Tuesday, 24 November 2009

This weeks plates............

Warm Vacherin on a bed of walnut, apple and raisin

Marinated Secretts farm vegetables
wild mushroom, herb crumbs, argan oil

Roasted medallion of cod
creamed fennel, warm beef tomatoes, cockle vinaigrette

Searing the beef on the salt stone

Rare salt stone seared organic beef skirt steak
gherkins, horseradish infused sour cream, trio of potato, spicy paprika sauce

Napoleon of Double Gloucester cheese and Autumn fruits
fresh clementine, Sicilian pistachio sable biscuit

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

This weeks du jour menu

New Forest venison carpaccio
pickled mousserons, pine nuts,smoked Lyburn cheese, sorrel, smoked pepper,
juniper sour cream

This is a very delicate starter. It is a dish that needs a balance of flavours and good seasoning. The oak smoked pepper works well with the venison and the smoky tones of the cheese help it along. The mushrooms lift the acidity of the dish as venison is quite rich. The juniper sour cream refreshes the palate with an aromatic twist.

Wild seabass poached in vanilla oil
crispy black lobster, honey wine sauce spiked with chervil
This is a light course with sweet flavours. The bass is poached at 55C in a grapeseed oil infused with Madagascan vanilla bean, for about 7 minutes. The lobster tail is coated in a tempura batter coloured with squid ink. The sauce is a cream sauce which is made with Riesling and honey wine, fresh chopped chervil is added just before saucing.

Beef three ways, seared fillet, braised short rib, crisp tongue
roasted root vegetables, liquid cepe gnocchi

This dish is strong with an Autumn feel to it. It showcases the different textures and flavours that come from one animal. The fillet is seared, roasted and sliced. The shortrib is braised through beef jus for 3-4 hours until falling off the bone. The tongue is poached in a court bouillion for approx 3.5 hours until tender, chilled, diced, brushed with dijon mustard an coate in herb breadcrumbs. The gnocchi are made using a cepe gnocchi dough, rolled and cut out, then filled with a cepe veloute set with gelatine and folded over, poached and fried in nut brown butter.

Espuma of Cerney goats cheese
dried fruit compote, oak ash

For this course i wanted a light tasty cheese mousse. I chose Cerney goats cheese for its fromage frais style texture and slightly citric notes from being so young. It is normally dusted in oak ash, which i find is a shame if ever its creamed or whipped because you have to scrape off the ash or the colour is very unappealing. So here we took 1 cup double cream and 1 cup whipping cream and 130g cerney. Boil the creams and add the cerney and blend in until smooth. Season lightly and add to an espuma gun charging it twice. Rest in the fridge for a good couple of hours and shake well before use. I made some oak ash to dust the top of the mousse to finish the dish and give the cheese back some of its identity of how it comes and should be served. It worked nicely and tasted great!

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Taste of Hampshire menu

This weeks menu is started off with a sloe berry infused gin braised New Forest venison leg, topped with a root vegetable puree and then a potato mousseline espuma.
Sprinkled on top is root veg powder, rosemary, pine nuts and toasted cocoa nibs.

Followed by a wild Lymington seabass "en croute" with fennel, tomato,
grilled pink fir potatoes and saffron and orange veloute

Next up is a poached,then caramelised sirloin of organic Laverstoke park Hereford beef,
pied de mouton mushroom, braised bulgur wheat, purple mustard and port sauce

Cheese course is a delectable smoked Lyburn from the New Forest with red and white pear tartare, 40 second cinnamon cake and smoking cinnamon.

Who's playing with my camera??

Me, Ben and Larry on the line in full effect

Saturday, 31 October 2009

This weeks new plates

Here is a slow poached seabass torchon with glazed vegetables and red wine fish jus

Laverstoke park beef fillet wrapped in smoked Alsace bacon, braised beef brisket, violet sprout leaves, aligot, seared foie gras, jus gras(foie fat)

Apple and blackberry gnocchi, oatmeal crumble, walnut custard, nice one Sam!

Ballontine of Loch Duart salmon, seasonal vegetables, pink grapefruit, fromage blanc and fresh herbs

New Forest game

Once again the game season is upon us. Time to get your game on i say. Here is a warm partridge salad with rolled and poached leg, pink fir potatoes, baked fig, pistachio oil and cracker, fig juice, partridge jus vinaigrette

Friday, 30 October 2009

Seared Shetland Island scallops, butternut, salsify, walnuts and smoked Alsace bacon

Hello, this is a dish that has just gone onto the a la carte menu. Proving to be a popular dish already. There is a butternut puree hinted with a touch of anise, salsify, Perigaux walnuts, smoked lsace bacon lardons, Tinkerbell pumpkin wedge, squash cracker, brown butter sauce and butternut juice.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Slow roasted pork belly, honeymead soaked apricots, cepe mushroom, pecan jus

Here is a dish iv'e just finished. Very simple and very seasonal. The apricots are soaked in a home made honey mead. Im loving this old English honey wine and have been using it to sweeten things up in certain dishes. Its been used for pickling, marinating, ice cream, sauces, glazing, jelly, cocktails.

  • 6 to 8 kilograms of grade-A honey
  • 20 lt of tap or bottled water
  • 8 grams (1/4 ounce) of freeze-dried wine, champagne, or dedicated mead yeast


Making mead requires essentially the same basic kit necessary to brew beer at home: primary and secondary plastic-bucket fermenters with air locks and spigots, transfer hosing, a bottle-filler tube, heavy bottles, bottle caps, bottle capper, and a bottle brush and washer.

Bring the water to a boil. Boiling should remove harsh chlorine from municipal tap water. If you don't own a pot large enough to hold five gallons of water, boil as much as possible. You will add the remaining water to the fermenter later.

Once the water reaches a boil, remove it from the heat and stir in all of the honey. Do not boil the honey, as it reduces the aromatic quality of the finished mead.

While the honey dissolves in the water, put a cup of lukewarm water into a clean bowl. Sprinkle in the yeast and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. When the honey has been fully dissolved in the water and the pot is cool to the touch , pour the honey-water into the fermentation bucket and stir in the yeast mixture. Note: Cooling the honey-water could take quite a while. This process can be accelerated with a so-called sink bath, that is, repeatedly immersing the pot in cold water in a sink or basin.

If you have not already added the full 4 1/2 gallons of water, top it off with the balance in bottled water .

Seal the bucket and allow the mixture to ferment for two weeks to one month. The progress of fermentation can judged by monitoring the carbon-dioxide bubbles escaping from the air lock: When they drop to one bubble every sixty seconds, fermentation has nearly concluded. Note that is only an issue during this primary fermentation; secondary fermentation has more to do with aging and mellowing and hence is more flexible. When primary fermentation has subsided, siphon the mead over to your secondary fermentation bucket and seal it. Allow one to four months aging time. Do not open the fermenter, as this risks contaminating the mead.

When you decide it has matured enough (and the mead has cleared), you will want to siphon it into sterilized bottles and cap them. Follow the same procedure as you would for home-brewed beer.

This recipe is a basic mead. You can add different spices or play with elderflowers or add fruit flavours to your mead. It all depends what you want to use it for.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Monkfish roasted on the bone, glazed pork belly, Roscoff onions, violet artichoke, Le Puy lentils, broken red wine vinaigrette

This is another finished article for the a la carte. Ingredient quality is the main attribute to any dish. This dish is no exception. Wild monkfish caught off the Hampshire/Dorset border, local Greenfield pork belly, pigs free to roam their Hampshire countryside, Le Puy lentils, noted for their slight peppery taste and failure to lose shape when cooking, Roscoff onions, originating from the town of Roscoff in Brittany, delivered door to door back in the French hey day by onion Johnny's with striped shirts and onions around their necks. Pink in colour and sweet in taste. Violet artichokes, these are originated from the Southern French region of Var nearby Cavaillon. This is a precious variety which is known for its superb taste and aroma and tenderness. This artichoke variety is characterized by two external aspects:The violet color over the green leaves.The shape of the fruit bottom is conical. The red wine vinaigrette is made by reducing red wine with toasted anise, cinnamon, sugar and fennel seeds. Reducing to a syrup consistency, then topping the reduction with grapeseed oil (without mixing).

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Lamb noisettes with glazed sweetbreads, wild mushrooms, molten potato croquette, sherry vinegar caramel, thyme emulsion and a mushroom froth

This is another completed dish for the a la carte. Very simple, just 4 ingredients on the plate, lamb, sweetbread, mushroom and potato. The potatoes are made by setting a creamy potato mousseline with gelatine and rolling it into small cylinders. Then they are rolled in potato flour, eggs and instant potato pearls, then egg and potato pearls twice more. They are a suprising element to this dish and gluten free, which i try to avoid certain allergys when writing my menus so they cater for all........that is unless you are allergic to lamb, mushroom, potato.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Terrine of Greenfield ham hock, smoked pigeon and foie gras, sultana puree and Jerusalem artichoke

This is the terrine which will go on the a la carte menu. The ham hocks are from Greenfield pork products which are based in Andover, Hampshire. The breed is Saddleback and they are cooked for four hours in a court bouillion. The pigeons are soaked in a brine for 2 hours, then the breasts are hot smoked on the boneuntil pink. The legs are smoked then confit sous vide and cooked in a waterbath until tender. The foie gras is confit in duck fat at 60C for 15 - 20 mins. The terrine is set by reducing down the pork stock and pouring over the built terrine. Some roasted pearl onions are placed in the terrine to add a slight crunch and bring a sweetness.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

New menu dish

This is another finalised dish for my new a la carte menu. It is a dish that has been working well for the pick up and also for the mis en place. There is a cube of braised brisket to add richness to the dish. The potatoes are made by mixing potato puree and choux paste together and combining sour cream and freshly chopped tarragon.

Tenderloin of Casterbridge beef and brisket,
baby turnips, chestnuts, pickled radishes and sour cream and tarragon potato beignets

Saturday, 3 October 2009

New a la carte

I am currently working hard on my new a la carte menu to start in a couple of weeks. I have done a number of dishes already and have had them on du jour menus gaining feedback and seeing how they sell. The results so far have been positive. Over the coming days i shall post my a la carte menu dish by dish. Here is the first dish which is a
Wild halibut fillet
spiced pumpkin, Autumn cabbage ravioli, cockles and a kumquat sauce

Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Dogmersfield in Autumn

Good day to you all,
I apologies for the lengthy delay in posts. This is due to a much needed vacation in the United States. I took my family to visit Boston and Conneticut where we had a great time hooking up with friends and family.
After getting back to work and ploughing through my e mails i was set a task of creating an edible young vegetable patch for a VIP function which was taking place. "This sounds like fun" i remember telling myself and it was indeed fun!
I decided to create a patch of earth inspired by the ground which surrounds us at the hotel. Walking through the early Autumn woods i felt a crunch underfoot from the dead leaves. I noticed fallen branches peppered with moss, wild mushrooms growing around the trees and throughout the woodland. Auburn, burgandy and yellow leaves scattered around. Dead branches, fern leaves and small logs all took my attention as i tried to take in as much as possible and make an edible patch of earth. Below is one picture i took of the ground plus the photos i took of the room that the guests had dinner in, and also the edible remake of the Dogmersfield grounds.........

My apologies for poor picture quality in places...

mushroom duxelle
parsley and parmesan breadcrumbs
poppy seeds
beetroot crisps
parsnip crisps
carrot crisps
celery leaves
red amaranth
deep fried carrot tops
Jerusalem artichoke
purple potato filled with truffle creme fraiche

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Some dishes from this week.........

Strawberry gazpacho, seared scallop, crayfish and sushi rice
This was an amuse bouche, that was very refrshing and light.

Duck egg souffle, grilled puffa mushroom, tomato fondue, soya cream
With the egg we whipped the whites and placed the egg yolk into the centre. Wrapped in climg film, then steamed. The puffa mushrooms grow wild on the estate, they are like a huge ball, have a mild taste and soft texture. The soya cream is reduced soy sauce, sugar and double cream.

Cured mackerel, pink grapefruit, spiced bread, basil cous cous, red veined sorrel
We had some top quailty mackerel this week. Lightly cured in sugar and salt, baked with olive oil.

Assiette of Saddle back pork, caramelised Dogmersfield orchard apples, potato mousseline
The assiette is crispy ears, roasted loin, apple jelly glazed belly, braised cheek croquette.

Monday, 31 August 2009

Beet em up

I did this this as a vegetarian option recently and it went down very well. It is a tartare of red and golden beetroot with quail egg, sheeps milk curd, Pantelleria capers, and a poached egg mayonnaise flavoured with walnut. The red beetroot is cooked and then chopped finely with a knife and flavoured with cassis puree, banyuls vinegar, chopped shallot, chopped caper, chopped gherkin, olive oil and salt and pepper. The golden beetroot is chopped and flavoured with shallot, moscatel vinegar, capers, chopped chive, olive oil and pickled mouli.

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Wild blackberries

Now is the perfect time to start picking wild blackberries. My family and I love this time of year. Blackberries grow just about everywhere in England. Any where you see a hedgerow, there ususally are wild blackberries amongst the brambles. We have loads growing behind our house and in the woods nearby. Foraging for wild ingredients is the ultimate method of cutting down those food miles and lightening your carbon footprint. Sourcing high quality local ingredients adds to the appeal of a dish and usually tastes better than using similar ingredients that have been brought in from elsewhere.

The most delicious blackberries are found growing in direct sunlight. Choose berries that have fully ripened, with no red or purple on them. The best berries come off the plant easily with very little resistance.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Recent dishes

Here are a few dishes from last week and this week.

Parsley and garlic stuffed saddle of lamb with parsley fregola, glazed summer vegetables and duo of red wine sauces

Confit of guinea fowl and foie gras with a sherry vinegar jelly and a black cherry jam
this is a poached torchon of foie gras with textures of apple and black cherry. The textures are a mini toffee apple, pickled, vinaigrette with honey and yuzu and fluid gel. Cherries are served as they are with a cherry syrup.
this is a musterd crusted brill fillet with creme fraiche potatoes, cured cherry tomato and a lemon coulis

Roasted pork belly with anise scented butternut, and a pea pesto

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Foie gras, smoked eel and green apple pave lightly flavoured with cinnamon, eel teriyaki and a brioche espuma

Here is a starter which featured on my du jour menu this Saturday night. The terrine is built up with smoked eel being set with apple wine infused with cinnamon stick, confit foie gras and a green apple puree. The teriyaki is brulee just before serving.The espuma is made by toasting and drying out brioche. Pouring on some boiling milk and cream and letting it infuse. The mix is then puree very smooth, seasoned with a little nutmeg and ginger and thinned out with milk. It is then poured into the gun and charged with one cartridge.
I loved the smokyness of the eel against the foiegras, but felt that another element was needed. The teriyaki gives a tangy sweetness that cuts the richness of the foie gras and adds the which acidity balances nicely.

Friday, 7 August 2009


This week was our Italian wine dinner. Here is the starter from the evening. We got our hands on some Alpine plum tomatoes which were marinated with EVOO, garlic, thyme and shallot. The cherry tomatoes were also marinated in EVOO. The mozzarella is a fantastic product from Laverstoke Park. I would say the best fresh mozz in the South of England. Garnish is balsamic which has been misted onto the plate, black olive dust, and a smoke filled mozzarella baloon. Terre Bormano olive oil is drizzled around.
Fresh, tasty and Italian which matched our wine.