If anyone has read any of my previous blogs, you might have noticed that I don’t like fitting in. I want to stand out from the crowd and do things completely different to our competitors. If I’m told that it’s too much work or that it’s impossible to pull off or my favourite, “you’re an idiot”. That just spurs me on and makes me want to do it more, and that’s generally how I approach these things.
I have been to a lot of do’s as a guest and I know that I get bored of the same things being served on once crisp bread; disguised in it’s description as a croute or some kind of bought in blini. Or my personal favourite; once chicken, now dehydrated protein on a stick.
For our first event in Regent Street, sustainability was the topic. Myself and Mark Andrews, Development Chef for bartlett mitchell; came up with a menu which purely focused on seasonal, local and sustainable produce, but doesn’t bore the pants off the chefs to serve. And make the guests wish that they grabbed a quick Nandos on the way in.
Soft cooked Quail’s Scotch egg with Mustard emulsion
Wild Cep mushroom and smoked Chiltern rapeseed oil risotto cake with cep powder, diced balsamic and chervil
Chegworth valley beetroot tortellini filled with Cropwell bishop and sugared foraged cob nuts from Oxfordshire
Crispy Berkshire wild rabbit with pickled watts farm heritage carrots and tarragon
Beefeater Gin and juniper cured Lock Durant salmon served on burnt rosemary twig
Slow cooked green gage plums and buttered short bread with Guernsey double cream
The second was held in Taverstoke Square and was based on our DARE campaign. Delicious And Responsible Eating is something that is in all of the bartlett mitchell business. It’s not a diet; but all about how to eat responsibly and intelligently.
We had a number of sections all with a different DARE theme. Healthy fats and fatty acids, low GI, nuts, 5 a day and salt reduction.
Once we decided on what section we wanted to do, the fun began. I never want to or will do what people expect me to do, so we picked random ingredients that fit into that list and started to storm out the ideas. This did bring some issues around being slightly too out there and my fearless leader, Wendy, thought it was best if I did a “Wendy” version of each dish so even those less adventurous taste would get to see what I was trying to achieve. I am very lucky to have an amazing team of chefs around me who help me deliver all the things that pop into my head. On this night; as any other, they really delivered.
Aged Longhorn beef dripping and country sour dough bread
Whey cured mackerel, lime and puffed barley, caramelised yoghurt
Mackerel on toast, pickled cucumber, breakfast radish
Frozen Chicken liver parfait, savoury crumble, Hazelnut milk chaser
Liver parfait, sour dough croute, herb oil
5 a day
Beetroot, cob nuts and horseradish
Coffee baked Heritage Carrots and juice
Soy cured salmon, brown rice cracker, miso, and coriander seed
Heritage potato mash, whipped bone marrow, gravy
Peanut butter and raspberry macaroon
Almond milk and tonka bean pannacota, malted milk crumb, red current