Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Pumpkin & Mice and a privilege...all on BBC2

I haven't blogged as much as I would have wanted or intended over the past 12 months. There I said it. But onwards and upwards and that original intention remains for the next 12 and beyond.

2014 has got off to a flyer and with numerous posts already in the pipeline I hope to bring more of my own personal development in the kitchen as well as the delights of Staffordshire food and drink to 'Potteries 'n' Pans' from here on in.

Yes...they are oatcakes!
Said 'flyer' consisted of a first and a privilege. I was invited to cook in a 'proper' commercial kitchen. The Coach and Horses in Farringdon is a must visit whenever I hit the capital and serves superb real ale (the BBC2 is a revelation and unbelievably rounded at only 2.5%) and sublime food. Chef Leigh Norton's menu is continually evolving and never ceases to amaze. The bacon and black pudding hash is a work of beauty and a current dish of brilliance is the incredible risotto of Jerusalem artichokes, radicchio and sherry vinegar. I was introduced to owner Giles Webster by my good friend and journalist Neil and I soon discovered that the gaffer's enthusiasm for every dish is absorbing to the point of mesmeric and his understanding of my desire to learn more about food and cooking in general he has since embraced, something for which I will be eternally grateful.

He welcomed Neil, Tom - outstanding photographer and superb cook - and myself into the kitchen for the day and gave us the opportunity to road test a few dishes we were experimenting with for another project (more of which at a later date).
Due to it's location in Central London, the Coach doesn't open on a Saturday as the City empties into suburbia and beyond, so we had the space to ourselves without the pressure of expectant diners.

I have nothing but admiration for Leigh and his team and all kitchen staff everywhere. Dealing with over 50 covers in an overpowering heat while turning out plates of such high quality must take some doing and is beyond the reaches of my imagination having pootled around playing with ingredients and under no duress whatsoever.

Sincere gratitude to Giles, Leigh and all the staff at The Coach for the opportunity and their hospitality. Cheers guys!

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