scooping a Young Chef of the Year award. That prodigious talent is evident throughout his short menus, which change daily on the back of produce turning up on his doorstep. Number 11 on Confidential’s Top 100.
Josh Overington, Le Cochon Aveugle, York
‘As the beautiful meal plays out, it all starts to make a Through The Looking Glass kind of sense’ - Marina O'Loughlin, The Guardian
Josh Overington and his team prepare, cook and serve blind tasting menus from the open-plan kitchen in his small stripped back restaurant in the heart of York. The contemporary European menu is rooted in classical French techniques, and showcases the very best produce available to the kitchen on each individual day from carefully selected farmers and producers.
Anton Piotrowski, Roski, Liverpool
'My God, the man’s only been in Liverpool five minutes and he’s already turned the recipe for the city’s national dish, scouse, on its head and shaken it to pieces.' - Gerry Corner, Liverpool Confidential
MasterChef: The Professionals winner, Anton Piotrowski could well bring Liverpool its first Michelin star with his eclectic British cooking - he substantiated his credentials at Devon’s Treby Arms pub, earning a Michelin star after being told it could never happen. Roski was placed fourteen in our Top 100 guide - a particular favourite of Confidentials publisher Gordo. Read what he had to say about Anton’s cooking here.
Mary Ellen McTague, The Creameries, Manchester
'Michelin be damned — there’s no sour note in this little oasis' - Marina O’Loughlin, The Times
Mary-Ellen McTague is a Manchester chef who ran two successful restaurants in the city - Aumbry and 4244 - before opening The Creameries in Chorlton; a bakery, bar and restaurant with a focus on simple, delicious food and drink. Starting off as a Commis Chef and working her way up to Chef de Partie at Sharrow Bay in the Lake District, McTague went on to work as development chef for Heston Blumenthal. McTague has appeared on two series of the BBC series Great British Menu, in 2013 and 2014. She is also regularly interviewed on BBC television and radio and has written a food column for The Guardian.
Simon Wood, Wood Manchester
'...serves up dishes that are devoured in moments and talked about fondly for weeks' - Grace Dent, The Guardian
Masterchef 2015 champion Simon Wood, a former data manager, began cooking when he could ‘reach the top of an oven’. Since the win, Wood has been appointed executive chef of Oldham Event Centre part of Oldham Athletic Football Club, opened a successful restaurant in Manchester city centre, a hotel restaurant in Cheltenham and is soon to open another in Chester. He's also published a cookbook At Home with Simon Wood – Fine Dining Made Simple. Read more about his Manchester restaurant here.
Mai Trising, The Black Swan, Ravenstonedale
Runner up in the North West Young Chef of the Year, sponsored by Essential Cuisine.
Northern Restaurant & Bar is the North's hospitality exhibition and provides an opportunity for operators, suppliers and industry figures to meet, speak and do business. NRB19 brings the cream of the hospitality industry to Manchester Central on 19-20 March.
NRB19 hosts 250+ exhibitors, providing every product and service a hospitality business needs, and delivers 65 exciting live food and drink demos. Free trade only tickets are available now at northernrestaurantandbar.co.uk
NRB organisers are offering the chance for two lucky people to win places for them and an industry colleague at the Chef's Table - beside the Chef Live demo stage - and taste the finished dishes. To win a place, simply enter online by Friday 8 March 2019. Chefs will be allocated at random on the day of your choice.