Adele and Ken Johnson, assisted by their daughter Abbie set up their new business to create delicious home cooked meals, made from scratch and packed with local ingredients, for visitors staying in holiday cottages across the county. They’ll also put together a delicious menu for a party or a special event at your home.
Adele, whose specialties range from pork tenderloin with ginger wine and apricot and apple stuffing to the more exotic rabbit and squirrel pie, makes meals to meet her clients’ requests. Everything is prepared and cooked at the holiday cottage, with Abbie waitressing and the family washing up before they leave.
Adele said: “We specialise in fine dining but we don’t have a rigid menu – everything is tailored to what the customer wants.
“We can cater for as few or as many as you want, for example, we have a booking for 27 people for an 80th birthday party in December.
“We’re proud of Northumberland and we really believe we’re giving visitors a real taste of the county.”
The couple bring a real international flavour to the business. Wallsend born but brought up in Yorkshire, Ken served as an RAF medic for 22 years, travelling all over the world including postings in the Middle East, the Falklands, Cyprus and Germany, eventually landing at RAF Boulmer.
Adele, originally from Redcar, travelled the world with Ken. She put her catering experience from the Pavilion Restaurant at Scotch Corner, where she once cooked for Take That, to good use by opening a Chinese and pie and pea takeaway while they were based in Cyprus.
Since Ken retired from the RAF, the couple have continued in their catering careers. They supply sandwiches, pies and serve afternoon teas to businesses on Alnwick’s Hawkhill Business Park, including gluten free options. Ken also works as baker for a supermarket in the town, while Adele served as the catering manager at Hipsburn School for eight years.
They were inspired to start The Real Taste of Northumberland to showcase the great ingredients that can be found across the county, and give visitors an authentic flavour of the area.
Ken said: “We’ve identified a particular market of people staying in holiday cottages, but we also cater for local people who fancy chilling out and booking their own local fine dining meal in their own home.
“We already have bookings for holiday cottages for the Christmas period and into the New Year, and we’re receiving lots of enquiries about catering for parties.
“We’re really enjoying making Northumberland ingredients the star of the show and introducing as many people as possible to some of the superb tastes we have here.”