Posts Tagged ‘ampleforth’

Dear wild cooks,

It is not often you get an invite for dinner with a friend, sit next to a national food critic, and (as a Chef) live to tell the tale afterwards!

Jay Rayner is a great ambassador for local food and he was visiting Ampleforth Orchards for ‘The One Show’ the following day. I spent the evening with Jay Rayner and his buddy Tim Wilson from the Ginger Pig, which was an eye opener into the lives of a food critic and a pig farmer and what they do on a daily basis! It has to be said that the food at The White Swan was expertly cooked by Darren and his team (please see our Ampleforth blog to read more about Darren’s food, when I cooked alongside Darren and Andrew Pern).

During the evening, Jay spoke to us about his dining hell experiences, and described some of the meals he has had to sample, some of which made our skin crawl and others made us laugh and cry!

What a great guy Jay is. You watch him on the television and he is the exactly the same person in real life. His knowledge of food is incredible and we even discussed the thickening quality of agar agar against gelatine- “Chefy” stuff folks!

I also asked him his opinion of wild food and the most appropriate place for it in the dining rooms of Great Britain. He said he thought that Noma and the revolution caused by Rene Redzepi will give way to many Chefs jumping on the “forager bandwagon”, perhaps with varying results….

Let’s hope that wild food proves to be a great thing, as Rudding Park is about to begin its third year foraging! In my opinion, as long as Chefs know what they are looking for, and take care and time to learn the produce available, it is surely a good thing? What is your opinion Wild Cooks?

Sorry I did not take any photos, I was trying to look cool!

Steph x

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Dear Wild Cooks,

It is not often that you are asked to cook a lunch in such a beautiful setting, surrounded by amazing produce and for such a worthy supplier. So when Ampleforth asked if I would be interested, I agreed straight away! 

It was amazing to see the Ampleforth orchards laden down with so much fruit. The stores of apples are distributed all over Yorkshire and most importantly to Father Rainer’s cider and brandy making cellars. Let me tell you, the new Amber Liqueur is fantastic! 

The day started nice and early with a torch lit foraging session in the grounds at Rudding Park. Thankfully, however, I knew where to forage for my starter ingredients! It was then a case of hot footing it back to the Clocktower kitchens to make my nominated courses, the forager bread, the starter and the cheese course.

When I arrived at Ampleforth, Darren from the White Swan at Pickering had just arrived and Andrew Pern from The Star arrived soon after. They were both there to prepare the lunch for many foodies in the area and journalists from further a field such as London.

The banter in the kitchen was great and the cooking standards were very high. Many thanks to Carol for the constant topping up of the tea pot! Great to work with you.

Steph x

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