3 Great January food happenings
This year’s Obsession festival (20 Jan – 5 Feb) sees 23 stellar chefs from around the world descend on the Northcote Hotel in Lancashire to show off their skills: from Ana Roš to Daniel Puskas via Anna Hansen of The Modern Pantry. northcote.com
The Saturnalia Real Ale Ramble (14 Jan), in Llanwrtyd Wells, celebrates the Roman festival by steering hikers along ancient Roman roads, supping free ale at checkpoints along the way. green-events.co.uk
Cheese, wine and saucisson-lovers look to London’s Olympia for The France Show (27 – 29 Jan), a Francophile gathering that includes wine tastings, cooking demos and a Gallic food market (pictured above). thefranceshow.com
If you haven’t made travel plans for January yet, put Lyon on your list. Not only is France’s foodiest city playing host to the Patisserie World Championship (22 & 23 Jan) – think Bake Off on overdrive – but is also the location of the 2017 Bocuse d’Or (24 & 25 Jan), when some of the world’s most talented young chefs go head-to-head in what has been called the culinary equivalent of the Olympics. European heat winners Hungary will be battling for position along with silver and bronze medallists Norway and Sweden. cmpatisserie.com; bocusedor.com
You’ll definitely work up an appetite on Walk Japan’s new Hokkaido Snowshoe Tour. These guided, seven-night trips pick a path from the fishing port of Kushiro to Utoro, a small hot spring resort town on the Shiretoko Peninsula, a World Heritage Site. The reward for all that exertion is spectacular food. Highlights include fishing-boat-fresh sushi, ishikari nabe (a miso broth filled with salmon and vegetables), classic ramen (Hokkaido has three different varieties) and kaiseki dinners eaten in traditional ryokans. walkjapan.com
Chalet dining has been getting increasingly sophisticated, with pasta bakes and banana loaves replaced by the likes of cod with parma ham and grilled baby gem, and mango mousse with coconut meringue.
This season, however, luxury chalet operator Consensio is moving the trend up another gear, offering three of the dishes from Duck & Waffle’s breakfast menu in its Alpine chalets: shakshuka with harissa yogurt and mint, duck egg en cocotte with wild mushrooms, gruyère, truffle and soldiers, and banana brulée with hazelnut and chocolate spread, vanilla ice cream and peanut crunch. consensiochalets.co.uk