Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘harrogate’

Dear Wild Cooks,

It is not often that you get asked to be a part of a brand new food festival by a local Michelin starred establishment. So when I was approached by The Devonshire Arms to participate in their 2011 Food Festival it was a real pleasure to accept the challenge.

It was a battle between the Harrogate chefs as I competed against Tom Van Zeller from his award winning restaurant in Harrogate.

Harrogate Chef, Tom Van Zeller

Harrogate Chef, Tom Van Zeller

The day started with an early morning cup of coffee with the Breakfast Chef at the Devonshire Arms…it all seemed so civilised! I then ran through my menu with Restaurant Manager, Valentin Gadjonov, and his team.

Briefing the Restaurant Manager and the team before the Devonshire Food Festival
Briefing the Restaurant Manager and the team before the Devonshire Food Festival


Tickets sold out rapidly and therefore the pressure was on as we both demonstrated in front of a full house trying to win votes on their preferred menu.

Here is my menu:

Roast Duck Salad
beetroot hedgerow crisps and forager’s relish
( A Wild Cook’s idea of fun. I love the combination of the sweet and sour and the forager’s relish really cuts thought the fat of the Yorkshire free range Leven ducks)

Pork Fillet
confit potato cake, quince (forager’s fun again!) and Ampleforth amber liquor sauce
(The pork fillets were locally sourced from Easingwold. I also use confit of pork ashen in a potato cake with leeks rolled and fried in Scotch large oats – lovely stuff!)

Apples, Plums and Pears
(I left this to the guests’ imagination however it was made up of a dark chocolate marquise with flambé plums, pear parfait and apple crumble with vanilla sauce)

Plating up my starter

Plating up my starter

Tom’s menu
 
Scallops Escabeche
pumpkin sorbet and pumpkin seeds
(Escabeche literally means ‘marinated’)

Local Partridge
Tom’s partridge was rolled into a sausage shape and gently poached and served with a selection of accompaniments including black pudding crumbs and pastry parcels, it looked stunning.

Frozen Pannacotta
flambé quince

Tom with his Sous Chef, the Devonshire Pastry Chef Ellen and her colleague Archie prepare his pudding plates

Tom with his Sous Chef, the Devonshire Pastry Chef Ellen and her colleague Archie prepare his pudding plates

Although Tom’s menu won on the day, it was a great challenge and a real pleasure for me to cook at The Devonshire Arms.


Personally I think Steve Smith, Head Chef at the Burlington Restaurant, is a legend on the northern food scene and in my opinion is arguably the finest chef in the North of England.

A special hello to Ellen de Jager, the Pastry Chef at The Devonshire Arms, and her Commis Chef Gemma. They did an amazing job helping me with my mini puddings!

All in all it was a great day and well done to Tom and the team at The Devonshire Arms. Rebecca Hill, Marketing Manager, did a fantastic job of organising and overseeing the day.

Steph x

Read Full Post »

Dear Wild Cooks,
 
Taking time to smell the roses is always a good thing in my book, so when I was approached to M.C and do a cooking demonstration at the Harrogate Flower Show I was delighted…roses, chefs and all!!

Rob gets me involved in his demo!

Rob gets me involved in his demo!

Robert Ramsden was as passionate as ever about Yorkshire food and brought some wonderful local and international produce along for his demonstration.

My Great British Menu compatriot, Tim Bilton, showed us how to cook John Dory in a lovely springtime recipe packed with flavour, and even used his own brand of olive oil and wine! 

Tim prepares his fennel and pea shoot salad
Tim prepares his fennel and pea shoot salad

I found some great foraging finds in a fresh patch of woods at Rudding Park which went down really well at the show.

Have you ever tried edible flowers? There are some great ones around at the moment, such as borage flowers, chamomile, and chives. Remember to always check before eating that they are edible and not a protected species.

Flower power…!!

Steph x

Read Full Post »

Dear Wild Cooks,

It does not get much better than this! Last week I got asked to meet a legend in Harrogate for a “lunchtime audience”.

Wild Cook meets Elena Salvoni

Wild Cook meets Elena Salvoni

Elena Salvoni is a lady over 90 years old and I can tell you Wild Cooks, if I am in any way as sharp as her at that age, I will be very happy!

This lady brings the ‘H’ to hospitality in a mild mannered efficient style, and I can honestly say 2 hours seemed to be over in ten minutes, I could have happily listened to her for another 2 hours!

She spoke about the hospitality industry with such passion, as if it was a loved one – I guess, for many of us, it really is.

Sometimes people whisk into your life for a few moments and light up a room, then whisk away again.  She had that. We all gave our undivided attention listening to war time stories of her walking down to the Underground and getting customers out of the restaurant, as The Blitz continued overhead.

She explained how Ella Fitzgerald became a good friend and more recently Stephen Fry and John Hurt. These names were dropped into conversation reluctantly, expertly guided by her interviewer, Roy Ackerman. Elena gave us her life story in a snapshot.

I imagine that she has had a very full and varied life, with celebrities and customers’ lives running parallel to her own. Some of the great and good of London think of her as the mother they never had.

It was like meeting the hospitality version of Mother Teresa (I mean that with the utmost respect). Her eyes darted around the room making us all feel a little bit special, not missing anyone out. She reiterated that she has experienced a rich life and I am sure she meant it. Elena’s Etoile, The Gay Hussar and L’Escargot are the big hitter restaurants that she spent her life serving, developing an incredible wealth of experience.

What a lady, what a day and what a rich life.

Steph x

Read Full Post »

Trumpeting Trumptonshire….. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was in Harrogate and I missed him!

My dear wild cooks, I am gutted that one of my culinary heroes “HFW” was at Harrogate International Centre for the Love Cooking Festival, and I was busy working about 30 yards from him, on the Love Food Hate Waste stand! I am sure he would approve of me supporting this valuable cause as the average family throws away £50 per month on food waste. Another amazing fact is that, on average, £0.60 per bag of salad bought in supermarkets goes in the bin.

Steph with Brian Turner and Briony and Joanne from Love Food Hate Waste

Steph with Brian Turner and Briony and Joanne from Love Food Hate Waste

I know that we, as wild cooks, make a conscious effort to use up nature’s gifts and not create any food waste, but we all throw things away in our kitchens from time to time. In the Love Cooking booklet, Hugh cooks with goat’s cheese, hazelnuts and winter salad using all the bits and bobs he has left over. Using these ingredients, we made up grilled goats cheese on hazelnut toast with caramelised pears and rocket leaves – and our free samples went down a treat!

Steph making her goats cheese nibbles

Steph making her goats cheese nibbles

All was not lost as the “VIPS” did come over to our stall (sadly not Hugh though), some of which have eaten at Rudding Park’s  Clocktower restaurant on a number of occasions. Brian Turner (pictured above) is a Yorkshire legend and lovely all round guy and Nigel Bardon (pictured below) is a great supporter of Yorkshire produce with Deliciouslyorkshire. Emma Atkins (aka Emmerdale’s Charity Dingle) lived up to her on screen name as one of the choir girls singing for charity at the HIC! Ainsley Harriott (pictured below) also spent a few moments with us before dashing off for his train.

Ainsley Harriott popped over to say hello at the Love Food Hate Waste stand

Ainsley Harriott popped over to say hello at the Love Food Hate Waste stand

As did Nigel Barden from Radio 2!

As did Nigel Barden from Radio 2!

Next time you are up North Hugh, come and visit us at Rudding Park, it would be an honour to go foraging with you.

Steph x

Read Full Post »