TV chef Simon Rimmer was blown away by a secret recipe when he filmed his show at a pie-making business at Old Dalby.
He was visiting Nice Pie to make and taste their vegan and vegetarian pies for an episode of Channel 4’s Tricks Of The Restaurant Trade, which will be aired next week.
The programme was looking at how the food industry is adapting to the recent 700 per cent increase in vegetarians dining out in restaurants.
And Simon was highly impressed by pie-maker Kath Walmsley’s vegan pastry, which uses only plant-based products and no butter or milk.
Kath’s husband, Phil, who co-owns the business with her, told the Melton Times: “He loved the pastry and asked if he could have the recipe but we couldn’t give it to him.
“Simon said he had 10 restaurants and none of his chefs could make vegan pastry like ours.
“It tastes really good and you can’t actually tell the difference from the normal pastry used in pies.
“We’ve had the calorific value of all our pies tested and the vegan pie has less than 200 calories while something like our steak pie has about 900.”
The Walmsleys are hoping their latest television appearance will have a similar impact on the business to when they were featured on Jamie Oliver’s Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast three years ago.
Jamie visited them at their base at Gorse Farm in Six Hills Lane and when the show aired their website attracted 280,000 hits and led to a massive upsurge in sales.
Top chef Simon, who is also a star of the popular Sunday Brunch cooking show and was a contestant on last year’s Strictly Come Dancing, filmed at Nice Pie back in October but the business was not allowed to publicise it until now.
He contacted them partly because of the success of their pies at major events like the Melton-based British Pie Awards.
Phil added: “Simon was a really genuine type of guy and he seemed really interested in our business and the range of pies we make.
“He made some vegan and vegetarian pies with Kath in the kitchen and then came through to the tea shop to taste them with our customers.
“We only started the business five years ago but we are now starting up online orders and looking to supply businesses all over the UK.”
The episode of Tricks Of The Restaurant Trade featuring Nice Pie is on Monday May 21 at 8.30pm on Channel 4.