WORLD CLASS GASTRONOMY
During what has become an annual pilgrimage for many food lovers, this year’s Obsession saw some exquisite dishes created by some of the world’s leading chefs. Photography: Allen Markey
Michelin-starred chefs from all over the globe converged on Ribble Valley restaurant Northcote to celebrate the exclusive gastronomic showcase that is Obsession.
In its 17th year, the event saw 22 chefs, with 16 Michelin stars between them, from nine different countries come to cook their very own Obsession menu at the hotel.
This year’s Obsession line-up included Hans Neuner from Ocean, Vila Vita Parc, Portugal, Lu Yao from Yihe Mansions in Nanjing, China, Ana Ros from Hisa Franko, Slovenia, Gennaro Esposito from La Torre Del Saracino in Italy and Takagi Kazuo from Zeniya in Japan.
Home-grown UK chefs included Michael O’Hare from The Man Behind the Curtain in Leeds, John Williams from The Ritz, London, Atul Kochhar from Benares in London, and Northcote’s very own Lisa Goodwin-Allen and chef patron Nigel Haworth, who created his own unique menu to mark the end of the 17-night showcase, which saw 9,350 dishes served to over 1,800 guests demonstrating just how successful the event has become since he created the idea back in 2001.
Obsession 17 saw each evening open with a Louis Roederer champagne reception followed by several courses of creative cuisine matched with wine carefully selected from Northcote’s award winning wine cellar by Managing Director Craig Bancroft. Screens in the Louis Roederer dining room gave guests a backstage insight into how the kitchen is run and how the different elements of the dishes are assembled.
Speaking after the closing night of Obsession, Nigel Haworth, said: “There’s been a huge harmony across the whole event with the kitchen to front of house and visiting chefs working together to create 17 nights that the guests have absolutely loved, and loads of people have already said they can’t wait until next year.
“It’s something very special for Northcote, the area, and the UK to have an event like Obsession 17 that is recognised on a global level. We’ve loved showing the friendship and camaraderie that unites chefs from around the UK and the world.”
Craig Bancroft, added: “It’s been an amazing Obsession 17 and one of the best in terms of the eclectic range of food served from around the whole world. This breadth of cuisine gave us some interesting and high quality challenges in regards to food and wine matching.
“This year we arranged to taste all menus in the afternoon of each event, which gave us the best opportunity of offering the guests the best possible pairings. Throughout the 17 nights there were 102 pairings with no wines repeated. Obsession really is a whole team effort.”
OBSESSION 2017: THE NUMBERS
• 9,350 dishes served
• 11,220 dishes to wash (side plates)
• 633 bottles of champagne
• 2,040 bottles of wine
• 5,610 canapes
• 59,603 miles travelled between all the Obsession chefs
• 89 flights booked (1 way)
• Chefs from nine different countries
• Chefs travelling from four continents
• 16 Michelin stars between the chefs
• 1,856 guests over 17 nights
• Wine from 19 countries and 48 different regions
• 49 different grapes or other base products plus blends
• 102 wines perfectly matched to dishes
• £32,000 raised for Hospitality Action through a nightly silent auction as well as an overall draw to win a diamond necklace worth £2,500 donated by Leonard Dews.