Friday, 31 December 2010

Eggs and cheese on toast

Here is a free range duck egg cooked in a waterbath for 1 hour at 63C. It is paired with almond toast, parmesan custard and shaved truffle.
The duck egg cooked in this method cooks the white so delicately, almost transclucent. The yolk though remains thickly runny and rich.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

I got a bone to pick with you..........

Pardon the pun, but i couldn't help it. This is a random shot of a garnish for a beef dish that was being prepared the other weekend. I paired it as a duo. The bone has been completely cleaned out and hollowed. There is saute spinach in the bottom and sticky braised brisket on top. it is to be re - heated and topped with a local beer froth.
Beef and beer.....they love it here in the countryside. Damn right too!! ; ))

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Kicking off

December is here and the streets are hustling and bustling full of shoppers trying to buy that special gift for their loved ones.........................Did that in November!!

Heres some plates...

Pan roasted loin of venison, Valrhona chocolate and raspberry ganache, warm leek terrine, poached salsify, port sauce

Loch Duart salmon and Jon Dory mosaic, pink grapefruit, fennel, ginger, Bormano olive oil

Merry Christmas everyone : ))

Valrhona and raspberry vinegar ganache

200ml good quality raspberry vinegar (reduced to 50ml)
60g butter
50g 70% chocolate

Over a double boiler, add the vinegar. Melt the butter into the vinegar reduction until fully incorperated. gradually add the chocolate until fully incorperated. Control the heat to make sure it does not get too hot. Pour into a container and chill.

Friday, 3 December 2010

French onion soup??

To recreate a classic bistro dish and give it a little VIP treatment for 2010,you need to re-think the elements and refine them a little. Heres my cheeky French Onion soup.

Roasted onion consomme, Waterloo cheese tortellini, crisp bread

Monday, 22 November 2010

Crisp potato galette, roasted vegetables, Eldren cheese, pesto cream, balsamic

Here is a vegetarian dish i have recently designed for the bistro menu. It is an easy pick up for that service demand and is also very tasty and hits the mark for a non meat eater as it is non of the usual suspect dishes that you find everywhere you go.
So far great respaonce from the vegetable massive!

Some recent plates

Here are some pictures of dishes from the past couple of weeks.

Warm cranberry and goats cheese sphere with crisp ham

Wild partridge wrapped in potato, seared foie gras, slow cooked leg, salami jus, garlic milk

Lasagna of seafood, squid ink pasta, langoustine nage, fresh dill

Wild New Forest mallard, le puy lentils, pancetta, roasted baby beets,
Pedro Ximinez vinegar butter emulsion

Cherwell cheese with fig carpaccio and fruit bread

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Bursting with flavour

Here is a dish recently from a du jour menu when i was covering in the restaurant. It is a fun cool, colourul presentation with a twist. The vinaigrette is inside the orb! I saw this dressing idea a while ago(although i cant remember where), and wanted to try it. I do like the fact that the guest will observe the plate and think "WTF" and then burst the ball and season the dish.

The dish is a New forest partridge salad with French beans, beetroot dusted with beetroot, smoked maple syrup, pickled apple vinaigrette.

This is me plating the main course from that week. Beef fillet en croute, roasted vegetables, and trio of red wine sauces.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Selling like hock cakes!!

Here are a couple of dishes iv'e done recently. The dish above is a buttermilk and thyme poached torchon of organic Hyden farm chicken (63C for 35 mins). It is glazed with a foie gras butter. There is a royale of Trompette and Girolle mushrooms. simple glazed seasonal vegetables and a gremolata of sorts made from dried trompette mushroom, parsley, malden sea salt and roasted chicken skin. The chicken skin is not there for show, it is there to add a roasted flavour element to the dish without taking away from the delicate poached chicken.
The plate below is a ham hock dish just released on our bistro menu. The ham hock is soaked for 24 hours to remove the salty taste from
the brine. I touch of butter and a sage leaf and re heated for service in hot water. The garnish is a saute hash of butternut squash, apple and leek which sits underneath. The sauce is made by reducing the cooking stock until you reach the desired flavour. Making a veloute with this and finishing with fresh sage and grain mustard. Further enhance,ents are crisp sage leaves, candied walnut and grilled spring onion.
The dish below is a buttermilk and thyme poached torchon of organic Hyden farm chicken (63C for 35 mins). It is glazed with a foie gras butter. There is a royale of Trompette and Girolle mushrooms. simple glazed seasonal vegetables and a gremolata of sorts made from dried trompette mushroom, parsley, malden sea salt and roasted chicken skin. The chicken skin is not there for show, it is there to add a roasted flavour element to the dish without taking away from the delicate poached chicken.


Saturday, 24 July 2010

Finding the time

Hi all,
My time as restaurant chef has ended. My replacement started this week. Welcome Matt and Cinthia from New York!! Here's a couple of dishes i managed to squeeze in.

Roasted loin and confit belly of pork,
multiple potato preperations, blackcurrants, light foie gras sauce
( gauphrette, mousseline, aligot beignet, potato agnolotti)

Sous vide wild sea trout (12 mins @ 50C)
horseradish sour cream, red beetroot caviar

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Summer time

Hi guys,
I dont know about you, but i have been enjoying the world cup and the start of Wimbledon. Summer is here and fortunately so is the sun in England at the moment. Everyone is running around sunburnt, but happy!
Here are a couple of dishes using seasonal produce which are tasting great right now.

Boneless roasted quail lined with foie gras,
glazed black cherries, warm bulgar wheat, sherry vinegar sauce

Breast of organic Hyden Farm guinea fowl sous vide on the crown, poached guinea fowl egg,
leg stuffed agnolotti, beetroot fondant, summer vegetables, light tarragon jus

Enjoy the sunshine!!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

New dishes up

Strawberry jam consomme
wild strawberry salad, garden mint ice cream
Trio of organic chicken
breast sous vide with apricot bread stuffing, leg wrapped in cepe pasta, chicken Holstein

Spring vegetable salad,
creamed Eldren cow cheese, potato spiral, apple curry vinaigrette
Assiette of French rabbit,
shoulder tortelloni, roasted cutlet, poached and roasted saddle, pickled morels, sugarsnap peas

Thursday, 29 April 2010


Hi all,
My apologies for lack of movement on this blog. I have recently been promoted to Executive sous chef in my hotel and have found my role extended to other areas of the hotel and priorities have kept me away from blogging and focusing more on my new role. It is a fresh challenge for me and i am relishing the tasks that lie ahead. I am also thrilled that Spring vegetables have arrived over the past few weeks, winter is too long!

Here are 3 dishes that i have done over the past few weeks. Leading up to a busy bank holiday weekend in the hotel so will keep my camera with me and snap what i can, when i can



Noisettes of lamb
Provencale cherry tomatoes, saffron cous cous with sumac, smoked yoghurt

Slow poached Devonshire cod
mustard and Serrano ham crust, calamari, balsamic

Foie gras pave
apple poached beetroot, Pinot noir gelee, milk jam

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Recent dishes

My apologies for lack of regular posting recently. Due to a number of projects taking up my time at work and out at the moment i will post when i can. Here is a consolidation of some dishes wev'e done recently.

Tenderloin of beef
beef and goose liver spring roll, vegetable galette, caramelised parsnips, sauce Bordelaise

Pan seared sea bream
ricotta gnocchi, citrus and chickpea shoot salad, Jerusalem artichoke, hibiscus foam

Amuse bouche
Razor clam ceviche

Poached lemon sole roularde
steamed mussels, bok choy, morels, sweetcorn veloute

Sous vide Hyden Farm duck breast
confit leg, fresh orange, carrot and spinach, medjool date sauce

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Pomme souffle

Pomme souffle takes me back to a time working at Claridges on the banqueting section. We used to fill lilly fold napkins to the brim and serve for 200 people. Not one of my favourite jobs as you could be there for hours sorting through the potatoes that will rise sufficiently and the ones that will not. I was taught to slice them to a certain thickness to know by feel rather than measurement. The potatoes had to be the natural potato shape where the line inside the potato which is a few millimetres inside the border would allow the middle of the potato to souffle up. We did small batches as placing them in water would rinse off the starch. We had a big oval skillet with vegetable oil and had to bring it to approximately 150C - 160C. Once we had dropped them into the oil we had to vigourously swirl the oil around the pan so the oil would blister the potato and suddenly pop up. Once the potato had filled wiith air in the middle, we would take them out and rest on a tray with parchement paper. During service on the main course pick we would drop them into a hot frier and drain on paper towels and seasons and serve.
Recently i wanted to revisit this on one of the tasting menus. What i wanted was a nice shape that looked appealing. Cutting the potatoes in a square or a rectangle just didnt work. My thinking cap went on and i came up with this.
Slice the potato to about 1 mm thick, try two or three types of potato and different starch levels may alter the final result.
Blanch the potato slices in a frier at 155C for about 10seconds to release the starch and make the potato gluey. Press the two potato slices together and iron down to release any air inside. the cut to desired shape. Place into a shallow frier and flip some oil over the top with a ladel. The potato will pop up. The difference with this is that you need to leave it in the frier until golden and crisp and serve immediately.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

This weeks tasting menu

Gently fried duck egg
seared foie gras, truffled brioche, truffle madeira jus

Butter poached halibut
potato wrapped tiger prawn, red and golden beet puree, balsamic essence

Sous vide chicken breast rolled in lemon and rosemary crumble(chix skin, panko, malden, rosemary, lemon zest), braised leg tortellini, tinkerbell pepper, warm potato espuma, Basque jus

Barkham blue cheese
roasted grape puree, onion bread

Caramel poached pineapple
Acacia honey jelly, coriander puree

Monday, 22 February 2010

Mugaritz kitchen fire

Early last Monday fire severely damaged the kitchens at Mugaritz, the world-famous restaurant in Spain's Basque Country. Luckily, no-one was hurt. For the management and staff of Mugaritz, the destruction of their workplace was a tragedy. But for three other young people, this was also a calamity.

When the dust settled on Mugaritz after last Monday's inflagration, Mattias from Sweden, Diego from Guatemala and Greg from the US found themselves without their most valued possessions. Their precious knife sets, not covered by the restaurant's insurance, had been incinerated.

Many of you will be familiar with John Sconzo of Docsconz - The Blog. John is a food blogger widely known across the world of hospitality and he has kindly volunteered to set up and administer a fund to recoup what these young chefs have lost. Can you please help with a personal pledge? Donations will be so welcome, no matter how large or small. Email John at docsconz[at]gmail[dot]com with your pledge and he will get back to you as soon as possible with details of exactly how you can contribute to the fund.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Febuary 9th du jour menu

Scallop and rosemary brochette
orange scented crosnes, rye crumble, Jerusalem artichoke veloute

Pressed leeks "a la ficelle" and king prawn
saffron marinated mussels, razor clam, mussel vinaigrette

Sous vide pork loin
cipollini and roscoff onion, french beans, chestnut tuille, sloe gin sauce, smoked bacon froth

Trio of English cheese
Winchester with its rind jelly, Cerney and beetroot, Tunworth with dried fruit and whiskey

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Crab preparation 101

I promised my team quite a while ago that i would post the preparation of a crab. After finding the photos that we took, i am now posting what i promised. Thanks to Budi and Jason for their modelling hands, good work gents!

Firstly the type of crab used here is the brown crab. It is a European crab and has a good amount of brown and white meat.
The humane way to cook the crab is to insert a skewer through the eyes and out through the tail. When the crab is dead, plunge into heavily salted boiling water. Cooking times vary according to the weight of the crab.
1 1/4 pound 15 mins
2 pound 20 mins
3 1/4 pound 25 mins
Anything larger cook for 30 mins
Once cooked, remove the crab from the water and allow to cool.

Once the crab is cool break off the claws, then remove the legs taking off the knuckle as well.
Break off the tail flap, then push the body section up and away from the head shell.
Pull the dead mans fingers off (the fat thumblike gills, you cant miss them).

Remove the brown meat from the headshell nto a container over ice and keep this separate.
Remove the brown meat from the centre of the body and add to the other brown meat. Then cut in half and using the back of a small teaspoon remove all of the white meat into a container over ice. The body should be quite hollow and much lighter after this process.
Crack the claws and the shells of the legs with the back of a knife and remove the meat without taking too much shell with it.
Using a tray over ice and wearing a pair of gloves. Pick through the crab in small handfuls by pressing the crab onto the tray and feeling any stray pieces of shell and membrane. Removing these pieces and dipping fingers in cold water to make sure it is gone.
Keep the crab in the fridge and serve that same day for best results.


Friday, 15 January 2010

Back from my break

Merry Xmas and a happy new year to everyone. I took a little posting break for a few weeks. These are some of my recent dishes

Gratinated tian of confit salmon and crab,
cauliflower, beetroot, thai basil

Duo of fallow deer
Roasted tenderloin, cherry brandy froth, walnut and horserasish legere;
Spiced carpaccio, pomegranite vinaigrette, pomme souffle

Seared gurnard fillet
Scottish mussels, papperdelle of pasta and salsify, saffron and orange mussel broth

Roasted tenderloin of Longhorn beef
oxtail marmalade, celeriac, wild mushroom duxelle, Chasseur sauce

New Forest Nanny goats cheese
thyme and black pepper honey poached pineapple, dried fig