Crispy Squirrel and Vimto Trifle… This is a book about a chef, a very special chef. It’s also about a river. Their destinies are intertwined. As a boy, Robert Owen Brown roamed the wild garlic-rich upper reaches of the Irwell. As a man, he cooks on its banks in the city, on the Salford side but with a view across to big brother Manchester. On matchdays boats leave his dining pub, the Mark Addy, for Old Trafford, ferrying fans fed and watered. It’s a winner.

Rob’s own horizons stretch further, much further – right down the Ship Canal, into which the Irwell flows, and out to the Irish Sea. Fish is never as fresh as the stuff you catch yourself and this is a cook as handy in a chartered fishing boat off the Mersey Estuary or North Wales as he is shooting game inland. Foraging and sourcing the very best ingredients also come naturally to this generous kitchen spirit, whose cooking is rooted in the north west soil and its industrial heritage…

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