Black Bull Dinners – Top 50 Gastropub to host female chef dinner series for Spring 2024

The Black Bull, Sedbergh, is gearing up to host its first ever spring chef dinner series, with top female chefs set to take to the Black Bull’s stoves to create three one-off small plates tasting menus alongside chef-owner Nina Matsunaga who was recently seen on Great British Menu.

Black Bull Dinners is hosted by Nina Matsunaga of Great British Menu 2024

Each of the guest chefs will create a menu to sit alongside complimentary dishes created by Nina, resulting in three totally unique small plates tasting menus served each night, with each chef showcasing dishes influenced by their respective food cultures, including Japan, Germany, Isle of Man, The Middle East, Taiwan, and Burma.

Black Bull Dinners Host Nina Matsunaga with game - Amanda Farnese-Heath Photography

Photography of Nina by Amanda Farnese-Heath Photography

The line-up features Pippa Lovell, chef-owner of Versa, Port Erin, in the Isle of Man, Ayesha Kalaji, chef-owner of the Queen of Cups, Glastonbury, Tiffany Chang, street food and private dining tour de force @tiffcooksalot, and Emily Chung, one half of the hugely acclaimed East London based Burmese supper club The Rangoon Sisters.

Pippa Lovell

Black Bull Dinners starts 15th April

The series gets underway with the Black Bull’s Nina Matsunaga cooking alongside Pippa Lovell, the multi-award-winning chef-owner of Versa, a concept restaurant, in Port Erin, on the Isle of Man. On the night, the chefs will serve up a tasting menu inspired by the foods and cooking processes of Japan, Germany and Scandinavia.

Pippa is a young and green minded chef, who is sustainability focused, with roots in foraging and alternative ingredients… She frequently challenges accepted norms when it comes to food and encourages people to rethink the way we source what we eat.

Her cooking is focussed on using little or no energy, invasive weeds and creating zero waste. Flavour and aesthetics are at the heart of the dishes she creates and are the central aspect of why she cooks and the fact that she ensures every dish she presents ignites real conversations centred on our food systems.

Versa on the Isle of Man is currently on pause as she travels, gathers and shares knowledge, and connects with like-minded chefs across the UK.

Ayesha Kalaji

Photography by Vicki Steward of Normal for Glastonbury

6th May

sees Nina cooking alongside Ayesha Kalaji, chef-owner of the Queen of Cups, a Michelin Bib Gourmand restaurant in Glastonbury. The two chefs will create a tasting menu showcasing dishes inspired by the flavours of Japan and The Middle East.

Ayesha’s first professional training took place at Leith’s, where she was awarded a merit. With a real passion and dedication to food, she then trained as a butcher at the highly acclaimed Parsons Nose, London, before beginning her first job in a working kitchen at The Palomar, followed by roles at Michelin starred Sosban, and The Good Egg & Bubala.

Raised in Wales, Ayesha didn’t grow up around her Jordanian family, which meant she had to seek out her cultural heritage herself. Spending summers with her grandma in Jordan, she was surrounded by wonderful Middle Eastern food and amazing ingredients, but it wasn’t until she went to study at SOAS, University of London, where she read Middle Eastern Studies, that she was able to delve further into her Middle Eastern roots focusing on the region’s rich food history and culture that have since become central influences in the dishes she creates.

27th May

Nina is joined by a duo of chefs, Tiffany Chang, aka @tiffcooksalot owner of a highly successful Taiwanese supper club and Emily Chung, one half of the hugely acclaimed East London based Burmese supper club The Rangoon Sisters. On the night, the chefs between them will create a tasting menu inspired by the cuisines of Asia, showcasing dishes from Japan, Taiwan and Burma.

Born in Taiwan, Tiff moved to California aged 12, before making the move to London in 2005, as a result the dishes she creates reflect her Taiwanese heritage, and skilfully combine influences gleaned from the food cultures found in the USA and Europe to deliver truly intriguing plates of food.

Tiff, no stranger to the limelight, competed in Netflix’s & Channel 4’s off the wall cookery show Crazy Delicious, judged by American soul-food guru Carla Hall, and chefs Heston Blumenthal and Niklas Ekstedt, in 2020.

Since then she’s developed a huge social media following where she showcases her food, regularly hosting demos, cooks at private events, pop-ups and collaborations across London.

Emily Chung Rangoon Sisters

By day Emily and sister are both doctors, at night their side hustle kicks in as they cook up a storm sharing their passion for the Burmese home cooked dishes they grew up with.

Launched in 2013, the Rangoon Sisters were quickly recognised by a host of critics, including the likes of Grace Dent, who claimed their famous Mohinga fish noodle soup was “the nicest thing I put in my mouth in 2017.”

In January 2018, the sisters came in at number one in the Observer Food Monthly’s ‘Best 50 Things in Food 2018’. In 2020, the sisters released their first cookbook, The Rangoon Sisters Recipes from our Burmese Family Kitchen – a celebration of Burmese cuisine, named in several Best Books lists of 2020 and shortlisted for the Fortnum and Mason Debut Cookbook Prize 2021.

The Rangoon Sisters have appeared on stage at Meatopia, and on ITV’s James Martin’s Saturday Morning.

Black Bull Dinners

Each multi-course smalls plates tasting menu at Black Bull Dinners is priced at £49.50

There’s limited availability for each evening with places for up to 40 guests.

Matched drink pairings will also be available each night.

Dinner starts at 7pm promptly.

To book a place on Black Bull Dinners call 015396 20264 or email at bookings@theblackbullsedbergh.co.uk or click here 

You may also be interested in the following: 

Interview with Nina Matsunaga representing North West on Great British Menu 2024 – Women In the Food Industry and Great Women on Great British Menu 2024.

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