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Putting the Spotlight on North West Food

John Freeman
Home Grown: Food Champions of England's Northwest, a new book highlighting the renaissance of English provincial food and featuring stories and recipes from local chefs and producers, is published this month.

The 400-page coffee table publication tells the story of how some of the region’s chefs, who are passionate about local and regional food, have led a Northwest ‘food revolution’. This has been achieved by working closely with local producers and suppliers from across Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside, to influence and champion regional produce that is traditionally grown in the Northwest.

Home Grown demonstrates how the connection between chef and producer is crucial and puts an emphasis on seasonal, quality, local ingredients. It introduces the people behind some of the region’s favourite products, as they reveal the stories behind their success.

Each of the 12 chefs featured, from Paul Askew to Marc Wilkinson, give their views on food and shared three of their signature recipes made with their favourite local products.

“The Northwest is seeing a renaissance of English provincial food," feels Paul Askew, who runs the internationally-renowned The London Carriage Works, part of Hope Street Hotel in Liverpool, "and is home to some of the country’s top chefs and producers, with fascinating stories to tell, particularly about their close collaboration. Home Grown paints a vivid picture of how food is well and truly on the region’s menu.”

The unique stories behind some of the region’s most innovative products play a major role in the book. Originally an art teacher, John Price gave up his career to set up the now renowned Port of Lancaster Smokehouse and Anne Connelly swapped the high hills of Northern Italy for the gentle Cheshire countryside, where she creates mountain cheeses based on traditional Italian recipes. Meanwhile, Aidan Monks’ passion for artisan bread dates back to his Lake District childhood, delivering bread from his grandfather’s bakery.

Lorna Tyson, who has worked on behalf of the local and regional food support agencies led by Food Northwest to manage the development of the book, said: “Home Grown makes clear the vital link between chefs, producers and suppliers in bringing the best food to the table, with an emphasis on integrity at every stage of the process. This close collaboration has inspired a new food movement across the region.”

Home Grown is illustrated by award-winning photographer Colin McPherson and is written by Deidre Morley. It is published by Liverpool-based Bluecoat Press.

The publication of the book coincides with an initiative to encourage young people to consider a career in food. Up to £1,500 from the book’s proceeds will provide a scholarship to the winner of the North West Young Chef for the next three years. It will give the successful candidate the opportunity to work overseas with a selected chef to help extend their experience.

Home Grown will be available from major retailers and independent bookstores the end of November 2008. It will also be available online at or by telephoning 0151 707 2390, and is priced £19.99.

Home Grown is championed by all of the food support agencies in the Northwest which includes Food Northwest, Made in Cheshire, Made in Cumbria and Made in Lancashire.

Note to Editors

For further information contact: Anne Benson
07811 169138

Photography by Colin McPherson is available upon request.

Food Northwest is the organisation established by the Northwest Regional Development Agency to lead the region’s food and drink industry. It combines the expertise of the former Northwest Food Alliance and the Northwest Fantastic Food Partnership. It has overall responsibility for the food and drink sector in the Northwest, from primary food production and processing to food retail and foodservice. It will coordinate the delivery of the 2006 – 2011 Northwest Food and Drink Strategy

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) leads the economic development and regeneration of England's Northwest and is responsible for:

o Supporting business growth and encouraging investment
o Matching skills provision to employer needs
o Creating the conditions for economic growth
o Connecting the region through effective transport and communication infrastructure
o Promoting the region’s outstanding quality of life

Liverpool is the UK's representative as European Capital of Culture 2008. The Liverpool Culture Company, established by Liverpool city council in 2000, is co-ordinating a year-long programme of more than 350 events – 70 per cent of which are free. It is estimated the city, which is also undergoing a £5bn regeneration phase, will attract an extra 1.7m visitors in 2008. To find out more please go to