Yorkshire Life Luncheon - The Butchers Arms, Hepworth

PUBLISHED: 02:05 28 October 2014 | UPDATED: 19:59 02 November 2015

Yorkshire Life Luncheon - The Butchers Arms, Hepworth

Yorkshire Life Luncheon - The Butchers Arms, Hepworth

Archant

It's a fine autumn day in the charming village of Hepworth which nestles in the hills near Holmfirth and at the Butchers Arms there is an air of quiet efficiency. Staff are preparing to welcome our guests for lunch. It is a big day for Caroline Kimber and Mark Hogan, who launched their new venture just over six months ago and are bringing the big flavours of south-west France to this small corner of West Yorkshire.

Mark Hogan, Chef and Proprietor.Mark Hogan, Chef and Proprietor.

Caroline, who was previously teaching hospitality to college students in Huddersfield, said: ‘We weren’t really looking for a pub. It was as if it found us rather than the other way round. We did some pop-up restaurants in Hepworth Village Hall and the reaction was very encouraging. They were well received and we were pleased. The Butchers Arms had closed down at the time and some of the people who came to the village hall said: “Why don’t you run the pub?” It was a good question and things moved on from there. It wouldn’t have crossed our minds to take on the pub if it hadn’t have been for those events at the village hall.’

Negotiations got under way towards the end of last year and Caroline and Mark opened up for business in March this year. “Delicious French food in a traditional Yorkshire pub” is the couple’s proud claim and it is showing all the signs of being a winning recipe. Carline said: ‘Obviously it has been hard work but the first six months have been great. People in the village are glad to have their pub open again and they have been very supportive. Hepworth is a really active village and the pub is quite a community hub. Various groups meet here and we have hosted a quiz for the school. We are also lucky that we have a fantastic team of staff. Two are former students of mine and everyone working here is a real asset.’

The Butchers Arms is quickly gaining a reputation for the quality of its food as was shown when Caroline and Mark took a stall at the Holmfirth Food Festival where their duck confit and chips cooked in duck fat proved extremely popular. Using top quality, locally sourced ingredients, the Butchers Arms has a menu to suit all tastes – whether it’s a pint and a sandwich or a first-class three-course meal.

Their monthly regional French nights are a winner with diners. Each event includes the dishes of a particular French region – Perigourd, Pays Basque and the Dordogne are among those so far featured – and bookings have been very brisk.

Yorkshire Life Luncheon, The Butchers Arms, Hepworth.Yorkshire Life Luncheon, The Butchers Arms, Hepworth.

It’s not just the food that is luring customers in. There is an excellent selection of Yorkshire ales such as Ossett Brewery’s Green Dream made with fresh rather than dried hops, Saltaire Blonde, Copper Dragon from Skipton, York Brewery’s Guzzler and Timothy Taylor’s Landlord and Golden Best.

Mark has been a chef for over 30 years. He went hitch-hiking in France in the early 1980s and found work in restaurants, spending three summers in St Tropez and the winters in the Alps. Then followed a 20-year stay in Australia, where Mark ran restaurants in Sydney.

He returned to Europe and lived in France for five years, working in the Dordogne in the summer and the Pyrenees during the winter. He moved to England just over a year ago.

Mark said: ‘I’m enjoying it very much and cooking the sort of food I like. We use the best local ingredients to provide excellent French food at reasonable prices and in an atmosphere and surroundings that people find comfortable. You don’t have to get all dressed up to eat out; it’s the food that’s important.’

With its log fire and beams, the Butchers Arms is a traditional pub but exudes a style that gives it a contemporary feel.

Mark’s south-west France influences were reflected in the excellent menu he prepared for our guests, who on arrival were greeted with a glass of pastis or kir chataigne, white wine with a chestnut liquor.

Then followed an amuse bouche of parsley mousse with white anchovy crostine before a wonderful starter of salade perigourdine – home-cured duck breast, foie gras mi-cuit, pine nuts, raisins and micro herb salad.

With appetites truly whetted, guests were treated to joues de boeuf bourguignon – a delicious dish of beef cheeks in a classic red wine jus with baby onions, carrots and mushrooms served with gratin potatoes.

Monpazieroise – walnut and caramel tart served with crème anglaise – rounded off an excellent lunch.

The dessert wine was a 2009 Monbazillac. Caroline said: ‘A lot of people would serve a sauterne but we like this and Mark’s brother, Keith, works in a Monbazillac vineyard so it seems somehow appropriate.’

Menu

Amuse-bouche

Parsley mousse with white anchovy crostini

Entree

Salade Perigourdine

Home cured duck breast, foie gras mi-cuit, pine nuts, raisins and micro herb salad

Plat Principal

Joues de Boeuf Bourguignon

Beef cheeks in a classic red wine jus with baby onions, carrots and mushrooms, served with gratin potatoes

Dessert

Monpazieroise

Walnut and caramel tart served with creme anglaise

For more information about The Butchers Arms visit thebutchersarms-hepworth.co.uk or call 01484 687147

Wines were supplied by Hoults Wine Merchants, Huddersfield

01484 510700

hoults.com



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