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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Premier chefs serve up Dalton evening to savour

LAKE district beef and lamb is “the best I’ve ever tasted” according to a Michelin-starred chef at a charity event in Dalton.

The Clarence House Hotel hosted the final night of its unique Gastronomic Extravaganza on Tuesday.

The event aimed to raise money for the Lake District Farmers Armstrong Family Charitable Fund, inspired by businessman Ray Armstrong, which hopes to give away £1,000 a week to charitable causes.

The evening’s guest chefs were Cornwall-based Paul Ainsworth and London-based Andre Garrett. Mr Ainsworth, who owns the highly rated Paul Ainsworth at Number Six restaurant in Padstow, said he regularly sourced ingredients from Lake District Farmers.

“We bring in beef and lamb from the Lake District Farmers, and I would go as far as to say it’s the best I’ve ever tasted.”

Despite the pressure, Mr Ainsworth described the night as an unqualified success.

He said: “It can be quite daunting coming into a new kitchen but the staff here are a really, really good bunch of lads.

“It has been a great night. It has been about coming up here and giving something back.”

Mr Garrett, head chef at the Galvin at Windows Restaurant in London, said the pressure of operating a new kitchen was eased by his relationship with Mr Ainsworth.

“It’s always a challenge coming into a new kitchen, everything is alien to you and it can be difficult. But Paul and I have worked together a lot. We put our heads together and came up with a menu that I think everyone enjoyed.

“I think I will relax with a gin and tonic now!”

Victoria Barber-Bolan, director at Clarence House, said: “It has been brilliant for the staff to learn from all these chefs.

“Sometimes it’s just the little things that they pick up. They have been offered work experience in the kitchens with these chefs which is fantastic.”

Guests on the night were delighted with the quality of food on offer. Kelsey Stolan, 24, from Canada, enjoyed the slow-cooked Loch Fyne salmon, followed by beef chateaubriand.

“It was absolutely beautiful. I have met Ray and he is a wonderful man,” she said.

Darren West, 28, distribution manager at Lake District Farmers, said: “This will give the charity a huge boost.”

Allan Pitcher, from Barrow, said: “The food was great, and it’s for such a beautiful concept.”

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