Norfolk Food and Drink Festival patrons choose favourite menu

Fish and Chips by the sea

Fish and Chips by the sea - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

We asked the four EDP Adnams Norfolk Food and Drink Festival patrons to choose their favourite Norfolk menu and tell us why it's best for them.

The sun shining on Cromer beach at 7.30am as a crab fisherman brings in his catch. PHOTO: ANTONY KEL

The sun shining on Cromer beach at 7.30am as a crab fisherman brings in his catch. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

Cromer crab and a glass of microbrewery beer, fresh strawberries and frozen yoghurt, blackberry crumble and ice cream, venison and redcurrant jus, pork belly and Norfolk potatoes. It's easy to come up with Norfolk foods we like, but choosing a favourite is something else.

Perhaps it could be a free range egg omelette with regional ham and a seasonal salad, but what about a Sunday roast with everything bought from a favourite farmers' market, or a slow cooked pheasant with root vegetables or afternoon tea and lots of cakes?

Would it be washed down with an apple juice or some Norfolk cider or a sparkling lemonade or smoothie from the glut of raspberries and a large dollop of ice cream.

While thinking about what to choose for a favourite Norfolk menu, find out what our patrons chose.

Chris Coubrough

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A master chef and the mastermind and head of the Flying Kiwi Inns group, New Zealand-born Chris loves fresh food, eaten with friends.

He organises the North Norfolk Food Festival (August 31-September 11), while heading up the four independent boutique hotels that make up Kiwi Inns: the Earlham Arms in Norwich, The White Hart Hotel at Hingham, The Crown Hotel at Wells next the Sea and The Ship at Brancaster.

A true regional food devotee, with menus at each celebrating fresh seasonal produce predominantly from local farmers, fisherman and traders, and dishes such as Lemon Sole Fillet with creamy mashed potatoes, sprouting broccoli and mussel sauce, the perfect Norfolk menu selected by Chris is no surprise.

Perfect Norfolk menu...

Fish and chips

Why? Great fish out of the North Sea and great potatoes out of the north Norfolk farming land.

Who would prepare it? Markus French (owner of 'French's' on wells harbour)

Where would you most like to eat it and with whom?

On the Harbour flood wall at Wells-next-the-sea with my wife (Jo) and a pint of her 'IPA' from 'Joc's Norfolk Ale'

Vanessa Scott is the Director of Strattons Hotel Swaffham and director of Norfolk Food Festival Ltd. Strattons Hotel, and CoCoes café and deli in its grounds, are well established as offering the best in regional food and hospitality.

Strattons environmental ethos runs throughout, from its firm support of good local producers, specialists, artisans and suppliers to making everything from bread to jam and celebration cakes.

Vanessa organises the Brecks weekend, September 13, 14 and 15, which ranges from a yoga and food session to sculpture and art, workshops, market, lunches and masses of artisan local food.

What would be your perfect Norfolk menu?

Baked Cromer crab; we've been doing a wonderful Jane Grigson recipe at Strattons that I first tasted at the Ark at Erpingham that the wonderful Kidd family ran with such love for many years. It's baked to a Brittany recipe with layers of boozy mushrooms cooked in port, crabmeat, béchamel sauce topped with Alpine cheese and breadcrumbs.

followed by

Warm pigeon salad with runner beans & tapenade, a recipe I recently discovered in Trish Hilferty & Tom Norrington-Davies wonderful book of game. We are constantly given pigeons at the hotel which are such a pest to veggie gardeners, especially from good friends Brian & Carole who live in Beachamwell and run the Horticultural show in the village and also pass on the gluts from their prodigious veggie patch to us. They dislike pigeons with a passion! Pigeons are such plentiful free range delicious birds available all year round, we don't eat enough of them; they make the most delicious pies and terrines too.

Cheese, fruit & homemade walnut bread

I love cheese and do not have a particularly sweet tooth; we are blessed in Norfolk with some fantastic local cheesemakers. I totally subscribe to Patrick Rance's views, who was instrumental in the great cheese Renaissance in this country following its demise at the hands of the ministry during the two world wars; he says in his book 'The Great British Cheese Book', Cheese hunting is a heart and stomach warming sport. It takes you to our loveliest and least spoilt regions, and into their remotest by-ways. It takes you into the dairy, on to the farm and into the farmhouse and introduces you to some of the hardest working, healthiest and happiest people you will find anywhere'. A tribute to Ellie Betts, Jane Murray and Catherine Temple.


Hopefully already answered!

Would you choose to prepare it yourself?

Yes with my husband Les, we would chatter, drink wine and just unwind which is what cooking is for me, it's an important fundamental of life sharing food with the people you love to be with

Where would you most like to eat it and with whom?

At my home which I love and is my sanctuary with my husband, children and grandchildren

Richard Hughes

He's chef and proprietor of the Lavender House Restaurant and Cookery School in Brundall, Director of the Assembly House in Norwich, part owner of The Pigs at Edgefield, food author and local food champion.

Richard's cooking, often described as 'modern Norfolk' celebrates local food and in season produce, often with a fresh look to old favourites, so a fillet of beef is served with spiced carrot puree, gremolata and potato terrine or a Cley Smokehouse salmon comes with Bloody Mary Jelly.

He organises the Great Food and Drink Festival Quiz Night on September 24, a foodie quiz and supper at the Assembly House.

What would be your perfect Norfolk menu?

It would have to be fish and chips,


I think our greatest contribution to the world's cuisine, and is so perfect for so many occasions. We've served it a weddings, eaten it at the seaside, for lunch, dinner or a late night treat

I think our greatest contribution to the world's cuisine

Would you choose to prepare it yourself?

No chance, my favourite chip shop is the Grosvenor fish bar in the Norwich lanes

Where would you most like to eat it and with whom?

Well I think fish and chips always tastes better at the seaside, though it might cold by the time I get there. Perhaps in front of the telly watching the Monday night football, with my Grandsons Isaac and Miles, already ardent Norwich fans I'm afraid!

<co Galton didn't answer the 'why?' so I've taken it out>

Galton Blackison is the owner and chef patron of Michelin star hotel Morston Hall in north Norfolk. Food writer and author too, he's well known for not only talking about Norfolk produce but serving it too. His menus are likely to include everything from Norfolk fruit and wild mushrooms to Blakeney lobsters, Morston mussels and local game and the cookery demonstration days range from a morning of North Sea fish dishes and afternoon teas to men only and local game days.

What would be your perfect Norfolk menu? At this time of year it would be local crab, samphire, Norfolk peer new potatoes, Yare valley rapeseed and lemon ice cream, local blackcurrant soufflé.

Would you choose to prepare it yourself? If I am not to prepare it myself then it would have to be Richard Bainbridge.

Where would you most like to eat it and with whom? Would probably like to share this supper or lunch having moored the crab boat somewhere off Morston with Tracy and our boys, mother and father in law and my father and would have to get Neil Alston along to provide the champagne and clear up. Then I would take the boat along to Cromer moor up again and have fish and chips in the restaurant at No1 Cromer.