Well, as you may already know, Mister North is on TV tonight; part of a team on BBC2’s new food quiz ‘A Question of Taste‘. Our team, which we christened ‘Northern Stars’, is made up of a trio from the North West, united by our love of the knowledge and experience of food. (Update) You can now watch the episode on BBC iPlayer until Jan 30th, or on Youtube.
Myself, Joby aka Mister North: general food geek and co-author of this blog, alongside my London-based sister Miss South (who cheered from the audience but didn’t fancy being in front of the cameras on the show!) I live in Todmorden in the South Pennines (roughly half-way between Manchester and Leeds, straddling the Lancashire/Yorkshire border). Tod’s a lovely small town with a great market, a lot of brilliant local food producers, and through Incredible Edible Todmorden is leading the drive to become self-sufficient in food).
That’s how I know SJ, the second team member, and our resident producer. SJ’s co-owns Porcus, a producer of rare-breed pork on the moorland hilltops above Todmorden, and she’s passionate about the welfare and standards of their free range Tamworth and Saddleback pigs. Their hog roasts, bacons, sausages, joints and other porcine delights are stunningly good. She’s utterly at home in the kitchen as well as in the fields, and she’s got an enormous collection of cookbooks.
We’re both amateurs compared to the third team member, Ben, chef at North Star Deli in Chorlton, Manchester. I used to live in Manchester, still eat out there a lot, and love North Star – their food, coffee and supper clubs are some of the best around – where Ben’s the cool, calm one in the kitchen, making it all happen and cooking it perfectly. He’s cooked all across the North West, and his experience, humour and knowledge made him the perfect candidate for ‘Northern Stars’.
Hope you enjoy watching us tonight, or afterwards on iPlayer. Taking part in the show was a hoot (though a bit of a blur) and we really enjoyed meeting our erstwhile opponents, ‘Cannons and Dragons’… including the brothers who run Cannon & Cannon, selling the best in British charcuterie at Borough market and via mail order. It was great to meet another group of people so passionate about promoting the best of British meat… lots of backstage chat and impromptu sampling of air-dried ham!
However the fun doesn’t end when the show goes out: we had such a blast together that we’re getting together next month for another collaboration. That’s right, February’s supper club at North Star Deli is a joint affair with the team from ‘A Question of Taste’ and will be on Feb 23rd. Mister North will be getting his chef’s whites on, and joining Ben and Deanna Thomas in the kitchen.The menu will be firmly seasonal, proudly northern… and amongst other delights, will feature some of Porcus’ truly stunning pork products and Pextenement’s Todmorden cheeses. That’s all I’m allowed to say for now…
There are limited places, so call North Star Delicatessen on 0161 862 0133 to book, follow them on Twitter or ‘like’ their Facebook page for upcoming menu details. We’ll be posting more about the event soon, but we really hope you can join us on Feb 23rd!