EXCITING NEW DIRECTION
FOR TOP CHEF
After 35 years at Northcote, Michelin star chef Nigel Haworth is embarking on a new direction with the launch of his hotpot range into Sainsburys, writes Gail Bailey
Acclaimed chef Nigel Haworth joined Northcote Manor, as it was then known, in 1984 with a passion for creating traditional British dishes and championing locally sourced seasonal ingredients. As he now steps away from Northcote to pursue different avenues, the future looks equally successful: “Northcote has been a huge part of my life, but the time is right to hand over the reins and do something different, along with the opportunity to spend more time with my family.”
In collaboration with his wife Kathrine, there are exciting times ahead beginning with the launch of Nigel’s own range Food with Roots, which was introduced into 159 Sainsburys stores on 5th November and will be followed by Ocado, Waitrose and Booths: “The initial products will be four hotpots – Lancashire lamb, beef and ale, Mediterranean vegetarian and curried chicken,” says Nigel. “The range has been two years in development to ensure it was to the exact standards I wanted, and I now feel we have it absolutely right.”
The dishes are the perfect way to bring the taste of Lancashire to the nation’s tables and take the fuss out of home-cooking.
Ensuring the packaging of Food with Roots was as environmentally friendly as possible was important to Nigel, as he explains: “I knew how I wanted it to look but myself, Kathrine and our daughter Gemma sat together, literally cutting and pasting, to make sure we got it to truly reflect the ethos and image of our brand,” explains Nigel. The final version certainly does just that, pleasing to the eye, designed in classic colours evoking a mouth-watering nostalgia.
With Nigel’s focus on traditional dishes and comfort food there will be further additions with cottage, shepherd’s and fish pies with a range of condiments, gravies and a selection of trifles and traditional desserts.
Food with Roots is one strand to Nigel’s vision but as Kathrine is an interior designer with a 1st Class Honours in sustainable construction, it is the ideal time to work together and marry their skills in developing new projects: “I worked with Nigel in designing Café Northcote in Blackburn, and being able to work on other projects is fulfilling an aspiration for us,” says Kathrine.
Their plans include a new initiative to combine Nigel’s food expertise with Kathrine’s design knowledge, to offer consultancy services to hotels and restaurants: “With our skills combined we are in the ideal position to advise and direct,” explains Nigel. “We are very much looking forward to having an impact on some exciting projects.”
The couple also intend to open their own restaurant – a further opportunity to combine their strengths: “I know what works with food, drink and in the design of the kitchen and Kathrine is able to design the interiors. As we know each other so well we are able to have a really balanced approach,” says Nigel, who grows his own produce at home. A further exciting project is to live-stream and record in a converted summerhouse – Nigel’s garden studio, where he will demonstrate his expertise and share via YouTube and social media, allowing members of the public to recreate some of his recipes.