A Sheffield restaurant’s Yorkshire puddings were given the Royal seal of approval when The Countess of Wessex visited – and took some Henderson’s Relish home.
Social enterprise Blend Kitchen on Ecclesall Road, which helps train adults who face barriers to employment for hospitality careers, welcomed The Countess and special guests on Thursday November 3.
Her Royal Highness went behind the scenes in the kitchen, donning an apron to whip up the British classic and learn the secrets to a perfect rise.
She then tucked into miniature Yorkshire puddings filled with caramelised onion and Henderson’s Relish gravy plus a dessert version starring apple, cinnamon and Nether Edge honey.
Her Royal Highness left with a miniature bottle of the famous Sheffield sauce to take home to Bagshot Park in Surrey, and thanked the team for teaching her to make “proper” Yorkshire puddings.
Blend Kitchen chefs served guests charcuterie, mushroom soup with pesto and fruit platters before welcoming their royal guest.
Chef Sandra MacLeod, aged 55 from Sheffield, said: “It was brilliant and she was wonderful, just a normal person really.
“She told us how her Yorkshire puddings look good but when she takes them out they go flat, so we gave her a few tips on how to do them properly.
“It was such a boost for the team to have a royal visit.”
During her visit, The Countess spoke to a diverse mix of guests who have been involved with Blend Kitchen since its launch six years ago.
They included charity chiefs and ambassadors as well as a ukulele and dance group which uses the site for events.
Justin Rowntree, Blend Kitchen general manager, said afterwards: “To have this kind of Royal recognition is overwhelming because we’ve just been getting on with it, struggling on through Covid and the cost of living crisis.
“I hope this visit helps us reach more forward-thinking employers we need to work with and for them to realise how we create valuable employees whose diversity brings massive benefits to their business.”
The Countess had earlier visited Sheffield’s Paces School to present young fundraiser Captain Tobias Weller with his British Empire Medal.
Blend Kitchen is a daytime restaurant but also hosts private evening events for 100 plus people, has high-tech meeting spaces and offers outside catering.