Cooking up support for Yorkshire forced rhubarb

Ed and Will Nichol in Oulton Hall kitchen
Ed and Will Nichol in Oulton Hall kitchen

What a pleasure it was to be back at the Wakefield Rhubarb Festival on Friday. A small triangle between Leeds and Wakefield is the rhubarb capital of Europe. Yet not long ago the farmers were really under pressure as rhubarb became unfashionable. Yet rhubarb is such a great thing, hard to grow but our Yorkshire forced rhubarb has a fabulous taste. Now thanks to hard work from local farmers like Janet Oldroyd and her family and Wakefield Council, thousands of people flock to our area to see the magic of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb for themselves.  

I joined Janet on one of her hugely popular tours before taking some hand picked rhubarb over to beautiful Oulton Hall to cook up some rhubarb recipes myself. Anyone who thinks rhubarb cooking is limited to a rhubarb crumble, should think again. Will Nichol, the Head Chef at Oulton Hall has a whole menu of rhubarb delights. On Friday we cooked up a stunning rhubarb trifle as well as pork medallions with a rhubarb compote. What a treat it was to be in a professional kitchen too!

Janet Oldroyd, Will Nichol and Ed

Wakefield Rhubarb Festival 2012

Janet Oldroyd and her family are one of only a handful of rhubarb farming families left in the famous rhubarb triangle. The festival, run and promoted by Wakefield Council, has done a brilliant job of promoting our rhubarb too but we need to keep rhubarb in fashion it if we’re to support this great Yorkshire product. I’m really proud of Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb, grown in the darkness right here between Wakefield and Leeds and I’ll always do what I can to support a vital local industry.

To see me speaking to the Yorkshire Post about the Wakefield Rhubarb Festival, click the link.

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Posted February 27th, 2012 by Ed