A Lancashire village known for its delicious ducks is soon to have an ambitious new restaurant – with foraged ingredients expected to highlight the menu. Ye Horns Inn at Goosnargh, near Preston, is to reopen in March with Yorkshire-based forager Alysia Vasey as operations consultant and Sean Wrest (both pictured) as head chef.
Sean, formerly head chef at Roots in York, will be joined in the project by his fiancee Sam Haigh, restaurant manager of the Black Swan at Oldstead – both run by chef Tommy Banks, a celebrated apostle of foraging, pickling, preserving and ultra-local sourcing. Ye Horns Inn, a timber-framed 17th-century Grade II-listed former coaching inn, is undergoing a major renovation by a local building firm as the centrepiece of a development of luxury homes and cottages, and will have a new 100-seater restaurant.
Goosnargh is well known in gastronomic circles for its famous corn-fed duck, a cross between the Aylesbury and Peking breeds. Developed by local poultry farmer the late Reg Johnson, it has been championed by top chefs including Nigel Haworth, formerly of Ribble Valley neighbour Northcote, and Jason Atherton.
Alysia learnt her foraging skills as a child from her grandfather, who lived wild as a Polish resistance fighter in the forests around Poznan during Word War Two. She has supplied wild edible plants to leading chefs including Simon Rogan of L’Enclume in Cartmel and Rene Redzipi of Noma in Copenhagen.
Sean said: “It was Alysia that got in touch with me first to see if I would be interested and I knew that if she was recommending it, it had to be something special – and she was right. It’s an amazing opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.”