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Food and Drink round-up 13/04/2010

Smoking allowed back in pub, posh ham, Riemanschnieder in Rainow, Southport Food and Drink Festival, wine first and spelling it out – wrongly

Published on April 12th 2010.

Food and Drink round-up 13/04/2010

Hamming it up at Grado
Grado, on New York Street in the city centre (0161 238 9790), has launched its new menu. It features Ferran Adria's favourite ham, Joselito from Pata Negra (black foot) Iberico pigs. The El Bulli chef who's taking a break from cooking, once said “Joselito is my life.” He definitely needs that break. The pigs are reared outdoors and feed on acorns and the hams are cured for between 3 and 5 years. Also look out for the slow cooked duck egg and asparagus, crisp ham and crumbs with Salvitxada dressing. The egg is cooked in a temperature controlled water bath at 62 degrees for 2 hours with only the yolk being served. The consistency apparently resembles a Cadbury cream egg. Then there's Toricas, mango chutney and coriander. Toricas is a traditional Spanish dessert made by taking bread, soaking it in horchata (almond milk) and deep frying it. This is served with a sweet chutney of mango and chilli, mango sorbet and fresh coriander leaves.

Riemanschnieder in Rainow
One of our more deliciously eccentric writers, Susan Hall, once did a cracking review of the Highwayman in Rainow in the hills east of Macclesfield (click here). She loved it. Now the place is getting a 'name' chef. This is Michael Riemanschnieder, who once graced Michelin starred restaurants across the country. He took over at Juniper in Altrincham in 2008, but his project there failed fourteen months ago. Now he's bringing his undoubted talents to a moor top within easy drive of the city. Let's hope it's an easier ride for Riemanschnieder than Juniper was.

Wine to meat demand
The UK’s most popular Rioja wine brand Campo Viejo is launching the next stage of its campaign ‘Viva el Vino’ by teaming up with Manchester-based Spanish restaurant Evuna (277 Deansgate, City, 0161 819 2752 ). The campaign will run to 30 April. With this idea diners choose their wine from a menu without selecting their food – and are then presented with a selection of food, matched to their wine. To quote the press release on this: 'diners will receive a wine menu from their waiter and will be asked to choose only their wine – not their food. The chefs then create a meal that is designed to perfectly enhance the flavours and notes of the wine'.

Wild Boar Inn invites smoking back
Welcome news from the extreme north. The excellent Wild Boar in Crook near Windermere, a Confidential favourite, will re-open its doors in April after a revamp that includes the creation of a new smokehouse. This will make it the first restaurant in the Lakes to have its own smokehouse, producing smoked cheeses, fishes and meats. As befits the pub name, the excellent chef here, Marc Saunders, features wild boar prominently on the menu with John Stott’s Smoked Wild Boar Sausage served cold with mustard and dips and Potted Wild Boar Rillett served in a kilner jar sealed with butter, accompanied by homemade piccalilli and toasted sourdough bread. Confidential also loves the idea that guests may buy their own personal bottle of whisky or other spirits which will then be kept at the inn for their use on future visits.

Hough End Hall of food
Confidential was at an event at the gorgeous Hough End Hall, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, the other day. Or rather should be gorgeous, as in the sixties the idiot planning department of the city surrounded the sixteenth century brick stately home with shoddy tower blocks. The place has fairly recently been done up on the inside. Confidential was surprised to find a fully functioning restaurant there at recent event. We asked for the menu and found typical British stuff, such as rack of lamb (£12.80), sea bass for the same price and so on. We will review, but there was something very very wrong with the menu.

Menu gets us in a Hough
We have our problems with grammar (every day the sub-editor's off). We acknowledge this, but the Hough End menu is something else. Oh good heavens - 'mussells', 'carrotts', 'rissotto', 'sald', 'daupahoise', 'avocardo' all appear on the menu. The latter also has random capitalisation problems, with unaccountably the word garlic always written as 'Garlic' as though it were a person. The slipshod nature of the spelling and grammar is so extensive it does nothing to boost confidence about the cooking. But as pointed out in the story above, we shall see.

Hough End menu: must do better

Southport for nosh
Southport Food and Drink Festival will take place in the resort town from 13-16 May. According to the organisers highlights include chef demonstrations from the likes of Manchester based Scouser Simon Rimmer and Aiden Bryne, the youngest man to win a Michelin star. TV broadcaster, author and general beer expert Pete Brown will be hosting a beer talk and tasting, based around his new book ‘Hops and Glory’. There will be a Southport Food and Drink Festival Pavilion in the Town Hall Gardens for restaurants, chefs, breweries and chocolatiers to show off in, and there'll also be the inevitable gong giving out Gala Dinner. For more details check www.visitsouthport.com

Short and sharp
Two further points about the above story. What a great focussed idea the Southport festival is. To have a food festival that lasts a weekend rather than eleven days is maybe the direction Manchester Food and Drink Festival should travel in. Condensing a major event into a maximum of, say, five days for much bigger Manchester, packing the city out with foodie activity, getting it buzzing with the thing because it's everywhere, is surely the way to go. By the way we've sent some questions off to the LoveFoodHateWaste people who are sponsoring the Southport festival about how much their campaign of stating the bleeding obvious costs. We wouldn't want to think it an expensive waste of money.

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5 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

Riemanschnieder in RainowApril 13th 2010.

It's my belief that the Highwayman has been closed since January. You cannot contact them by phone and the website is down - are they planning to re-open ?

TrickyApril 13th 2010.

The Joselito Jamon mentioned in the pieace about Grado is on sale at Harvey Nicks deli counter. Pretty expensive, but worth it for the experience. Ferran Adria was not far from the mark!

TrickyApril 13th 2010.


Steven SavageApril 14th 2010.

The Joselito at HN is a refrigerated bonlees piece;this in itself does nothing for the taste experience. Joselito should always be freshly cut from the bone at room temperature...anything else doesn't do it justice.

NortherngeezerApril 14th 2010.


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