Pig out this Christmas in Beverley

Published: Tuesday 28th November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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The Pig and Whistle offers a deliciously different way of dining in the quaint market town of Beverley.

We spoke with head chef and restaurateur James Allcock to find out what’s on the menu.

Great to chat with you, James. Can you tell us a little bit more about The Pig and Whistle?

We call ourselves a pint-sized neighbourhood bistro and charcuterie bar. So a lot of what we do is either sharing boards with cured meats and cheeses, or small plates.

We also do Alpine Ski-inspired cuisine. This involves hot, bubbly cheese-based dishes that you usually tuck into after going skiing.

Mmmm, sounds fabulous for this time of year!

Yes, the food is lovely for cold, winter evenings.

Do you have anything special planned for Christmas?

We have a set menu for larger parties of over four. It’s £30 per person and includes a sharing snack board for the table, a choice of starters, a main course, which could be a charcuterie board, a casserole or tartiflette, and a couple of sharing plates.

One of the exciting things we have on offer this time of year is short-seasoned cheese called Vacherin Mont d’Or. This traditional cheese has been made for several centuries in the mountainous Haut-Doubs in France. During this time of year, the cows have a reduced milk yield, so the farmers need to make a smaller cheese. For this reason, it’s only available between mid-August and mid-March.

We serve it baked in the wooden box that it comes in; it’s kind of like a large camembert – good for sharing or as an individual main course. You can dip all sorts in it, such as new potatoes, apples, chicory, pickles, nuts and meat.

Sounds yummy! Is there anything for dessert?

We have a few sweets for after dinner. Our crème brûlée is a popular pudding, alongside our chocolate mousse. A lot of customers like to have a macaron and a coffee to finish. Some even have more cheese!

Is opening up a charcuterie restaurant something you’ve been wanting to do for a while?

British charcuterie is huge in London, but no one is really doing it in the North. It’s something I’m passionate about, so I’m so pleased we’ve been successful so far.

I have so many ideas for different restaurants, but the space we found in Beverley suited this concept to a tee. The site is small and quite quirky, the kitchen is just big enough to prepare small plates.

In saying that, I think we’ve utilised the space really well. We’ve recently installed a bar area in the window, which gives customers more room to sit and enjoy drinks and food. We don’t reserve this area, it’s for walk-ins, but the restaurant seats 22.

Coming up to December, we’re offering a great space to enjoy pre- or post-dinner drinks and nibbles. We’re hoping people will finish their night here, or even begin it here with a glass of sherry.

Have you got anything planned for 2018?

We’re starting the year off with a New Year’s Eve party. We have an earlier menu with sharing plates and a charcuterie board, and from 8pm we’re serving cheese with matching wines.

For the future, we hope to do more of the same. This year, we’ve collaborated with local wine merchants and delicatessen Roberts and Speight to produce our own wine. We really want to do something similar in the new year.

You can find The Pig and Whistle at 5 Sow Hill Road in Beverley. Check out their tasty menus on their website. 

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Published: Tuesday 28th November 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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