We thought we were getting just a little obsessed with Obsession – but then we met Northcote Head Chef Lisa Allen, she came to help with the second Obsession 9 years ago, thought a year at Northcote would be great experience before travelling... and she’s still there.
Catching her on a short break we found out why Lisa had stayed so long. “The thing I love about Northcote is there’s always a challenge and as long as things are new, and there’s someone there who’s really enthusiastic, and they’re feeding you (no pun intended) then people are going to stay!”
Lancashire lass Lisa, really does love her work and as one of the country’s few female Michelin star chefs, is still learning from the chefs who take part in Obsession. Each year she relishes the challenge of new menus, new techniques and the camaraderie of the kitchen. “Every year’s just got better and better, you’re meeting people you didn’t think you’d ever meet like Heston Blumenthal, Angela Hartnett, Raymond Blanc, Ken Hom and they all take time out to celebrate this special event.”
The more you stick around during Obsession the more you realise what a significant event this is, not just for Northcote but for the county. You also appreciate that it’s not only about the astounding names that the event attracts each year or even the amazing menus, but about the effect this has on the staff, the chefs – people like Lisa whose love of her work and enthusiasm for local produce have kept her in Lancashire.
Head Chef for the last four years and no doubt looking forward to a few more Obsessions – looks like Lisa might have to do the travelling later.
Tomorrow (29 Jan) Lisa will be cooking up a storm with Angela Hartnett. And, without giving it all away; on their menu, Goosnargh Duck...or Pendle Lamb....you’re simply spoilt for choice!