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Award-winning Mersey pie maker creates pastry special to celebrate Eurovision

1 year ago

Award-winning Mersey pie maker creates pastry special to celebrate Eurovision

Award-winning Merseyside pie maker Lee Caffrey is creating a Chicken Kiev pie to celebrate Eurovision coming to Liverpool.

The Eurovision pie will be launched for British Pie Week next month in honour of Ukraine for whom the city is hosting the global singing competition, and it will mark just over a year since the war in the country began.

Lee, 51, owner of Pullman Jack’s Kitchen in Waterloo, says: “We have regular specials on the menu and it seemed right to create a pie for Eurovision – it’s such a huge event for the city – and for Ukraine.”

The former tour chef, who’s travelled the world cooking for major artists from Status Quo and Katy Perry to Depeche Mode and Bruce Springsteen, has visited the Eastern European country in the past.

Pullman Jack's Eurovision

He says: “I have been to Ukraine twice, with Britney Spears in 2012 and Bon Jovi a year later.

“I made friends over there and stayed in touch with people, some of whom fled and some of whom stayed and are now helping the cause.”

Lee adds: “It was a really nice place to go to and to work in, and I had Ukrainian kitchen staff working with me. The people reminded me of those from Liverpool because they are so warm and so welcoming, they are friendly like Liverpool people.”

The pie will be made with Lee’s perfect pastry, slow-roasted chicken, and a veloute sauce, with garlic and parsley. 

Lee, who has moved to new and bigger premises in Waterloo since he began Pullman Jack’s in March 2020, will also be entering some of his masterpiece pies in the British Pie Awards which coincide with British Pie Week (March 6-12) held to celebrate one of the country’s best loved dishes.

Among them the Cherrywood Smoked Pulled Pork and Bury Black Pudding Pie – a class winner in 2021, his Tandoori Chicken and Bombay Potato Pie, a Brisket Beef Bourguignon Pie, a Chip Shop Curry Pie, and a Beef Brisket and Ale Pie.

Pullman Jack's Eurovision

“It’s the 15th anniversary of the British Pie Awards in Melton Mowbray and it would be great if we can have success again,” says Lee, who was also voted Best Newcomer in ’21.

“We love our pies, I think because it’s a quintessential British dish, and it’s a great comfort food.

“You can put anything in a pie as long as the pastry is good, and the ingredients are good.

“It’s a nostalgia thing too. We like to reminisce about when our grandmothers made pies, or our mothers, and it stirs up all those wonderful memories.”

As he expands the business, Lee is now opening Pullman Jack’s for four days a week instead of the original two, and as well as pies and smoked meats – his speciality – he is planning to offer a spring and summer menu of picnic boxes, chef-style salads, fresh sandwiches, and quiches.

Eurovision

He has also joined forces with Desserts by Dre in Penny Lane to offer a sweet selection and launched a catering service for weddings and other special events.

It’s not been without its struggles: “The price hikes and cost of living crisis is affecting everyone and I’ve seen my costs go up: butter is three times the price it was, and flour has gone through the roof, and has my gas and electric bill.

“It’s hard for small independent businesses like mine, but I am lucky that my customers have stayed with me and supported me.”

Eurovision

Lee is now concentrating his efforts on the British Pie Awards and developing the Eurovision Chicken Kiev pie which he says he will make sure is on the menu when the world’s favourite singing competition arrives officially in the city.

“I might even send a few pies to the judges and Eurovision crews when they come to Liverpool in May,” he says.

And hopefully, like his loyal pie-loving customers, they’ll given them a winning dix points.

Find out more about Pullman Jack’s and its Eurovision pie here.

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