Inn-spiring way to mark Northumberland Day

Richie Moore piping with pupils from The Dales.
Richie Moore piping with pupils from The Dales.

Budding chefs have come up with tasty ways to celebrate the first ever Northumberland Day.

Youngsters from The Dales School, in Blyth, rose to a culinary challenge laid down by The Commissioners Quay Inn to come up with dishes to mark the day.

Head chef Richie Moore with children from The Dales.

Head chef Richie Moore with children from The Dales.

And dishes inspired by their creations will take pride of place on the Inn’s specials board for a week from Sunday – the date chosen to fly the flag for all things Northumbrian.

Head chef Richie Moore set a group of children, aged seven to 11, the challenge of coming up with recipes that summed up Northumberland after giving them a cookery demonstration.

Mr Moore said: “The response from the children has been exceptional. All the children really enjoyed the taster session we had at the school and it certainly seems to have set their creative juices flowing.

“Their suggestions have been excellent, with dishes including roast North Sea cod and local langoustines, pan haggerty, shepherd’s pie with local lamb and a dessert using cherry and vanilla ice cream to represent the red and yellow of the Northumberland flag.”

Culinary creations by pupils from The Dales School.

Culinary creations by pupils from The Dales School.

The children enjoyed a behind-the-scenes tour of the inn and saw a selection of their dishes being made before taking part in a taste-test session.

Bailey Parker, 11, said: “I liked everything about the visit. The food we tasted has been delicious.

“It was fun trying new things and looking around the hotel. It was like a ship.”

Visit northumberlandday.net for a list of events.

A pupil from The Dales with his Blyth Beach inspired cheesecake.

A pupil from The Dales with his Blyth Beach inspired cheesecake.

Tracy Park, a teaching assistant at The Dales School, said: “The children at the Dales really enjoy coking and all the experiences that go with it. We hope this venture continues to motivate and inspire the children to do more cooking.”

Mr Moore, 47, is originally from Blyth and grew up opposite The Dales School when it was Bebside Middle.

He said: “I want to encourage young cooks like those at The Dales School to develop their passion for food, and I am looking forward to hopefully working with them again and inspiring them to develop their enjoyment of cooking and embark upon a career in a professional kitchen.”

Keith Liddell, chief executive of The Inn Collection Group which operates The Commissioners Quay Inn, said: “I was very impressed by the high standard of the recipes and the way all the children captured the flavour, spirit, and contrasting landscape of Northumberland through their use of ingredients.

“Northumberland is a hearty, honest and robust county, and this was reflected in the likes of the pan haggerty dish, while the use of fish and lamb showcased the area’s spectacular coast and countryside beautifully.

“We have a lot to be proud of in Northumberland, not least the food, and we need to be celebrating all those good things and shouting about them further afield.”

Northumberland Day will be marked on May 28 with events across the county.

The date has been chosen to coincide with Northumberland County Show on May 29 and because it falls in the school half-term, allowing families to get involved and celebrate the day.