Family rolls up its sleeves

Roger, Richard and Robert Nicholson of Cannon Hall Farm
Roger, Richard and Robert Nicholson of Cannon Hall Farm
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A South Yorkshire farming family has taken sibling rivalry to a whole new level - with a series of cook-offs.

The Nicholson family, who launched Cannon Hall Farm in the late 80s, pushed themselves to the limit recently in a fun battle of wills at the popular visitor attraction’s annual Food Festival

More than 100 artisan food vendors showcased their wares at the five-foodie event last week, which also included live music and free kids workshops.

And for the first time, the Nicholson family put themselves in the spotlight as they went head-to-head.

Farm director Richard Nicholson said: “We usually tend to be more behind the scenes when it comes to our food offer. We’ve got some extremely talented people who work for us - our pork pie wedding cakes are often talked about and our bistro nights always show our chefs best work.

“But as a family we are quite foodie and so, this year, we decided to step up ourselves.”

Richard took to the stage in a head-to-head with Chef Matthew Benson-Smith, who runs his own cookery school, for a test of Yorkshire grit - how to create the perfect steak. Meanwhile Robert, and youngest brother David, embarked on the Great Yorkshire Cook-Off - a Ready, Steady, Cook style challenge where they had to make a meal from a box of mystery ingredients.

The gastronomic celebration also featured chef Tim Bilton, formerly of the Spiced Pear, and Heart FM radio presenters Dixie and Emma, who took part in their own cook off challenge.

The farm is currently shortlisted for a national farming award for Farmer’s Weekly, to be judged in November.