It all started with a trip to America 11 years ago. At the invitation of a friend, Nigel travelled to Carmel in California to help at the area’s food festival. 250 diners were served each night while the vineyards of the Napa Valley provided the perfect wine accompaniment to the cuisine. It got Nigel thinking, with its lush countryside and delicious local food could this be done on a smaller scale in Lancashire? And the answer was of course – yes!
10 years, 56 chefs and over 300 varieties of wine later, Obsession is still going strong and Lancashire remains the only place where top flight chefs will clamour to cook at someone else’s restaurant! By Nigel’s own admission, many of his chef friends have started festivals which have faded away so 10 years is a big deal.
In just the hour that we were there, we could plainly see the activity cranking up notch by notch. A wine delivery arrived, the photographer appeared, glasses were being polished, orders given. Just before we left the chef for the evening, the first “performer” Michelin star Tom Kitchin arrived and disappeared again into the kitchen to begin his culinary magic – we could feel the buzz.
Tonight Reg’s* Goosnargh duck will be served up by Matthew Fort and Tom Parker Bowles with a Chianti Classico from Tuscany. This wine has been selected for its undertones of cherry, a flavour which compliments duck beautifully. Wish you were here...?!
*Who’s Reg? Find out tomorrow...