By Lauren Jade Hill
The Obsession series began at luxury boutique hotel Northcote back in 2001 making it the first gastronomic event of its kind in Europe with chefs traveling from around the world to be a part of the culinary occasion. Now the chef line-up for Obsession 18 has been announced, revealing the culinary masters who’ll each be taking over Northcote’s kitchen for one night of the 18-day gastronomic event.
The series has previously involved chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, Raymond Blanc, Michel Roux Jnr and Ken Hom, and the upcoming edition is set to be just as remarkable. Obsession 18 will launch on January 18th, 2018 with the Michelin star chef and restaurateur Jason Atherton in the kitchen for a night in which he promises to showcase the best British produce in a signature menu created for the occasion.
The UK’s chef and restaurateur Gary Usher will follow on from Atherton, presenting the flavorful British fine dining plates that have brought him such acclaim, before chef Manish Mehrotra takes the helm on January 20th to introduce diners to his contemporary Indian cooking.
Chef Jean-Philippe Blondet of Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester in London is up next with a menu of French plates that each take inspiration from the season, then on the following night diners will be treated to the contemporary Spanish cuisine of Juan Amador who is considered one of Europe’s leading chefs.
The award-winning executive chef of Northcote Lisa Goodwin-Allen heads up the kitchen on January 23rd, placing the focus on her Lancastrian roots in fine dining plates that have garnered widespread attention and given her a place on numerous TV shows.
And on Wednesday 24th, it’s the turn of lauded chef Daniel Calvert of restaurant Belon in Hong Kong where French cooking techniques are fused with the region’s premium ingredients; as he travels from Asia to cook at Northcote, diners will have the chance to try his celebrated haute cuisine. Chef Hiroshi Nakamichi will also be traveling from Asia; this time from the three Michelin starred Relais & Chateaux Restaurant Molière in Hokkaido, Japan, where seafood plays an important role in French-inspired fine dining plates.
The Michelin starred chef George Blogg of gastronomic hotel Gravetye Manor will then cook up his signature menu of British cuisine drawing on locally sourced seasonal produce, and the following night will see Larry Jayasekara, the Sri Lankan-born head chef of Gordon Ramsay’s Michelin starred restaurant Pétrus in London, take to the kitchen; this award-winning chef is known for fusing French culinary techniques and British produce with diverse international influence.
The Michelin starred chef Tom Kitchen who has taken part in the Obsession series before, will then mark his return by creating a menu highlighting the pride he takes in Scottish cuisine, which lies in contrast with the appearance of the Three Amigos—Diego Hernandez Baquedano of Corazon de Tierra, Francisco Ruano of Alcade and Jorge Vallejo of Quintonil—the following day. Each traveling from Mexico, these three chefs will collaborate in creating a menu of Mexican-inspired fusion fare.
On Tuesday January 30th, Argentine chef Martin Miles of the single-table dining experience UNA in London will cook up modern Argentine cuisine, followed by chef Jorge Vallejo’s second appearance in Obsession 18 – this time helming the kitchen alone.
As the series extends into February, chef Tommy Banks of the Black Swan at Olstead—one of the youngest British chefs to have ever won a Michelin star—is set to make an appearance with the cuisine incorporating foraged ingredients that he’s distinguished for, then February 2nd will mark the first Northcote appearance of the Berezutskiy Twins of Twins Gardens in Moscow.
The 2018 edition of the Obsession annual series will then come to a close with chef Nelly Robson of restaurant Nel in Sydney and Kirk Haworth of Plates in London working together on February 3rd, and the chef-patron of Northcote Nigel Haworth, who established Obsession, on Sunday February 4th.
Obsession 18 will run from January 18th to February 2nd, 2018 with each night featuring a different chef’s five-course signature menu, as well as a Louis Roederer Brut Premier and canapé reception. Each evening is priced at $185 per person, with wine pairing starting at $80. VIP packages are available to book for six or more people in the Louis Roederer Room or at the Chef’s Table from $3,165 plus VAT. Tickets can be booked from October 17th, 2017.
Images: An aerial view of Northcote; Chef-Patron of Northcote, Nigel Haworth; a dessert created by Nigel Haworth; Chef Jason Atherton