Yorkshire Life Lunch
The Dusty Miller,
Tel: 01422 885959
The wish for and knowledge of the provenance of our food has never been higher on the agenda. There are few restaurants who are not scouring their local area for suppliers. Not many though invite the suppliers to join their guests for lunch. Phil and Lisa Webster though feel they have a lot to shout about at their dining pub, the Dusty Miller in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, so they invited them all to join us at our monthly Yorkshire Life Lunch.
Phil and Lisa turned the once grimy pub into a smart, modern eatery two years ago. There’s a stylish welcoming bar, a wood burning stove for those cold winter nights and even with the trendy squashy, leather sofas it still has the feel of a pub. Beyond the bar, the restaurant has its own semi-formal identity and name, Coiners. Pleasingly it has an open kitchen which makes for fun watching chefs running round. Upstairs are four individually furnished rooms, so all bases covered.
We are always pleased to have wine suppliers join us for lunch and share their knowledge. Today though, we were honoured to have the wine maker there. Jim Irvine was on one of his rare visits to the UK from his winery in the Eden Valley, South Australia. He had supplied his powerful, intense Pinot Gris wine which he says was chosen for its ability to balance the intricate flavours on the starter plate. For the main course we were treated to a less well-known wine. Despite the difficulty associated with growing Zinfandel, Irvine’s Reserve has received worldwide acclaim and Jim’s choice to serve it with the Venison on main course was pure genius.
The Dusty Miller had set themselves a challenge inviting the producers to the lunch. Bleikers Smokehouse, providers of the array of salmon on the starter plate, should be proud. Neat piles of flavours, textures and even colour with the Romanov salmon, served on pieces of slate was a lovely tantalising dish which prickled the taste buds with slivers of ginger and a sharp hit of wasabi.
Personal tastes caused a little stir with the hefty medallions of Holme Farm venison. For some it was too rare, for others (me) a little overcooked. We should be gentle to the kitchen serving 40 people at the same time and, perhaps chef could have played safe choosing a point somewhere between the two. No fault on the flavour though, excellent, and a chunky mash soaked up the juices nicely.
A deft hand swept through the kitchen with the pudding and produced a fine cheesecake with a feather-light texture and suitable snap to the base. Mine was a little over-sweet, possibly due to the high-quality, and robust flavour of the local honey, so hardly a fault.
Jim Irvine served a cracking good Riesling alongside. Though honeyed in flavour, the crisp mineral acidity and citrusy notes of the wine helped to balance any sweetness of dessert.
Lunch was rounded off with a sturdy Artisan cheeseboard showing off some of Yorkshire’s best cheeses, which was quite a meal in itself.
Phil, Lisa and their team are clearly dedicated to making the Dusty Miller a significant venue in the Calder Valley and beyond. They are well on their way.
The suppliers for today’s lunch
Michael Lee – Cheese
Holme Farmed Venison
Denholme Gate Apiary
Little Valley Brewery
All wines from Irvine wines Eden Valley, Australia and supplied by Playford Ros Wine Merchants, Thirsk