with North Street Pottery
and a chance to
WIN Dinner at La Gavroche
I am a lover of all things clay, as in pots, dishes, plates, mugs, cups and saucers; my mother was a an artist and a potter and she worked at Royal Doulton in Staffordshire, and it seems I have inherited her love and passion for all things glazed…….some of my most precious possessions are her bespoke pieces of Studio Pottery, which I used regularly. She made many “one-off” pieces of Art or Studio pottery, and only last year I featured one of her beautiful pieces in a recipe for Fresh Strawberry Curd – a dainty little saucer in slip glaze which is decorated with strawberries and strawberry leaves.
I am always on the lookout for new pieces of pottery, and hand-thrown plates and mugs are my favourites. On a trip to Provence last year, I discovered Moustiers Sainte-Marie, a town devoted to “Faience”…..this beautiful pottery has diverse and intricate patterns, and is often found in washrooms and bathrooms, as they also make sinks and cisterns! Inspired by French history and events, my favourite pattern is the almost folk art and primitive style designs that feature animals and birds, as well as the quirky but classic blue and white patterns and designs too.
Back in the UK, I was fascinated to see that The Balvenie, a favourite single malt whisky of mine, has teamed up with Michel Roux Jr, to create The Craftsmen’s Dinners, with a series of six short films promoting different craftsmen and craftswomen throughout Britain. Michel journeys around the country visiting the craftsmen and women, which includes one of the last knife makers in Britain, an organic meat producer in Scotland, a London pottery, a wine maker and a salmon producer. Michel will then bring all these crafts together in The Craftsmen’s Dinner, where all of their skills, produce and objects will be showcased, along with the hosts, The Balvenie, in a grand finale dinner.
Being a lover of pottery, I was instantly drawn to the video of North Street Pottery, in London, who supply his restaurant La Gavroche with hand-thrown pieces to compliment his Michelin star menu. North Street Pottery have a wide range of beautiful studio pottery and tableware on offer, with the pottery being made behind the shop. I can imagine that all of those who attend The Balvenie Craftsman’s Dinner will find that their single malt whisky will taste all the better when being served with Michel’s fine food on a hand-thrown plate from North Street Pottery.
The Balvenie distillery still grows their own barley and keep faith with a traditional malting floor, the last of its kind in the Scottish Highlands. Their resident coppersmith maintains the stills and their team of coopers ensure each barrel is in perfect condition. It’s my husband’s favourite single malt and we always have a bottle in the house. The artisanal way in which The Balvenie is crafted makes for a wonderful marriage when paired with Michel’s food, as well as the producers and craftspersons he has visited and is featuring in The Balvenie Craftsman’s Dinner…..and, if like me you are curious to see how some of the tableware and pots are made at North Street Pottery, then you can view the special short film featuring Michel and potter, Naine Woodrow at her London pottery below.
You can also enter a competition to win dinner at La Gavroche, see the entrance requirements below……and if you fancy throwing a pot, and you live in London, you can attend a pottery class at North Street Potteries’ sister pottery in Clapham – The Clapham Pottery is a not-for-profit community pottery offering classes for all ages and abilities. Funds raised beyond their running-costs help to subsidise their charitable classes, as do specific fund-raising efforts, such as helping the many disadvantaged and isolated members in the local community. Good luck if you enter the contest, Karen
Disclaimer: Commissioned work with Foodies 100 and The Balvenie
“How do we ever decide which casks will be used to craft The Balvenie DoubleWood and which allowed to slumber on for two further decades? Which will go on to sleep in oaken butts from the bodegas, rich in Oloroso sherry? Which in port pipes? That’s the job of our Malt Master, David Stewart”
To launch The Balvenie: The Craftsmen’s Dinner short film series, Foodies 100 is offering one lucky reader the chance to win a luxury dinner at Michel Roux Jr’s prestigious French dining restaurant, Le Gavroche.
Michel Roux Jr has joined The Balvenie in the ultimate celebration of exceptional British craftsmanship. The six part film series features appearances from a knife-maker, organic farmer, master potter, sparkling wine producer and a salmon smoker, culminating in a mouth-watering Craftsmen’s Dinner from Michel Roux Jr. himself which uses produces from each of the stars if the series.
Released on a fortnightly basis from 15th March to the 10th May, these six YouTube films showcase the true quality and skill required in order to become a craftsperson.
To be in with the chance of winning a meal for two at Le Gavroche, readers must watch the series trailer below, and answer the following question:
- Q: How many dishes are plated up in the kitchen during The Balvenie Craftsmen’s Dinner trailer?
(Hint: to find the answer, watch the video below very carefully, and tell us how many plates of food you see that have been plated up (i.e. have had food placed on them) in the kitchen!)
All entrants must be aged 18 and over entries close on 13th May, 2016 at 5:00pm.