England – A foodie heaven?

Image courtesy of @sircharlesmoon Image courtesy of @sircharlesmoon

Born in Manchester, David Mooney spent his early years travelling in France indulging his love of food, wine and life in general. It’s still his favourite travel destination. David is one of Cheshire’s top celebrity chefs. Having worked with the likes of Raymond Blanc and Marco Pierre White in the past, he currently focuses on his three gorgeous pubs. www.carrwoodltd.com

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As a chef who has been around the ‘scene’ for more than 35 years, I’m now considered ‘hugely experienced’ which, as we all know, is a euphemism for too old!

David Mooney - image courtesy of Paul Warpole Photography. David Mooney – image courtesy of Paul Warpole Photography.

 

I’ve spent most of my career in the North West and have witnessed the changing attitude to the food industry – whether it be supply, techniques or just plain daft fads.

Yes, clean eating – you nonsensical, idiotic (probiotic) waste of space, I mean kale is good for cows but come on.

Firstly, supply, because, no matter how good the chef is, no-one can make chicken soup out of chicken poop!

So, it’s essential to always buy the best quality you can afford – whether it’s a carrot or a slab of turbot.

Where do we now buy from? The supermarkets get a bad press, but let’s be frank, no-one forces us to shop there. We love the convenience of buying our bread – if you can call it that & not some chemical composition – once a week, we love we can get everything in one place and park easily – but at a massive cost to food standards and the environment.

I’m not saying it’s wrong – I’m just pointing out facts.

It’s a massive sadness that a small town like Knutsford used to have five or six brilliant butchers, bakeries and loads of fruit & veg shops – and now no bakeries and only 1 butchers, thankfully a bloody good one!

So, the people have spoken but please don’t moan about the supermarkets and their crap quality and then not go out and support your local independents.

Incidentally, the same applies when towns get invaded buy huge corporate restaurants with their faux Italian – faux French – faux absolutely anything – driving out small, home-grown restaurants.

When a menu is the same in Exeter as it is in Edinburgh it’s not the place for me.

I’m afraid, folks, it’s a classic use it or lose it – even if it means losing your special 50% off card!!!

The biggest joy over the last few years has been seeing the rise of farmers’ markets from a collection of rickety trestle tables, to the fantastically organized and professional outfits we see up and down the country every weekend.

It’s great to talk to the people who produce the food – this is where I like to do my shopping – especially as we have such a good one every month in Knutsford.

But why are we not running a decent farmers’ market every week in our market hall – especially considering the £150K refurbishment due to commence soon.

Seems like a massive wasted opportunity – especially when you look at the success of the one in Altrincham.

The interest in food, restaurants and, most importantly, chefs has never been greater and I for one hope it continues for many years.

After all, its one of the few things people up and down the county enjoy on a regular basis.

So, let’s buy decent stuff – cook it simple and well and, most importantly, enjoy it with our friends.

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