Making People Happy
The young head chef at the Black Bull is forging a reputation for his visually stunning, innovative dishes, writes Tedd Walmsley
Meeting up with Becky Govier is always an uplifting experience. Her enthusiasm and passion for the pub is a delight to behold, she’s clearly a born leader judging by the affection her staff have for her and when combined with a formidable work ethic, the two make a dynamic combination.
Her team are eager to please and deliver the quality food and service we have all become accustomed to. The consistent loyal front of house team has become familiar with regular names and faces but among the team overall, perhaps the most unassuming is head chef Callum Burrill.
Just 25 years old, he seized the opportunity with both hands and truly loves his job – he told me that watching and helping mum as a boy made him absolutely sure of his career choice. He’s constantly trying to improve and to become known as someone who innovates, talking of which, he was working on two new dishes that very morning. Visually stunning and tasting delicious, they are simply perfect for the summer menu. He told me: “My job isn’t just about money – it’s my vocation and it’s knowing you’ve made people happy.”
Firstly, an innovative version of a prawn cocktail served with gem lettuce, pickled cucumber, diced apple, apple gel and smoked paprika – this was fresh, clean and light.
Secondly, a ham hock truffle terrine, spiralled carrot and a spicy twist with pickled vegetables, turmeric cauliflower, piccalilli and a lemon caper dressing. These are two stunning dishes and examples of a young chef excited by his job and given creative freedom by owners Becky and Jamie.
In our discussion pre-service, Becky has been telling me about a spike in enquiries around private events. Birthdays, anniversaries and small wedding receptions have become popular but most recently, more incoming calls around celebrations of life – aka the wake.
These can be difficult to discuss but I couldn’t think of a better venue to give a loved one a dignified and respectful send off. As always, whilst there are Black Bull menus already established, their flexible attitude allows for a more bespoke send-off to be created, as Becky said, from coffee to cocktails or pizzas to profiteroles.
Summer at the Bull looks to be fun-packed, the new pizza oven is already proving to be a big success and, with what I hope will be a long, glorious summer, the outside space will come into its own. Al fresco dining is very popular and the ever-evolving outdoor space is versatile with seating for more than 100 covers and it’s the perfect place to meet with friends and family, not to mention the welcome given to children and our four-legged friends.
A full menu is available outside alongside the more casual and relaxed perfect pizza – and the Bull’s social media pages will be working overtime to keep everyone up to date with events and special music evenings providing the perfect chill-out experience.
Becky and I touched on the reports around spiralling food costs and energy bills – just two of the challenges that face the hospitality sector. The wide menu here represents excellent value, and the amount of choice is very much a planned-out decision by Becky and the team.
Sunday lunch remains incredibly popular with last week more than 250 covers – the message is spreading far and wide and their reputation for super food and service is propelling them forward to be part of the elite in the Ribble Valley. Alongside the wide and varied menu is the importance of opening seven days a week and all-day dining. Becky puts herself into her customers shoes thinking about later lunches, impromptu walk-ins, an early tea or a late supper – they are all catered for here.
I’m hoping you’ve been following the progress of this very popular pub and already sampled its wares? If not, try it soon you won’t be disappointed and you’re guaranteed a big warm welcome by ‘Team Bull’!
The Black Bull
Old Langho Road
Old Langho BB6 8AW