Andrew Pern Kitchen Confidential

At the height of British summertime, Andrew Pern of North Yorkshire’s The Star Inn is singing the praises of heirloom tomatoes, berries and lobster

Cooking With

Cooking is easy at this time of year. July is full of vibrant colours and flavours, so I really don’t have to do much to our glut of quality Yorkshire produce to make dishes that shine. We grow about 100 different varieties of fruit and veg in our kitchen garden, and during the summer season most of what I use comes from here.

We’ll be seeing bushel upon bushel of our wild strawberries, which I pair with elderflower in a jelly. The flavours remind me of growing up on my dad’s farm, picking berries on hot days – it’s really the taste of high summer. I’ll also use the strawberries in a simple Eton Mess, made with crushed meringue, clotted cream and lemon balm, a herb with a sharp flavour and refreshing, citrusy overtones. Other summer berries will be making their way in too, and they certainly won’t be neglected: I’ll be topping my vanilla pots – essentially crème brûlée without the caramelised top – with juicy blackcurrants.

Year-round, nearby Whitby is our source of fish, and by July they’ll be hauling in crab, lobster, sea trout and turbot, all of which we’ll prepare really simply, in salads or in risotto with marsh samphire and North Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese. Brown shrimp will also be put to use; stuffed in baby courgette flowers and deep fried, they make for a great start to a meal.

We try to use as much game as we can, because with the North Yorkshire Moors almost on our doorstep we get a fantastic selection. The summer is good for rabbit, when most other game is out of season; I prepare the saddle in a risotto with broad beans and smoked bacon, or toss it in a warm salad with globe artichokes. I’ll also be using red Duke of York potatoes – I love them with duck, often confit or pan-fried, and Yorkshire sauce.

Who i'm using

Heirloom Tomatoes in Baldersby has an incredible variety of local heritage tomatoes. Some of them have an amazingly concentrated depth of flavour – one I particularly like is called ‘green grape’. We’ll pair these and other tomatoes with a buffalo cheese made locally by Langthorne’s. Our goats’ cheeses come from Lowna Dairy, a family-owned company in East Yorkshire. When it comes to fish, Hodgson’s Fish in Hartlepool is one of my trusted suppliers.


We’ll be seeing bushel upon bushel of our wild strawberries, which I pair with elderflower. It’s really the taste of high summer


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