Norah Brown MBE (awarded for her contribution to Food & Tourism in Northern Ireland) and one of Rick Stein’s “Food Heroes” is well known for her passionate approach to traditional cooking and using local ingredients.
Rick Stein and his crew overnighted at Grange Lodge, the 17th century house, that Norah, and her husband, Ralph have been running as a Guest House, since they moved in over 35 years ago. Stein was there to cover Norah’s award winning breakfasts and was quite taken with the simple lamb stew, wheaten bread and good apple tart which met the tired and hungry crew when they arrived the night before the breakfast was to be filmed.
Norah, along with her husband Ralph, owned a successful Electrical and Giftware shop in Dungannon and it was here that she developed her cookery demonstration skills as she promoted all the new labour-saving devices, especially the Food Processor.
As a member of the Farm & Country Guest House Association, she was selected to represent Northern Ireland at the “Peak of Perfection Salon Culinaire” competition organised by the Cookery & Food Association. Her dish of Bacon & Cabbage won the competition and brought home the Gold Medal for Norah and Northern Ireland.
Her significant involvement on the Board of Taste of Ulster in its early years, took her to several European countries as well as Washington, USA, promoting Northern Ireland Food Companies and their products.
Having retired from the shop in Dungannon, Norah needed no encouragement to find another outlet for her enthusiasm promoting local ingredients and traditional cooking by setting up her own cookery classes at Grange Lodge.
Norah’s deeply passionate about the art of making traditional Wheaten and Soda Breads, feeling that it is a part of our heritage here in Northern Ireland that is being lost. Her interest in breadmaking all began when she decided to enter her Wheaten Bread at the Castlecaufield & Dungannon Horticultural show many years ago and won first prize. She even invested a Soda Bread base for Pizza, in an effort to spread the passion to the younger generation.
Her latest adventure has seen her adapt her cooking skills on the Social Media platform of Facebook so remember to follow “Cook with Norah” for lots more recipes, along with useful hints and tips.