22 Jun 2010

June Big Picture

His Royal Highness Prince of Wales on his special visit to the recently refurbished Leighton House. It is always a privilege to cater for Royalty. Read and see more here on photographer Lloyd Dobbie's blog... www.lloyddobbie.com/blog

15 Jun 2010

In Season - Elderflower

Last week the Bovingdons team threw themselves (literally!) into the hedgerows of Ripley and picked three huge sacks full of elderflowers. Chef David has since made bottles and bottles of syrup (about 102 litres!) and the office smells distractingly of English summertime.

Our syrup recipe is secret but you can find plenty online, it’s a very similar process to making homemade lemonade. You’ll need about thirty to fifty perfect heads of flowers (no brown ones), a kilo of sugar and some citric acid (find it in Waitrose or health food shops) plus any variety of secret ingredient depending on the chef.
Once made, here are some ways to use your syrup:

- Make Bovingdons signature Apple Fez, cloudy apple juice, ginger ale, elderflower and mint sprigs.

- Whisk with creme fraiche, gooseberry compote and lemon zest for a perfect Fool
- Suspend summer fruits in elderflower and prosecco jelly
- Flavour pannacotta and serve with raspberries garnish with the flowers
- Fritter the flowers in the lightest tempura and serve beside strawberries
- Elderflowers can also be used in pork and duck recipes but I would proceed with caution here! It can be very, very sweet.
- Or simply add a drop to champagne, pink gin, vodka martini’s, Pimms … sip and enjoy...

10 Jun 2010

Christmas Cracker: 45 Millbank


Here's my pick for Christmas 2010. I love Number 45 not only for its incredible riverside location but also because of its sheer size. The rooms and chic decor all point to a building steeped in history yet it has an open almost boutique hotel feel and the spaces are unexpectedly roomy.

The Banqueting Hall is the largest (and I think best) space and really comes into its own when full. It is pillar free so even with 200 people you still have clear sight across the whole room. It has a stunning and elaborate ceiling and plenty of Edwardian splendour to impress and wow.

If you still havn't booked anywhere for Christmas, you should definately consider it. Call their team direct for diary information on 020 7514 8514 or if you need any more convincing visit their website http://www.45millbank.com/.

2 Jun 2010

Seven Course Summer Heaven

Every so often I am lucky enough to meet a couple for whom their special day is quite literally all about the food. Here is an example of a seven course degustation menu which I took great delight in creating for Daniel and Frank.

Some course choices are personal to their story, some were inspired by their travels, some were just an excuse for a seasonal treat. Everything was utterly delicicious and enjoyed over the course of a long midsummer's evening by sixty special guests in The Orangery, Holland Park.

Canap├ęs
Wasabi seared beef and watermelon with pickled ginger and coriander
Ricotta cakes with oven roasted plum tomatoes and basil
Fresh herb blinis simply topped with crayfish tails and a spaghetti of cucumber

First Wine:
Lugana Doc Trentino, Tenuta Rovegelia, Italy

Amuse Bouche
Demi tasse of chilled grape and white almond soup

Starter
Ham hock ravioli with pea veloute and truffle oil
served in a saturn bowl

Second Wine:
Chablis, Henri La Fontaine, France

Fish
Stuffed sardine
filled with pine nuts, brioche, chervil and raisins

Sorbet
Lemon, parsley and gin sorbet
served in saucer champagne glass with lemon slices

Third Wine:
Gigondas Domaine de la haute Marone, France

Main
Guinea fowl filled with spinach and ricotta
on smoked garlic mash, wilted spring greens and tarragon jus

Cheese
Trio of European cheese
with membrillo, grapes and walnut bread

Dessert
Sicilian lemon cheesecake with macadamia crust,
lime mousse with frosted berries and glazed tarte au citron.

Aperitif
White sambuca shots with coffee beans

To Finish
Fine tea, cafetiere coffee and fresh mint tea
Hand made petits four