News bite: Pignut opens in Helmsley, North Yorkshire
Published 14 June 2023

Credit: Pignut

Tom Heywood and his partner Laurissa Cook were formerly at The Rattle Owl in York – Heywood as head chef, Cook as restaurant manager. ‘It’s a difficult time to open a restaurant, but the two biggest challenges are finding a good chef and restaurant manager who will stay. We’ve obviously got that covered’, Heywood told us, adding ‘I’ve wanted my own restaurant ever since I started cooking.’

The 14-seat restaurant with an open kitchen and upstairs drinks lounge, focuses on sustainably sourced, hyper-local and foraged ingredients. The restaurant’s name references the pignut tuber, sometimes called the ‘forager’s truffle’, which tastes similar to hazelnut.

An eight-course tasting menu (£85) will be served at dinner Wednesday-Saturday, with a four-course lunch (£45) offered Friday and Saturday. Snacks – called ‘wastage’ and created from leftovers and trim from the kitchen – precede a menu that might include Whitby crab, Castle Howard Aberdeen Angus beef, and Otterburn mangalitza pork served as a terrine with herbs, onion chutney, black pudding, and hogweed biscotti. The first of two desserts on the opening menu will be Barncliffe Yorkshire Brie ice cream with garden rhubarb, rye crisps, and local honey.