A War Of The Roses Dinner

When it comes to battles, the legendary war of the roses Yorkshire vs. Lancashire was hosted for the first time in White Rose County. Competing for battle were Star Inn at Harome Head Chef Stephen Smith and Freemasons at Wiswell Steve Smith.

Arriving for an evening of heritage dishes at the newly refurbished Star Inn The City, the kitchen was filled with an army of chefs, and a real game plan in place. After being seated in the dining area, diners were presented with the nights menu on offer which would later turn into a tactical voting card. All dishes were to be served without the knowledge of which chef cooked which dish.

As the first starter arrived, it was a true fishermans feast for the eyes – a ‘Rockpool’ of King Scallop, Langoustine and Shetland Mussels, with a Frozen Oyster Cream – accompanied by Buttered Seashore Vegetables and a Seaweed Veloute. The Granny Smith Apple Batons symbolically acting as armour, and adding an acidic sharpness.
A diversion came from the opposition, Rabbit & Langoustine Pie Baked in Brioche, with an illuminating Chargrilled Asparagus & Nori Seaweed sauce – another eye-catching plate.

As we approached the main course, a glimpse into the kitchen saw each team working together to produce something truly spectacular. There was no rivalry here, just good working team spirit. After all this is not the first namesake battle of the Smiths.

As the Roast Fillet of 45-Day Aged Beef Rossini was set to rest, another star of the dish emerged – a giant Black Perigord Winter Truffle, this was given to the youngest member of the kitchen team Keiron to proudly take into the dining area, ready to shave over each dish.

Hidden underneath a mammoth ensemble of Foie Gras and Bone Marrow, were stunning season Morels placed on the bone, a true surprise on the plate. The Madeira Jus was the final texture on the plate. It was hard to imagine how the competing dish could surprise further.

However on the pass, another great dish was truly emerging. As the final preparations were made ahead of plating – the season vegetables appeared, as did perfect black pudding discs. The dish featured Suckling Pig XO, Baked Sweet Potato and Apple. A grating of Blood Orange and spritz of Fresh Yuzu juice were the final touches to this unbelievable taste quest.

As the evening drew on, the atmosphere in the dining area was serene, perfectly lit and relaxed, there were no traces of a battle scene, just good dining. The final round would be settled by the dessert course.

As scenes in the kitchen intensified, the glimpse of pink could only resemble one ingredient: Rhubarb. A true Yorkshire favourite, and familiar on menus at this time of year – Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb is always a winning ingredient. Served with a Parfait and White Chocolate. The twist came in the Popping Candy, the dish sizzled as it arrived with a burst of candy.

The competing dish came back fighting with an exotic theme, Pineapple cooked in Vanilla, Caramel with Rum and Raisin and Passion Fruit and Coconut, with a shaving of fresh Mexican Lime. The dish was a true flavour quench.

Now came the most difficult part of the evening – the question of who would get the all-important title?
From immense flavours, superb textures, glorious produce, exquisite plating, and above all magnificent taste. Both chefs had given diners a flavour journey to remember.

As votes were counted, anticipation was felt as the results awaited. The winner was declared… a Steve Smith. Of Harome!