‘Secret Restaurant’ to showcase Michelin-starred chefs as Taste Cumbria Food Festival 2011 launches.

It has been announced that a medley of Cumbria’s top chefs are joining forces to give their support to this year’s ‘Taste Cumbria Food Festival’. This popular and much anticipated festival looks set to be one of the highlights of the summer in Cumbria when it returns to Cockermouth on September 24-25.

A new concept in dining, The Secret Restaurant, will give a few special guests the un-missable chance to sample the culinary delights of some of Cumbria’s Michelin starred, world class chefs. They will be cooking together for the first time ever, and create a four-course gourmet meal.

A pop up restaurant has been created to give the intimate feel of an exclusive bistro, and the head chefs of four of the areas top restaurants will each create one of the courses in front of the diners. They will have a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with the chefs from Sharrow Bay, The Samling, Holbeck Ghyll and L’Enclume. There will also be a Q & A session where the guests can pick up some top tips from the experts.

The Secret Restaurant concept has been introduced to Taste Cumbria by event organisers SK Events, who are keen to raise the bar this year following their hugely successful festival launch in 2010. The exact location of the Secret Restaurant will remain under wraps until nearer the time of the festival, adding to the excitement and exclusivity of the experience, however the organisers have hinted that it will be in one of Cockermouth’s most surprising and unlikely locations!
Simon Rogan, one of the Secret Restaurant’s four chefs and chef/proprietor of Cartmel’s internationally acclaimed L’Enclume restaurant comments:

“This is a fantastically exciting project to be involved in. Each of the chefs involved are at the very top of their game and it’s unusual for us to step out of our kitchens and pool our talents on one menu. In all my years of cooking, I’ve certainly never experienced anything like the Secret Restaurant before!”

Sharrow Bay is a hotel built upon innovation with a tradition and history that sets it apart. The hotel’s internationally renowned kitchen, led by Colin Akrigg, and assisted by Mark Teasdale, uses the finest local ingredients to produce some of the finest British cuisine.

Speaking about his role in the Secret Restaurant, Mark Teasdale comments:

“The concept of the Secret Restaurant really appeals to me and we jumped at the chance when Taste Cumbria asked Sharrow Bay to be involved. This has to be a first as far as I’m aware, the four of us in one kitchen – the region’s food lovers are in for a treat. In some ways I wish I was a guest!”

The Samling is set in its own sixty-seven acre estate overlooking Windermere, and its award-winning restaurant under the direction of Nigel Mendham, offers food made from only the finest, freshest local ingredients; with a reputation for irresistible creative cooking and a trademark lightness of touch.
Nigel Mendham comments:

“The Samling is a leading light in the Cumbrian fine dining scene – how could we not take up the challenge! It’s great to have the chance to work alongside such talented guys and the Taste Cumbria festival is a brilliant way of showcasing the quality and expertise of our top chefs.”

Holbeck Ghyll, is located between the pretty lakeside towns of Ambleside and Bowness-on-Windermere. David McLaughlin has been Head Chef at the hotel for 12 years and has been the driving force behind the retention of their coveted Michelin Star for each of those 12 years.
Andrew McPherson, Holbeck Ghyll General Manager comments:

“Consistency is key for us at Holbeck Ghyll, in the quality of the ingredients we use, the skill and creativity in their preparation, and the artful combination of flavours must be demonstrated to the same high proficiency, time and time again. The Secret Restaurant won’t be an exception to this rule and guests can expect to experience a delight of the senses.”

Katie Read, West Cumbria Tourism Manager says:
“The Secret Restaurant is a wonderfully innovative concept that brings together the cream of Cumbria’s leading chefs. To have these world-standard hotels and restaurants involved in the event adds to the high standard and kudos of the festival and it can only reinforce the message we are sending out nationally, that the Cumbrian food and drink offer truly is second to none.
If you’ve plans to visit the region this summer – make sure it’s during festival weekend!”

Places at the Secret Restaurant are strictly limited and can be reserved in advance by emailing info@tastecumbria.com.

A full calendar of Taste Cumbria festival events will be available to download online in early September, www.tastecumbria.com.
You can also follow Taste Cumbria on Twitter and their Facebook page.