The Reg Johnson Foundation
Dubbed “The godfather of food” and “Mr Poultry”, Reg Johnson started supplying Nigel at Northcote some 30 years ago. A relationship which led to them being the very closest of friends.
The Relationship between Reg and Nigel developed through Nigel’s passion to promote and develop local produce for his kitchen, working with his suppliers on the quality of the produce and how they could work together to ensure the end product was highest quality possible and also ethical.
The product became infamous in the region and gradually chefs such as Marco Pierre White began to use the produce in his kitchens in London, eventually being found on most Restaurant Menus in the City who served quality produce.
Reg stated that it was Haworth’s dedication to keeping it local, “He’s just always been totally committed to local produce. He gives the smaller producers a lot of support and a chance to showcase their produce through his places. If it wasn’t for him and more recently other restaurants that are now promoting these products and providing a shop window, these cottage industries would wither away. The supermarkets aren’t going to champion them; it’s all down to these chefs and their restaurants.”
The Reg Johnson – Young Chef Schools Competition
Nigel is proud to be working with the Reg Johnson Foundation to keep the memory of his close friend alive and also to carry on championing the region and helping others as Reg always did, encouraging young chefs to perfect their craft and thrive in the Hospitality Industry.
The Reg Johnson Young Chef Schools Competition has been developed to celebrate the enthusiasm that Reg had for encouraging innovation and developing young inspiring talent within the catering industry.
Raising Money for Lyme’s Disease
A cause which Nigel is very dedicated to. Kirk Haworth son of Nigel had his own cooking career cut short after contracting Lyme Disease while working in Australia.
Kirk Haworth, 29, was a rising star in London’s Michelin-starred restaurant scene when he began suffering chronic pain and memory loss. This was diagnosed with Lyme Disease in May 2016, four years after contracting the illness from a tick bite while working in Sydney.
By then Kirk’s symptoms were so bad he had to take time out from his stellar career at top restaurants including The Square in London and The French Laundry, California.
Nigel described the hell his son had been through. ‘Kirk has had chronic body and joint pain, 24-hour headaches that feel like something is actually controlling his brain, and memory loss,’ he said. “’That is in addition to chronic fatigue where you just can’t get out of bed, depression, anxiety and more”.
Nigel and The Reg Johnson Foundation have held numerous events to raise the awareness of Lyme Disease and to also assist Kirk in accessing treatments to alleviate his symptoms which are not available through the NHS.
Kirk co-founder of Plates now works his magic developing Plant Based Menus which excite the palate and promote good health through the use of organic seasonal produce.
Hospitality Action – Obsession 2020
Obsession Food Festival was the brain child of Nigel Haworth launched in 2001 to celebrate great food, wine and chefs. Nigel has been a Patron of Hospitality Action for a number of years and Northcote Obsession 2020 has again nominated Hospitality Action as the dedicated charity to receive the generous donations gifted throughout the festival.
Northcote along with its guests, sponsors and suppliers have raised money for the Charity over the past 10 years, supporting people through serious illness, homelessness, poverty, domestic violence and sudden redundancy, along with encouraging young people into the industry.
Mark Lewis, chief executive of Hospitality Action received the donation on behalf of the charity in 2019 and stated: “Once again the team at Northcote have produced a world-class food festival in the heart of the North West. Their generous gift of £40,000 to Hospitality Action is an amazing feat which will transform the lives of hospitality workers in not only in the North West, but across the UK.”
Obsession 2018 raised £65,000.00 for the charity, Over the past 10 years the amount raised is over £200,000.00. The generosity shown over the years has resulted in a remarkable achievement, for which all involved in Obsession are incredibly proud.
Chefs: Nigel Haworth, Lisa Allen, Bruno Birkbeck and Director Craig Bancroft.