2 The Star Inn

By David Hancock

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Star inn North yorkshire British cuisine

Despite being the second English pub to gain the coveted Michelin-star status, the Star Inn is still very much a country pub, says David Hancock The...

Despite being the second English pub to gain the coveted Michelin-star status, the Star Inn is still very much a country pub, says David Hancock

The Star Inn Harome, North Yorkshire. Tel:01439 770397, www.thestaratharome.co.uk

Star by name, star by nature, Andrew and Jacquie Pern's converted 14th-century thatched longhouse, tucked away in a quintessential Yorkshire village, is the ultimate country pub retreat. An empty and neglected village local when they bought the freehold in 1996, they have transformed it into a stellar pub-restaurant-with-rooms, one of the most talked about, and most respected, pubs in Britain.

Despite its Michelin-star status (the second pub in England to attain one), its luxurious bedrooms, its own shop-cum-deli across the road, and the Pern's growing business empire (a butcher's in Helmsley and a café in nearby Scampston Hall), the Star is first and foremost a local pub. There's no dress code and anyone is welcome in the charming bar - with its low beams, wonky walls, flickering candlelight and blazing log fires - for a sandwich and a pint of Black Sheep. For all its fine dining and gourmet dinners you can still tuck into a terrific lunch that's hearty and excellent value for money. However, booking is essential in the seperate, beautifully furnished dining room.

Andrew proudly describes his cooking as "modern British with a Yorkshire twist". His stylish cooking makes full use of homegrown herbs and vegetables and top-drawer seasonal produce comes from a select network of quality local suppliers. His philosophy is to source as locally as possible, buy directly from farms - notably Jacquie's parents' moorland farm - and cut out the middlemen, hence his decision to branch out with his own recently-opened butcher's shop in Helmsley. Small suppliers are even knocking on the kitchen door offering game, hams and cheeses.

His short, weekly-changing lunch and supper menus, enhacned by daily specialities, bristle with regional flavours: hill-bred lamb, Ryedale roe deer, Harome-reared beef (Marwood Farm), Whitby crab and lobster, Grosmont goats' cheese, eggs from the village, and organic vegetables from Fadmoor. Menus blend imaginative modern ideas with traditional British dishes, cooked with more than a bit of flair.

Add in its fine location, beneath the North Yorkshire Moors, and the stunning bedrooms and it's easy to see why the Star has become such a gastronomic destination.

Behind the scenes at...The Star Inn

Owners/licensees:​ Andrew & Jacquie Pern (free house)

Head chef:​ Andrew Pern

Turnover:​ c£2.5m

Wet:dry split:​ 30:70

Covers a week:​ 800 to 1,000

Covers for diners:​ 50, plus 30 outside

Best-selling dishes:​ Crab salad; grilled black pudding, pan-fried foie gras, apple and vanilla chutney, scrumpy reduction.

Top tip/why successful:​ "Location, commitment and consistency, attention to detail in every facet of the business, and use of quality local produce."

Best business ideas/innovation:​ "Adding the bedrooms and opening the shop. It is important to keep moving the business forward, keep people interested in what we are doing, and enhancing what we have already developed."

New for 2006:​ Nothing planned - other than baby number four in May!

On the menu...

Risotto of Rievaulx partridge, braised chestnuts, black trumpet mushrooms, roast hazelnut pesto, £6.95 Wild turbot, Yorkshire Blue rarebit, Waldorf vinaigrette, £17.50 Steamed ale cake, Theakston's ice cream & dark muscavado sauce, £6.50

Recipe

Fillet of North Sea cod & hairy tatties: a creamed stew of Whitby shellfish served with a kipper salad

Ingredients (serves four)

300g/10½oz cooked mashed potato

1 tbsp kipper

50ml/1½fl oz whipping cream

100ml/3½fl oz fish stock

125ml/4fl oz dry white wine

4 fillets of cod - skinned

Olive oil - a splash

Seasoning

A mixture of shellfish - peeled/shelled (eg, langoustine tails, mussels, scallops)

25g/1oz sliced shallots

Garden herbs (eg, flat parsley, chervil, chives)

Method

Warm the mash, gently add the kipper and a little cream if required. When hot, place into a piping bag with a plain nozzle and keep warm. Reduce the fish stock and white wine by half, add the cream, reduce by half again until slightly thickened, reduce the heat to very low. Place the skinned cod fillets onto a tray with a little olive oil and seasoning, put under a pre-heated grill for 3-4 minutes until cooked. While the cod is cooking, reheat the sauce, add the shelled shellfish, sliced shallots and roughly-chopped garden herbs and check seasoning. Pipe the kipper mash on to warmed plates, then spoon the stew over and around the potato, place the now-cooked cod - check the fish first! - on to the mash, then garnish with fresh herbs and serve immediately with kipper salad.

Kipper salad

Cooked, boneless kipper meat

1 tsp chopped gherkin

1 tsp chopped capers

1 tsp sliced shallots

Seasoning

Mustard vinaigrette

1 tbsp croutons

Warm the kipper meat under the grill for 1-2 minutes, dress the other ingredients, season, add the warmed kipper at the last moment, place into a suitable vessel and serve with the cod straight away.

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