Lakes eggs were ‘dish of the day’ at first Rheged Food & Drink Festival. Chefs from across the county praised their raw ingredients – with eggs and charcuterie firmly on the menu.

The Lakes Free Range Egg Company (The Lakes) provided chefs with eggs ahead of the show so they could practice their dishes in advance. And the verdict – the eggs were perfect poachers.

Saturday morning kicked off with a demonstration by Lee Scrimgeour from Stonehouse Smokery near Wigton. Lee explained how he uses homegrown pigs and ethical farming practices to produce his charcuterie. Cooking up a brunch for the audience, Lee used Laid With Love eggs from The Lakes and described them as “golden yolkers that are perfect poachers”.

Lunchtime saw a wine and food pairing menu for lunch – wines were selected by Richard Bracken, wine sommelier at Grapevine.- the menu was created by Scott Fairweather from the Black Swan at Ravenstonedale. Scott’s menu featured sausage roll canapes, crab pate with elderflower gel, duck, and a delightfully zingy coconut pavlova.

In the afternoon, Nick Edgar from the Ryebeck, Windermere demonstrated a version of the dish he served at the Cumbrian Taster lunch on Sunday; Poached egg, Lemon and lime sabayon, English sweetcorn, hazelnut, chorizo fricassee using Lakes eggs and Stonehouse Smokery cured meat.

Sponsor for the event was The Lakes Free Range Egg Company, with Helen Brass, Co-owner and Director taking part in demonstrations and enjoying the tasting menus. Commenting she said “It’s been wonderful to see some of the North Wests finest chefs cooking with our eggs. Nick Edgar made  point of telling us how amazing our eggs were, and we loved the banter between Nick and Oli Martin on how to cook the perfect egg.”

The sell-out  Cumbrian Taster menu on Sunday included six-courses created by the professional collaboration of chefs including Oli Martin, Head Chef at Hipping Hall, Ryan Blackburn, head chef at Old Stamphouse and Nick Edgar from Ryebeck.

There were plenty Cumbrian gins and drinks on display, with new ones launched including two new gins created by  Tipsy Filly – Giddy Up and Saddle Up. The Lakes Distillery also showcased their newly unveiled Whiskymaker’s Reserve No.1, the first in a new series of limited-edition single malts said to ‘showcase the house style’ of the distillery’s future whiskies.