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Friday, 01 August 2014

Female chef regarded as UK’s best selects Cumbria produce

TWO of the country’s top chefs who first worked together 15 years ago joined forces again at a unique Cumbrian culinary event.

Michelin starred chefs Angela Hartnett and Alyn Williams normally cook up fine fare for diners in exclusive London restaurants, however they visited Dalton at the weekend for the One Week Only event.

Diners at Clarence House on Sunday were treated to delights such as roasted halibut, langoustines and chocolate ganache on the third night of the extravaganza.

Money raised from the initiative goes into the newly-formed Lake District Farmers Armstrong Family Charitable Fund, which is the brainchild of Barrow businessman and philanthropist Ray Armstrong and Dan Austin, managing director of Lake District Farmers.

Mr Armstrong, 52, who invested heavily in LDF to help it become the preferred meat supplier to many of the country’s best restaurants, has been diagnosed with liver and pancreatic cancer. Both chefs were protégés of Gordon Ramsay, and Mr Williams said it was nice to be working alongside Ms Hartnett.

He said: “I was thinking about this today, and I worked out we have been working together for 15 years. Angela took me under her wing!”

Mr Williams, who was named 2012 National Chef of the Year and has won plaudits for the stylish dishes that he showcases at the Westbury Hotel, said he signed up for the event as soon as he was contacted by Mr Austin.

He said: “The reason why we are here is not something we can forget about. This trip may be a ‘jolly’ but it is also important. I have experienced enough of what cancer can do. My mother died of it and it is horrible.”

Ms Hartnett, who won her first Michelin star in 2004, said she enjoys the chance to cook outside of her own kitchen.

She said: “It’s always fun. As soon as you arrive, you have got people asking what they can do.

“After you have done a few similar events then you get better prepared, so there is less to do when you arrive.”

Ms Hartnett, who is widely regarded as Britain’s top female chef and who was awarded with an MBE for her services to the catering industry, said quality is the key reason why she selects Cumbrian produce.

She said: “The reason why I choose Cumbrian produce is the quality, it’s that simple. It makes cooking much easier if you have got good ingredients.”

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