Sadly, Reg passed away on the 18th November 2015. He was above all a great friend! A friendship that was born out of a love of produce, food and farming.
I first met Reg in 1987 when he delivered fairly ordinary chickens and turkeys to me three years before opening my Longridge restaurant.
After a number of conversations around cornfed chickens, Reg first hatched the Goosnargh corn fed chicken and a couple of years later the Goosnargh duck. I worked with him on the quality, the feed, and ultimately the end product once it had been cooked. Was it tender enough, did the flavour need changing, could it be hung longer or bred longer? It was not always a successful and easy process.
Promoted by myself and Nigel Haworth, it soon became a product not only familiar on local North West menus but bought by the very best of chefs all around Britain.
The poultry was famed for its quality at a time when British products were hanging onto their European shirt tails. Reg was passionate about his chickens and ducks and created relationships with chefs in a way that only an affinity with food on a plate can.
Reg was always encouraging to young chefs, networking them with the more famous, from the Ritz to Le Manoir aux Quat Saison, from Scotland to Sussex, all through his passion, drive and stubborn opinion that his British produce would stand up against the very best.
Nigel and I discussed celebrating Regs life and after talking it through with the family and particular his daughter Kara, the foundation was launched to encourage the next generation of young chefs. It has been supported far and wide by industry legends Richard Corrigan, Mark Hix, Matthew Fort, Lisa Allen-Goodwin, Gary Jones to name just a very few.