A Celebration of Rhubarb Dinner with Robert Tomlinson

The Star Inn The City in York hosted a spectacular four-course dinner celebrating the iconic Yorkshire Rhubarb, from the fourth generation grower, Robert Tomlinson.

It was a unique opportunity to witness and taste such well-loved and treasured produce in a four-course dinner devised by Executive Chef and Director Andrew Pern and Head Chef Matt Hunter, which truly showcased the rhubarb in a tantalising way.

The rhubarb, which is grown in the dark and picked by candlelight at the Tomlinson’s farm in Yorkshire, is an undeniable star ingredient.

There was a strong rhubarb presence in the room, each table dressed with distinctive tall slender pink rhubarb stems elegantly placed in glass jars for diners to admire. Of course, having Robert Tomlinson present was the ultimate seal of approval. Anyone would wonder if he ever gets fed up of tasting rhubarb? We think not!

The first dish was a pressed ‘nose to tail’ pork terrine with mixed spice, rhubarb, ginger parkin and Yorkshire relish. The parkin shaped as a star, made the perfect base for the appetising starter.

The second dish incorporated the rhubarb into a jam which showcased the delicate sweet flavour which comes from the forced process. The rhubarb accompanied a seafood feast of seared Shetland sea scallops with cured North Sea Halibut.

When entering the kitchen ahead of the main, there was an alluring buzz about the place, with Andrew meticulously running a dedicated operation. The pan roasted duck breast was cut, whilst the delicate precision of the anise-poached rhubarb and carrot purée was starting to hit the dishes on the pass. Diners were treated to a spectacular main, breast of Beverley-reared duck with citrus forcemeat – with accompanying traditional Yorkshire sauce.

Diners had now tasted rhubarb in three innovative savoury concepts – it was only fair to give the sweet dish a makeover. There was a certain feeling of excitement ahead of the dessert. When the dish arrived, in a clear cut cocktail glass, it was wildly imaginative in the way that such an old tradition in Yorkshire forced rhubarb (dating back to the 1870s) has been brilliantly brought into a very modern era.

The devilishly pinkness of the rhubarb was vividly apparent, sat on a rhubarb and Wensleydale curd ‘Upside Down’ cheesecake with white chocolate ice cream and a parkin crumb, to remind us of the flavour tasted earlier on in the evening.

A dinner of absolute perfection, precise planning and organisation and a true spirit and passion for Yorkshire produce at its very best.

Seeing our suppliers bring the perfect ingredient to the table, and chefs creating show-stopping dish after dish is a true satisfaction.