Chefs at Cumbria’s Sharrow Bay hotel are reportedly being asked to sign a contract forbidding them to divulge the ingredients of the hotel’s famous Sticky Toffee Pudding, following an attempt to leak the recipe onto the internet.
The recipe for the pudding has remained a closely-guarded secret since restaurateur Francis Coulson created it more than 30 years ago, but a recent attempt by a member of the public to leak a film of it being made onto You Tube has led the hotel to take drastic action.
Now the hotel’s chefs, including Head Pastry Chef Paula Richardson (pictured), will be made to sign a contract forcing them not to reveal the recipe outside the hotel and any guests taking part in Sharrow Bay’s culinary schools will be made to sign a culinary version of the Official Secrets Act.
A Sharrow Bay spokesman said: "Protecting the recipe of the original Sharrow Bay Sticky Toffee Pudding is something we take extremely seriously. Without Francis Coulson, the hotel and the pudding as they are today would not exist. In gourmet terms, getting hold of the recipe is something of a culinary holy grail and we will do everything we can to safeguard it."
Coulson first opened Sharrow Bay in Ullswater 60 years ago. The hotel is now owned by Von Essen. Despite the secrecy, the pudding is available to buy from a number of stores including Harvey Nichols and supermarket chain Booths.†
View the secret Sharrow Bay Sticky Toffee Pudding video posted on You Tube here.