South West Chef of the Year – Young Professional Semi Finals

The semi-finalists have been announced for the 10th annual South West Chef of the Year competition!

The number of entries received rose again this year and in addition to this, the standard of those entries was exceptional.  As a result, the judges took the decision that they would have to allow more entrants the opportunity to demonstrate their skills for the judges, inviting a higher number than usual to prepare their menus at the semi-finals!

Eight chefs have been selected in both the Professional class (sponsored by Ritter Courivaud) and the Young Professional class (sponsored by Exeter College and Paramount Personnel) to attend the semi-finals at Exeter College on Saturday 12th October.  Three chefs will then be selected from each class to return for the finals on Monday 28th October, again at Exeter College.

Meanwhile, the South West’s Best Dish class, sponsored by Ashburton Cookery School, received a record number of entries from the keen home cooks of the region!  Faced with a wide range of dishes, the judges decided to invite four entrants, rather than the usual three, to the final to be held at Ashburton Cookery School on Saturday 19th October.

The final for the new Junior class, launched this year, will also be held on Saturday 19thOctober at Ashburton Cookery School and our finalists will be announced after the county heats have been completed.

The results of each class will be announced at an awards presentation dinner on the evening of Monday 28th October, sponsored and hosted by Exeter Golf and Country Club.  More details below.

Professional class semi-finalists:

  • Adrian Andrews – Chef de Partie, Ode Restaurant, Shaldon
  • Sam Burfield – Sous Chef, The Castle Hotel,Taunton
  • Andrew Chan – Sous Chef, Thornbury Castle, Thornbury, Bristol
  • James Clark – Route 2, Topsham and Travelling Cookery School
  • Daniel Hutchinson – Senior Chef de Partie, Lucknam Park, Bath
  • Maciek Kijewski – Head Chef, Beales Gourmet Catering
  • Daniel Moon – Head Chef, Ston Easton Park, Bath
  • Brett Sutton – Head Chef, The Eastbury Hotel, Sherborne

Young Professional class semi-finalists:

  • Nathan Cornwell – Chef de Partie, Lucknam Park, Bath
  • Jonah Kellar – The Elephant Restaurant, Torquay
  • Harriet Pecover – Head Pastry Chef, The Jack in the Green, Rockbeare
  • Kristian Press – Gara Rock Restaurant, South Pool
  • Richard Townsend – Junior Sous Chef, The Eastbury Hotel, Sherborne
  • Camilla Waite – Chef de Partie, Paul Ainsworth at Number 6, Padstow
  • Amy Ward – Apprentice Chef, Magdalen Chapter Hotel, Exeter
  • Dominic Weeks – Chef de Partie, Lumière, Cheltenham

 

Well done for getting this far Dom, we can’t wait to see how you get on!

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We Won! Cotswold Life Food and Drink Awards 2013 Restaurant of the Year

CLFDA Winner logo

Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards 2013

500 highly esteemed guests, finalists and sponsors joined Her Royal Highness Princess Anne and Cotswold Life to celebrate the 11th Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards at Cheltenham Racecourse on Monday 1st July. Hosted by Adam Henson and Phil Vickery, the awards celebrated the good and the great from the regions food & drink industry.

Editor, Mike Lowe commented: “We were delighted to welcome as our special guest, HRH The Princess Royal, a Gloucestershire farmer in her own right. I see her decision to fit this event into her hectic schedule as a validation of the food and drink industry in this region, and of the importance of these awards. We are in the fortunate position in this region of exporting more food than we import. Our fantastic, high quality products are in demand all around the world and the Cotswold Life Food & Drink Awards will continue to support our local food and drink community.”

The results…

Newcomer of the Year sponsored by New Wave Seafood

Winner: Purslane Restaurant in Cheltenham

Highly Commended: Whole Foods Market in Cheltenham, Prego Restaurant in Broadway

Butcher of the Year sponsored by NFU Mutual Cheltenham and Moreton in Marsh

Winner: Andy Creese Butchers in Newent

Highly Commended: Country Quality Meats in Nailsworth, Bath Road Butchers in Cheltenham

Best Local Tea/Coffee Shop sponsored by Cotteswold Dairy

Winner: The Kitchen in Minchinhampton

Highly Commended: Lavender Bakehouse in Chalford, Pepper Crescent in Cheltenham

Best Independent Retailer sponsored by Leapfrog PR

Winner: Sherborne Village Shop, Sherborne

Highly Commended: Primrose Vale in Shurdington, Cotswold Food Store in Longborough

Best Farm Shop sponsored by Field Fare

Winner: Over Farm Market, Over

Highly Commended: Stancombe Beech Farm Shop in Bisley, Butts Farm Shop in South Cerney

Best Farmers’ Market Stallholder sponsored by Bruton Knowles

Winner: Chedworth Farm Shop from Cirencester Farmers’ Market

Highly Commended: Pippin Doughnuts from Stroud Farmers’ Market,
Native Breeds from Cirencester Farmers’ Market

Food/Drinks Product of the Year sponsored by Frobishers Juices

Winner: Centurion Stout, Corinium Ales, Cirencester

Highly Commended: Malaysian Beef Rendang from The Cotswold Traiteur in Moreton-in-Marsh, Blue Heaven Cheese from Woefuldane Organic Dairy in Minchinhampton

Best Local Supplier/Producer sponsored by The Daffodil

Winner: Pancake Farm in Chedworth

Highly Commended: The Artisan Baker in Stroud, Ross & Ross Foods in Chipping Norton

Best Neighbourhood Pub sponsored by BBC Radio Gloucestershire

Winner: The Prince Albert in Rodborough

Highly Commended: The Old Spot Inn in Dursley, The Keepers Arms in Quenington

Best Pub Restaurant sponsored by Tayabali Tomlin

Winner: The Feathered Nest in Nether Westcote

Highly Commended: The Butchers Arms in Eldersfield, The Five Alls in Filkins

Best Cotswold Menu sponsored by Crest Insurance Consultants

Winner: The Golden Cross Inn in Cirencester

Highly Commended: Star Bistro in Ullenwood, The Priory Inn in Tetbury

Chef of the Year sponsored by Bespoke Kitchens

Winner: David Kelman from Ellenborough Park in Southam

Highly Commended: Gareth Fulford from Purslane in Cheltenham, Emily Watkins from The Kingham Plough in Kingham

Restaurant of the Year sponsored by Peter Hickman Hairdressers

Winner: Lumière, Cheltenham

Highly Commended: Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham, 5 North Street in Winchcombe

Hotel Restaurant of the Year sponsored by Hollies Care Centre

Winner: Tudor Farmhouse Hotel in Forest of Dean

Highly Commended: Ellenborough Park in Southam, Calcot Manor in Tetbury

2013 Cotswold Food Hero sponsored by CJ Hole Sales and Lettings

Winner: Charlie Beldam from Cotswold Gold near Broadway

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Our Wedding!

Helen and I have always said that we brought the restaurant instead of getting married and I think that most of our friends and family had given up on the idea of there ever being a wedding, which is really what lead us to the idea of making it even more of a surprise and keeping the whole thing a secret!

Neither of us wanted a typical wedding, we wanted a day that would celebrate us as a couple and also a day which would celebrate our friendships and families.  From the moment we saw Temple Guiting Manor, we knew it was the venue which we had dreamed of; the beautiful presentation, perfect size and somewhere which we could do the catering ourselves. 

In order to get our guests to our wedding and appropriately dressed, we invited our closest friends and family to a fictitious outside catering event for the restaurant for which we required some willing volunteers, to our surprise everybody was very enthusiastic and willing to play along. We did let our parents in on the secret in the fear of never being forgiven otherwise and there are just somethings which are so special, like choosing a wedding dress (apparently!) which you can’t do without your mum or in Helen’s case both mums!  My mum even took a flower arranging class so that she could make Helen’s bouquet herself.

On the morning of the Wedding, there was no early hairdressers appointments, trip to the pub with the groomsmen or even trying to avoid seeing the bride – we woke up together as we always have done. There was, however, a military operation in moving and setting up all of our props, food, drinks and catering equipment from the restaurant in Cheltenham over to The Manor House, with the help of my parents, Lauren from Lady Amy Wedding Designs and our small team of Staff it ran like clockwork.

All of our guest began to arrive and were shown to their rooms to get ready, with a little afternoon tea box and a request to be dressed and ready for 4.50pm. At just before 5pm our staff ushered our guests over to the beautiful The Peacock Barn Garden without any explanation as to what would happen next. I mingled with the guests, and tried to avoid any awkward questions, as music gently played in the background and as Helen made my way down the path on the arm of her father. Bruno Mars song ‘Marry You’ began to play and she made her entrance into the garden, to screams and tears from our guests as the penny dropped as to what was really happening. We said our vows under the eves of the Peacock Barn with our friends and family gathered around in the garden.

After the ceremony, the party moved to the Terrace garden to be greeted with a Champagne and canape reception. A salamanzar of Pol Roger and a tower of Champagne coupes was a sight to behold, the guests glasses where then kept topped up using Vintage Teapots. Instead of a guest book we had a photograph taken on our engagement shoot, the all of our guests wrote a little message on the mount, which we now have framed and on the wall in our lounge.

As the sun lowered, the music stopped on the Terrace and more music began in The Long Garden, all of the guests were led through to be met with a elaborate garden buffet full of surprises. There was mini stone baked pizza being made to order, BBQ’d skewers, Helen’s mirrored glass dressing table which housed our salad bar, a kitchen table full of my favourite nibbles and instead of a bar we created ‘The Lab’ as a homage to Helen’s former life as a Biomedical Scientist where our guests could create their own cocktails. We disappeared with Adam to have our photographs taken by the lake, the light was fantastic and Adam was just wonderful, neither Jon or I are very photogenic but he made us feel so comfortable in front of the camera and it was lovely to just catch a couple of minutes together. As we walked back into The Long Garden the local church bell ringers began to practice much to our delight.

Just as our guests began to think that they had had all of their surprises for the day, the sun set and it was time to really get the party started. The lights came up and music began at The Barn. As our guests made their way down a candle lit path upto the Barn they discovered Charlie with his liquid nitrogen Ice Cream parlour, a Cheese board picnic, chocolate fountain, glow in the dark cocktails and the fabulous DUKE. Our guests were transformed into children with the wonder of the liquid nitrogen ice cream and then practically stunned into silence when DUKE demonstrated how amazing their beatbox skills really are, to see them perform up close really was an experience not to forget. 

And for those of you who have been asking to see the pictures from our wedding… here they are! They were taken the most wonderful photographer Adam Drake.

 

 

 

Trencherman’s Guide Launch & Lunch

ChefsJon & Chris

 

As you maybe aware, Helen and I have been asked to join the editorial board for the Trencherman’s Guide, now in its 21st year, the annual Trencherman’s Guide is the Holy Grail for the region’s foodie residents and visitors, guiding them to a unique variety of dining experiences, alongside Michael Caines MBE.

There is a strict entry criteria which dictates the select group of establishments included in the annual Guide. Only those achieving consistently high ratings across top international publications including The Michelin Guide, The Good Food Guide and the AA Restaurant Guide are invited to be in the guide. This year a record 122 restaurants and hotels with rooms across Somerset, Gloucester, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall have made it into the Guide, including Rising Stars, showcasing the calibre of the region’s foodie offerings. If you would like your own copy of the guide, feel free to pop into the restaurant and pick one up.

This year the publishers have also integrated dining vouchers into this year’s guide, enabling diners to save money while still enjoying the culinary creations of the region’s finest chefs, so there’s no excuse not to get out there and try them out.

Of the region and guide, Matthew Fort, restaurant critic and food writer, said: “Is there a region more blessed than the South West? I think not. I’ve caught prawns at Salcombe, and fished for bass off Lyme Regis and trout in the streams of Wiltshire, doubled up Double Gloucester in Stroud, drunk too well of Somerset cider, spread Dorset butter on Cornish saffron bread, feasted on the finest lobsters in the land in Dartmouth, devoured sweet crabs at Rock, put away pilchards in Newlyn and chewed over rich Red Devon sirloin running with juices. It is therefore no wonder the South West has produced and nurtured a treasury of chefs of the highest calibre.  And this is what the Trencherman’s Guide is all about. It’s more than simply compendium of top places to eat all over the South-West. It is a celebration of great British ingredients turned into great British food by great British chefs.”

Trencherman's Cover

The one of highlights of being invited to be apart of the Trencherman’s Guide has to be the bi-annual lunches, a group of chefs are invited to a stunning venue to cook a course each for the Trencherman’s guests, it’s a great chance to network, talk to suppliers and catch up with friends; This one was no different.

The lunch was hosted at Fifteen Cornwall and the guests were treated to a stunning 5 course lunch, crafted by Andy Appleton of Fifteen Cornwall; Chris Eden of Driftwood Hotel (Portscatho, Cornwall),  James & Chris Tanner of Tanners Restaurant & Barbican Kitchen (Plymouth), Daniel Moon of Stone Easton Park (Nr Bath, Somerset) and me.

Trencherman's Chefs 1

When I volunteered my services for the event, I failed to take into account the distance from our restaurant in Cheltenham to Watergate Bay in Cornwall but it all turned out well in the end… As I needed my boys for service and Helen needed Harriet’s company for the lunch itself we decided to make a staff weekend of it. So we packed everything into the cars from a sleety Cheltenham and set off only to be greeted with the most stunning sunny weather in Cornwall when we arrived. We even managed to squeeze in a trip to Rick Steins Seafood Restaurant, all in the name of staff training of course!

 

 

 

The boy did good – Chef V Chef 2013!

 

The results from the Bath College Chef V Chef competition…. Lewis won the Under 23 Competition! Well done Lewis, we’re very proud of you.

Here’s the Bath College Press Release with all of the details!

 

Chefs felt the heat of the kitchen as they tried to beat the clock to whip up the meal of their lives.

 

The young hopefuls put their speed, artistry and creativity to the test in the Chef v Chef competition at The Shrubbery Restaurant at City of Bath College.

 

The prestigious cook-off, which is in its eighth year, saw 11 chefs going head-to-head to try to reach the top of the gastronomic pecking order.

 

They had two-and-a-half hours to impress the judging panel with their individual menus of a main course and a dessert using a supplied list of ingredients.

 

TV celebrity chef Martin Blunos, Jonathan Newberry from The Valley Smokehouse in Bristol, and Scott Lucas from The Craft Guild of Chefs marked each competitor for hygiene, presentation and working methods.

 

But it was Lewis Dixon from Lumiere in Cheltenham and Steve Whittaker from Graze in Bristol who stomped to success to be named the culinary champions.

 

Lewis, who won the under 23s category, said it was his first competition so he hadn’t known what to expect and really didn’t think he would win.

 

He said: “I was really nervous, but I have learnt so much.

 

“It was a great experience and to be judged by such great chefs is an honour, it was also really great to be able to speak to them afterwards and get some feedback on my dishes and how I could improve them in the future.”

 

Under 23s competitors also included James Allen, Bishopstrow House and Spa, Warminster; Nicholas Benham, The Fox, Broughton Gifford; Andrew Campbell, Royal Crescent Hotel, Bath; Paul Goulding, Stanton Manor Hotel; and Hayley Smith, The Bath Priory Hotel and City of Bath College apprentice.

 

It was the second year in a row that Steve walked off with the over 23s first prize, but he insisted he preferred “simple, straight forward food rather than fancy gastro food.”

 

He said: “I feel very pleased that I’ve won twice, it feels really good, it’s given me a massive confidence boost.

 

“I believe in making the best out of any ingredients, but it wasn’t easy as the other competitors were so good.”

 

The 28-year-old admitted he had been “a little nervous” but said the secret to his success was to repeatedly practice before the competition.

 

He said: “It is difficult to do it all in the time limit, but it was all about being organised and pushing myself.”

 

Also competing in the over 23s category were Christian Abbott, Brace & Browns, Bristol; Martin Blake, Homewood Park Hotel, Bath; Christian Orner, Le Petit Chou Fleur Fine Cuisine, Bournemouth; and Marcin Piecha, George and Pilgrim Hotel, Glastonbury.

 

Former City of Bath College catering student Christian, 29, said it was good to return to the kitchen where he had started out and he would benefit from the judges’ feedback.

 

Judge Jonathan Newberry was full of praise for the competitors saying working against the clock was “much more difficult than it looks”.

 

He said: “The competition was very close as the standard was so high. It was a great experience for the chefs and will help boost their careers.”

 

Steve Benison, Catering lecturer at City of Bath College, said the competition promoted culinary excellence by giving chefs the chance to put their innovative kitchen skills to the test.

 

He said: “This competition brings to the forefront all the potential stars we have in restaurants in and around Bath. It puts us on the culinary map.”

 

City of Bath College students also played a part in the culinary challenge as they helped competitors prepare their dishes.

 

Rosie Debens, Catering and Hospitality Level 1 VRQ student at City of Bath College, said: “The chefs didn’t know our kitchen so we were finding whatever they needed. There was also loads of washing up to do!

 

“It was a bit frantic but a great experience as we learned so much from watching them at work.”

 

To enter the competition, chefs within a 50 mile radius of Bath city centre were invited to submit their menus. The cook-off between finalists and awards ceremony took place at City of Bath College on February 7.

 

Both winners were given £250 cash, a week’s work placement at a top Michelin-star restaurant and a bottle of champagne.

Chef v Chef 2013

We all like a bit of healthy competition and there is no better way to pit your skills against the next man (or woman of course!) than a cook off. I used to compete when I was a young chef and it is a great way to learn to think on your feet and develop your skills. I encourage our young chefs to do the same, so today is Lewis’s first outing in the annual Chef v Chef competition.

The first round of competition takes place at Bath College, and is open to all young chefs within a 50 mile radius of the college. The college supply a list of ingredients and the candidates have 2 hours 30 minutes to produce a main course and a dessert.

Lewis has been practicing for the last couple of weeks and he should stand a good chance, as long as he keeps calm and finishes on time. Watch this space and I’ll keep you updated..

A little bit more about me…

Jon Howe at Lumiere Restaurant in Cheltenham

As I’m new to all this blogging I thought I’d answer a couple of quick questions so you know a little bit more about me and how I came to be here at Lumière.

Where did you train?

City of Bath College – NVQ Level 1 & 2

Close Hotel in Tetbury (3AA Rosette) NVQ Level 3 Modern Apprentiship

I have also worked under some of the greatest chef in the country

 

Why did you want to become a chef?

It’s the only job I’ve ever wanted to do & now becoming my own boss gives me the freedom to cook exactly what I want to.

 

What was the first dish you ever cooked (and how old were you)?

The first proper meal that I cooked was in Home Economics at School –  Saffron Chicken! Unfortunately it was a disaster but it made me want to keep working at it in order to perfect it.

 

Favourite childhood food?

Sausages- proper butchers sausages!  I would never eat a roast dinner so my mum always made them for my Sunday lunch.

 

Which chefs have inspired you?

Stuart McCloud (My first Head Chef) for really inspiring me to work so hard.

John Campbell, former Lords of the Manor now The Vineyard at Stockcross, for his organisation of his Kitchen.

And now, Heston Blumenthal as he makes you realise that anything is possible & the only limit is your imagination.

 

What’s advice would you give a chef just starting out?

To work really hard- it’s not about the money, and to get as much real kitchen experience as possible.

 

What’s your cooking philosophy?

Always to use the finest, freshest ingredients available- you can’t cook great food using inferior produce to start with.

 

What’s your favourite dish to cook?

At the moment – my new Gressingham Duck starter. The duck is home cured, home smoked then glazed – It takes a lot of processes to get it on to the plate (which is also homemade!) but it’s worth it & the duck is delicious

 

What would be your last meal?

Bangers & Mash with onion gravy.

 

What’s your favourite herb or spice?

Star Anise, its so versatile. You can use it in more or less everything to add an extra depth of flavour.

 

Which ingredients do you always keep in your larder?

Maldon Salt, in my opinion it’s the best salt you can get. It not only enhances flavours but adds to them

 

If you could have just one gadget in your kitchen, what would it be (and why)?

My Thermomix, it chops, it grinds, it makes dough, it heats, it steams, it even cleans itself afterwards! The only thing it doesn’t do is make the coffee!

 

What’s your favourite cookery book?

The Big Fat Duck Cookbook by Heston Blumenthal

 

 

Number 37!!

This is probably our greatest achievement to date. We were downloading The Sunday Times Food List after service at 2am, we had received a telephone call a couple of weeks before hand informing us of our inclusion in the list and a request for some photographs, but we had no idea of our place.  As Helen skipped through the first couple of entries, I told her to start at the other end and work backwards, hoping that our entry would reach close to the top 60. You can only imagine our surprise as Helen turned the page onto Number 37 to see my smiling face starting back at us!

This was the press release;

Lumière named as a New Entry in Sunday Times’ Top 100 Restaurants

Lumière restaurant in Cheltenham has made it into the top 100 UK restaurants in the Sunday Times Food List, in association with Hardens, as the top new entry outside of London.

 

Congratulations to Jon Howe and Helen Aubrey who have added another accolade to their ever-growing collection – Lumiere has been named as the top new entry outside of London in the Sunday Times Top 100 Restaurants in the UK, gaining a new entry at 37.

 

Lumière, run by Chef Patron Jon Howe and his partner Helen Aubrey, is one of 25 new entries to make it into the Sunday Times Britain’s Top 100 Restaurant list, replacing some of last year’s stars.

 

The Sunday Times Food List – published in full on Sunday, 28 October – ranks Britain’s top 100 restaurants by the quality of their food. It is compiled together with the Harden’s restaurant guide and based on 75,000 reports from regular diners.

 

Jon said: “Making it into the Sunday Times Food List 2012 is a wonderful accolade especially as it comes from the customers who enjoy our fine dining year-round in the restaurant.

 

Jon said: “Lumière specialises in modern British cuisine, using seasonal and local produce as much as possible. We have a lot of support locally, things are going very well and I’m optimistic that the we can continue to build on our excellent reputation and further raise the profile of the restaurant.”

 

Helen Aubrey said: “This is a magnificent tribute to Jon and our dedicated team. I’m delighted that so many of our customers have judged our food to be superb and have shared their views.

 

Karen Robinson, Editor of The Sunday Times Food List said: “You have to be spectacularly good to make it into the Sunday Times Food List.” “Whoever is in or out, up or down, that decision is made not by picky critics or anonymous lone-dining inspectors; these restaurants have risen- or fallen- on the assessment of thousands of diners spending their own money and eating out for their own enjoyment.”

 

Lumière is open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner and Wednesday to Saturday for lunch with two courses at lunch from £22 and dinner from £42.

My Recipe from ITV’s Best Dish- The Chefs

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Ok, so I didn’t win but it was a great experience cooking in a studio (the old Top of the Pops studio at the BBC no less!). Here’s my recipe, I stand by the fact that you can’t beat Gary’s pork from Butts Farm just outside of Cirencester, if you haven’t already tried it pay them a visit!

Butts Farm Sandy & Black Pork

Onion & Honey Bear Puree, Cheltenham Beetroot, Watercress, Apple,

Hock & Smoked Eel Lasagne

Ingredients

  • 1 Short loin of Butts Farm Sandy & Black Pork
  • 1 Butts Farm Sandy & Black hock (this will be my prepared ingredient arriving cooked in cooking liquor)
  • 1 large White Onion
  • 1 bottle Cotswold Spring Brewery Honey Bear Wheat Beer
  • 2 Cheltenham Beetroot
  • 2 x 250g Netherend Unsalted Butter
  • 1 x Wow Micro Herbs Punnet – Watercress
  • 100ml Cotswold Gold Smoked Rapeseed Oil
  • 275g 00 Pasta Flour (Plus a little extra for rolling the pasta)
  • 4 large Free Range Eggs
  • 150ml Vegetable Oil for cooking
  • 50 ml Olive Oil
  • 4 large Banana Shallots
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 bunch of Sage
  • 1 large Sprig of Thyme
  • 1 small Leek
  • 200ml Cotteswold Dairy Double Cream
  • 4 large leaves Cavalo Nero from Red Star Growers
  • 2 rashers Butts Farm Streaky Bacon
  • 1 pinch Vitamin C Powder
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • Maldon Sea Salt for seasoning
  • Black peppercorns in pepper mill for seasoning
  • 1 lemon for seasoning
  • 100g Reggiano Parmesan
  • 10g Caster Sugar
  • 15g Wholegrain Mustard
  • 100g Skinned Smoked Eel Fillet from Flying Fish Seafood
  • 1 bunch Flat Leaf Parsley
  • 20ml White Wine
  • 1 Spartan Apple

 

 

Method:

  1. Pre-prepared Hock, 1 Ham Hock, 200ml chicken stock, 1 sprig sage, 1 crushed clove garlic, 1 carrot chopped, 1 stick celery, 2 banana shallots chopped, 5 black  peppercorns, 1 juniper berry, 1 star anise, place all the ingredients in a large vac pak bag and seal tightly, place in a waterbath at 85 degrees and cook for 24 hours until the hock is falling from the bone, place in a large ice bath for 1 hour to chill then rmove from bag and place into a clean bag and reseal, it is now ready to use as per recipe.
    1. Wrap the Cheltenham Beetroot in foil with 25g butter, sprig of thyme and bake at 160oc for 35-40 minutes
    2. Peel & slice onions. Place in a cold pan with 20 ml vegetable oil, 50g butter, 5g Maldon salt, 10g caster sugar, then place on the heat with a lid on for 20 mins stirring occasionally. Then remove lid and add 100ml honey bear and reduce until the liquid is almost evaporated then blitz in Thermomix at 80 degrees for 8 minutes, season and reserve until required
    3. Remove the skin from the pork loin and prepare the loin, roll it in cling film tightly, place in a Vac Pak bag and add a sprig of sage, ¼ clove garlic sliced & 50g butter, Seal and place in Water bath at 59oc for 40 minutes
    4. Take the removed pork skin and trim excessive fat, cut into thin long strips and season with table salt & pepper add a touch of vegetable oil. Place the strips in between 2 baking trays with greaseproof paper top and bottom, bake at 160 degrees for 20-30 minutes until crisp may take longer or require a temperature increase.
    5. Place 00 pasta flour, eggs & olive oil into the Thermomix and blitz at speed 6 for 10-20 seconds until crumb like, place in a bowl and bring dough together until smooth, wrap in Clingfilm and rest in fridge for 15-20 minutes. Put pan of water on at this point ready to blanch pasta.
    6. Place ½ tub of watercress & smoked rapeseed oil into the Thermomix and blitz with a pinch of Vitamin C powder to retain the colour, season with salt and pepper and pass through a fine sieve and place into a small squeezy bottle and place in fridge to be served later.
    7. Finely dice 2 banana shallots, ½ carrot, ½ leek & ½ clove garlic sweat it in a little vegetable oil, remove hock from cooking liquor and warm the liquor, pass and ass 200ml of the liquor to the vegetables, reduce by half and add 200 ml double cream and reduce by half again, pick the meat off the hock and add to cream reduction, dice smoked eel & Chop flat leaf parsley add to mix and leave to cool slightly.
    8. Remove pasta from fridge and run through a pasta machine down to setting 8 then cut into suitable size rounds 3 per portion and blanch in boiling water for 20-30 seconds to set the pasta and then refresh in ice water, pat dry and layer up in small copper pans with the hock mix, grate over the parmesan using the Microplain and place in over at 160oc for 10-12 minutes.

10.Unwrap beetroot and remove skin, cut each beetroot in half and place on a tray with a little butter, salt and pepper ready to be flashed through the oven just before serving.

11.Remove pork from the Waterbath and remove it from the bag, unwrap the cling film and pat dry, season with salt and pepper and place in hot pan to seal the outside, once sealed turn down the heat, add 50g butter, sprig of sage & ½ clove garlic and carry on colouring the pork in the butter basting as you go, remove from the pan after a couple of minutes and rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

12.Slice streaky bacon, 1 banana shallot and sweat in a pan with a little vegetable oil, add 50g of butter, slice the Cavalo Nero and add it to the pan, add splash white wine and cover the pan with a lid, steam for 1-2 minutes then season with salt and pepper

13.Place beetroot in the oven to reheat, remove the lasagne and reheat the onion puree, carve the meat, slice the apple batons and then dress the dish, finish with watercress oil and serve.

 

 

The Pork will be placed on top of the Cavalo Nero on the left hand side of the plate, a swipe of the onion puree will be on the right hand side of the plate with the beetroot, watercress & apple arranged on top of that & the watercress and smoked rapeseed oil dressing will go around the whole dish. The lasagne will be served in individual small copper pans served on a small slate.

 

Best Pork Dish