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Mayor welcomes addition of F Cooke pie and mash shop to Bishop's Stortford's high street menu



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The mayor of Bishop's Stortford welcomed a taste of the East End to the town's high street.

Cllr Keith Warnell officially opened F Cooke pie and mash shop on Thursday (Dec 2). The restaurant and takeaway in South Street replaces the Carphone Warehouse branch which closed during the first Covid-19 lockdown and did not reopen.

Other premises which shut during the coronavirus pandemic are also set for a new lease of life.

From left, Mayor Cllr Keith Warnell, Cllr George Cutting and Zoe and Fred Cooke. Picture: Vikki Lince
From left, Mayor Cllr Keith Warnell, Cllr George Cutting and Zoe and Fred Cooke. Picture: Vikki Lince

The Indie understands Zizzi in Market Square is being refurbished as a Dough & Co pizzeria.

Restaurateur Christopher Sharman, who transformed Bishop's Stortford's former McDonald's in Anchor Street into a branch of his artisan brand in September 2019, has not responded to Indie requests for clarification of its future.

He is also behind Burger Amour next door to Dough & Co in the leisure complex.

The new Boar's Head Steak Grill and Bar (53551324)
The new Boar's Head Steak Grill and Bar (53551324)

Meanwhile, the grade II listed, 16th-century former Boar's Head pub in Windhill, which was previously operated as Turkish restaurant Gourmeturk, is reopening shortly as Boar's Head Steak Grill and Bar.

It is also understood the former White Stuff boutique in North Street is to become a restaurant. It is next door to Roni's eatery, which is under the same ownership as Pircio, the Turkish and Italian restaurant in Market Square, and Cafe Rindio in South Street. The building is home to the town's white hart, the symbol of Hertfordshire and emblem of the 1st Herts Light Horse regiment.

Fred Cooke, a Stansted resident, is the fifth generation of his renowned family to serve up pie and mash. The Bishop's Stortford eatery he now runs with wife Zoƫ is modelled on his forebears' original Dalston business, founded 160 years ago.

The Cooke family claim to have been the first to serve liquor, a parsley sauce, with their meat pies. The pairing is now a traditional part of the cockney treat, along with jellied eels.

Fred Cooke with mum Brenda Cooke, Cllrs Keith Warnell and George Cutting and some of the F Cooke team. Picture: Vikki Lince
Fred Cooke with mum Brenda Cooke, Cllrs Keith Warnell and George Cutting and some of the F Cooke team. Picture: Vikki Lince

Mr Cooke's mother, Brenda, who is keeping a close eye on the new shop, believed liquor had its origins in a time when eels were so plentiful that they made a cheap and cheerful pie filling. Because parsley sauce is a traditional accompaniment to fish, it made sense to serve liquor with the pies. F Cooke also offers gravy with its minced meat pies, and the eels are now served only as a stewed or jellied accompaniment.

Brenda said that Fred's first meal as a baby was mashed eel and today he tells customers unfamiliar with the fish that the flavour is reminiscent of Dover sole.

The outlet has created 10 new jobs for the town.

The former Zizzi restaurant in Market Square could become the new base for Anchor Street pizzeria Dough & Co
The former Zizzi restaurant in Market Square could become the new base for Anchor Street pizzeria Dough & Co
Dough & Co owner Chris Sharman outside his Anchor Street restaurant shortly before it opened in 2019
Dough & Co owner Chris Sharman outside his Anchor Street restaurant shortly before it opened in 2019


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