'A taste of heaven’ as BBC2 food show features Dales congregation

A Yorkshire Dales congregation and their vicar became taste testers on the new BBC 2 series, 'Top of the Shop with  Tom Kerridge' currently being broadcast on weekday evenings.

The eight part series which started this week is set in Malhamdale and both St Michael's Church and the Vicar the Rev'd Geoffrey Spencer and church members are featured in several episodes.

The  series pits local artisan producers against each other. Food producers with fledgling businesses come to test out their products on the locals in Malhamdale, in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales  using the Airton Farm Shop as their base.  

The Rev'd Geoffrey Spencer said, "It was all very exciting whilst they were filming for about two months last year.

"Some filming was pre-arranged but sometimes the camera's popped up when you least expected them to."

Geoffrey added, “Malhamdale is a very traditional community and people expect to see the Vicar out and about!

"They even filmed my chickens roving about in the churchyard and they appeared in the first episode!"

In Episode One, shown on Tuesday 17 April and available to Watch Again on BBC iPlayer, Vicar of Malhamdale, Geoffrey is featured as he prepares for a service with a difference, serving pickles to the congregation after worship.  Tom invites him to sample the pickes and preserves which are part of the competition and Geoffrey comments, “For someone like me that sounds like heaven!” 

“Well if anyone knows about heaven, it’s him!”, comments Tom. The Michelin starred chef who is chef patron at the two Michelin starred The Hand & Flowers pub in Marlow has become a regular presenter on foodie programmes such as Great British Menu, Bake Off Crème de la Crème, The Food Detectives, Food & Drink and fronting his own series - Proper Pub Food and Best Ever Dishes.

Explaining to Tom Kerridge why he has turned up at the farm shop, Tom gets himself an invitation to the service at St Michael’s  and comments,  “Let’s pray they like it!”

Later, at the church, Tom asks the congregation on their opinions on the competing jars and, “ You might have to do this at every service now, your realise that?” 

More information on the show which is shown on BBC 2 at http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b090r2

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