Two Chefs, Two Michelin Stars

Andrew Pern and James Mackenzie joined forces at The Star Inn the City for a special evening of Yorkshire food.

What is more spectacular than bringing together two great chefs to celebrate a working partnership and friendship? Oh, and two Michelin stars.

Andrew Pern and James Mackenzie met in 1990 at The Star Inn at Harome (owned by Andrew) and have remained close friends ever since, even producing their own beer, the aptly named ‘Two Chefs’. In 2006, James took over The Pipe and Glass Inn in Beverley with wife and business partner Kate. In 2010, he followed in his mentor and friend Andrew’s footsteps and achieved a Michelin star.

This special event was not only a celebration of talent and great Yorkshire produce, but a showcase of two great innovators and a lifetime of passion for cooking, and The Star Inn the City in York was the perfect location. The Star Inn’s kitchen team, headed by Matt Hunter has a wealth of skill and James brought with him members of his Pipe and Glass team to unite. It was great to see that today’s young chefs are as aspirational as they are talented.

The evening began with a selection of canapés and fresh oysters, and a treat for those looking for something with bite – sausage rolls served with black truffle mustard. The atmosphere was electric as all 125 guests were seated – a full house.

All eyes were now on the kitchen as the starter of king scallop tartare was served on wooden blocks with salt and vinegar seaweed crisps, whilst James and his team concentrated their efforts on the ballotine of Lincolnshire smoked eel and pink fir heritage potato. Squid ink mayonnaise and wild garlic purée were squeezed onto each plate and James added the dressing – demonstrating an eye for perfection.

Andrew meanwhile had begun the winter truffle risotto. As the fresh wild garlic pesto was added, and the colour began changing, the mention of truffle sparked excitement amongst the diners. Firstly truffle oil was added to combine and lock in flavours, then head chef Matt added fresh winter black truffle shavings – a star ingredient.

The pan-fried foie gras was cooked, and ready to go – those moments of combining the final ingredients together across the pass are always fast and furious.

Next up, was the roast loin of Fadmoor-reared veal, accompanied by a lobster croquette, pumpkin piccalilli using diced butternut squash, pickled carrot, onion cream and sherried juices. All hands were on deck, and each chef played a key part in the assembly of the main course.

As dishes began going out, roars of enjoyment could be heard coming from the dining area – what an accomplishment.

And finally, the pudding – buttermilk and lemon thyme, with blood orange granite and citrus flapjack, was exquisitely served in a glass.

A huge congratulations to Andrew, James, Matt and the team for such a fantastic event – the perfect combination of flavours and ingredients.

The evening was to be enjoyed, celebrated and treasured as a rare night of unique talent.