Yesterday saw the Harrogate institution that is The Harrogate Club welcome me into its kitchen as part of its exclusive Dinner and Wine series.
Established as a ‘public reading and news room’ for bankers, chemists, doctors of medicine, gentlemen of independent means and solicitors, the club has been at the centre of Harrogate’s club life for business and professional people since 1857.
I was invited by club director Andrew McMillan to create a delicious four course menu for members to enjoy. Using delicious Yorkshire produce I designed a menu that transported guests to a world of fine French cuisine. The menu was accompanied by matching wines chosen by Patrice Lipatti-Mesme, The Club sommelier with an unrivalled knowledge of wine.
You can see the menu I created below. For more information on The Harrogate Club go to www.harrogateclub.co.uk
Green olive tapenade in a choux bun
Smoked salmon rillettes with dill on toast
King prawn with skewered confit lemon and cucumber
Wild mushroom velouté with roasted scallop and vegetable crisps
(Grande Passolo Chardonnay Rocca, Piemond, Italy)
Pork tenderloin poached in Calvados, roasted and caramelised apples, rosti
Halibut loin with crustaceous coulis, Provencal ratatouille, confit tomato, saffron potato
(Home of Erasmus Grenache, Swartland, South Africa)
Dark chocolate half-sphere filled with strawberry and mint mousse
Valrhona Dulcey chocolate tarte with coffee jelly
Mojito glass: confit minted pineapple, Rum Chantilly, lime and coconut biscuit
(Sparkling Vouvray Brut, Domaine Toussaint, Loire Valley, France)
For my latest pop-up I partnered with fellow Parisian Olivier at Zinc in Harrogate. Thursday 1 March saw 22 hungry guests gather at the independently run café and wine bar on John Street.
As part of Zinc’s regular bistro evenings offering a taste of cuisines from around the world, I was invited to create a six-course menu including three canapés and a trio of desserts. Guests could buy wine provided by Zinc separately.
The venue is intimate, and the event proved a hit with diners with empty plates all round. Olivier and I will be offering another pop-up on Thursday 5 April, for more information head over to my Facebook page. You can see the menu that was on offer below.
Tapenade of green olive in a choux bun
Smoked salmon rillettes on toast
Roll of cured ham and cream cheese
Potato and Dijon mustard Velouté, crispy wild mushroom
Monkfish cheek and cider vol-au-vent, bacon, carrots and leeks
Duck cooked 2 ways: honeyed roasted breast and confit leg in red wine sauce, baby vegetables
Roasted goat cheese with spices on toast, lettuce
Half chocolate sphere filled with confit mango and passion fruit
Mojito glass: minted pineapple, rum Chantilly, lime and coconut biscuit
Milk chocolate, caramel and salted peanut tart
I was delighted to learn about Real Bread Week. This week is the annual celebration of local, independent bakeries and baking your own. Whether you’re looking to support one of the fantastic bakers in Yorkshire or want to develop a new skill and bake your own, Real Bread Week is the perfect opportunity.
To celebrate I thought I’d share my top tips for creating the perfect bread and even include a tasty recipe to try.
The history of bread stretches back over 30,000 years, making it one of the oldest prepared foods in the world. Types, shapes, sizes, and textures differ around the world due to the proportions of and types of flour used and the variety of other ingredients.
Baking is a fun activity that all the family can get involved in, so I hope that my bread recipe below will encourage even the most reluctant baker to have a go and keep the historic tradition of baking bread in the home alive.
Top tip no. 1: When mixing your ingredients keep the salt and yeast on opposite sides of the bowl as the salt can kill the yeast. Without yeast your bread won’t rise.
Top tip no. 2: For a lovely crunchy crust, add a light coating of semolina to your dough.
Top tip no. 3: The slower the rise, the better the flavour of your bread so don’t worry about putting your rising dough in an airing cupboard. If the dough rises too fast this can affect the end result.
Dice the figs.
Mix all the ingredients in the bread maker and choose the ‘dough’ program.
Once the dough is mixed, knead it to knock the gas out and put it in a bread mould.
Leave it to rise for 1:30/2h approx.
Bake for 30mns at 220 degrees.