This month, I thought I’d try something different. Rather than talk about myself, I would like to talk about the beauty of being based in the North East and my team of incredibly talented individuals at Peace and Loaf.
I am so lucky to be able to call Newcastle my home, or ‘hyem’, as some would say, because I am surrounded by top-class suppliers who make the food we prepare even better.
As you probably already know, my dishes take inspiration from British culture. The food we prepare and serve at Peace and Loaf will always have a ‘Coulson twist’ on traditional dishes; have you ever tried our raw steak and mushroom pie? It’s certainly not a pie in its usual form.
Our food tastes the way it does because our suppliers give us the best produce the region has to offer. I would like to give Hodgson Fish, Country Valley Foods, Premier Cheese, Grow Module 365 and Delifresh a personal shout-out. One of our other local suppliers is 1265 Degrees North in Ouseburn; these guys supply us with our unique plates, which gives every dish an arty backdrop.
The kitchen can be a very intimidating place, especially to those who are new. This is why I have always believed in nurturing the right person in order for them to reach their full potential. Currently, we have a fantastic apprentice in the kitchen who is proving herself every step of the way and I cannot wait to see the chef Niamh turns into.
Our two front-of-house stars, Linden and Rosie, both have their WSET Level 1 award in wine tasting provided by our supplier of wines, Berkman. It is the perfect qualification to suit our ever-expanding wine list. Now, our diners can be offered the best wine pairings to go with their food choices and know that our staff are great at doing so!
In November last year, a young chef, Tom Reeves – who first worked under me – visited Peace and Loaf and hosted his very own pop-up restaurant. Tom and I worked together at a few venues before Peace and Loaf until he eventually ‘left the nest’ to work for L’Enclume, a Michelin star restaurant in Cartmel.
The quality of staff we have is undeniable, and through our strong work ethic and team bond we have been able to win awards such as two AA Rosettes for culinary excellence, the Good Food Guide’s Restaurant of the Year North East, and the Luxury Travel Guide’s Gastronomic Excellence Award 2018.
As 2017 was drawing to a close, we were also named as only one of seven restaurants outside of London to make it in the OpenTable Top 100 Best Restaurants 2017 list.
Supporting our local community is something we value very highly. From using local suppliers and mentoring my staff to volunteering at the People’s Kitchen, the team and I are very proud to call Newcastle ‘hyem’.