In all the time I’ve been raising pigs I’ve never had any great success with bacon. So when Jasper Ackroyd, who makes a living from curing bacon, offered to come to the Damson Dene Hotel to give a master class to my chefs, I couldn’t have been more chuffed. I provided him with the carcase of a Saddleback pig, split into two, including the head and the tail. Jasper asked for some kit, including “drug dealer’s” scales, to weigh the ingredients to the nearest gramme. I had brought in some Victoria plums from the garden, which Jasper seized upon to make a plum cure, which he devised on the spot. When I met with the chefs later I’ve never seen them so enthused. It was an inspiring day and Jasper will be back in a few weeks to taste what he conjured up today.