7 Course Tasting Menu in Chipping Campden

Monday, May 08, 2017
What better thing than to come away to the Cotswolds for your birthday weekend and be cooked a seven course tasting menu in your holiday house?
We have done many of them now - it's great for people who enjoy their food & wine. Some have friends who match wines to the menu, or know a sommelier who comes along for the evening as well with their selection of matching wines - you have to do these things in style.

I introduce each course to the guests at the table as we go along - highlighting where the ingredients come from, or sometimes preparation methods/ techniques. They also get to ask questions as we go along - it's quite fun & interactive!

 Tasting of Evesham Asparagus - Roast spears, asparagus puree and raw asparagus carpaccio (which went on the plate after this photo). With rosemary flowers picked outside another venue I had dropped food off on the way & flowering sprout leaves.  
Bit blurry picture - but the first course is always the most stressy. Once you're a few down you've got more space on the kitchen work surfaces.
 Although the asparagus season is strictly mid April to mid June, and this was March, you can still find asparagus around here grown locally. This was from Evesham - home of asparagus growing in the UK. If you've been in this area long enough, and know where to go, you can get asparagus long before the official season starts and ends - it's limited supply, so it tends to stay local.
 Home Cured Bresaola with Pink Grapefruit and Celeriac Carpaccio
Had this maturing in my friend's Cotswold cellar - keeps it cool. It's approximately 10,000 times better than anything you can buy in a deli or supermarket - but so is anything homemade really. 
Underneath is lemon dressed raw Jerusalem artichoke. So often we spoil vegetables by cooking them, in this dish they're all raw. 
 Roulade of Bibury Trout poached in Elderflower
Raw veg features in this dish too - crudites wrapped in courgette carpaccio with pea shoots grown on my windowsills.
There's grilled leek on the trout, pea puree brushed on with sprouting lentils & herbs dotted on top. Beetroot coulis dots finish the array of flavours. 

This was followed by our Cotswold Gin and Cucumber Sorbet - it's so popular each time we serve it. I give them the gin bottle on the table to pour on a bit so they get the gin hit. Last time I forgot the bottle, had to go back the next day for it, and the hosts found it on their bookshelf hidden behind a book. Lol. The time before that, one guest liked it so much they brought the rest of the bottle from me.

Free-Range Duck with Nettle Gnudi and Rhubarb Compote
served with;
Fondant Potatoes
Roast Carrot Ribbons with Cumin Seeds
French Beans wrapped in Pancetta

But why is it called gnudi? Well that was the story for this dish. Picked the nettles by the river Severn here in Gloucester that morning (further up the river than the duck live) - couldn't be much fresher.
There's also orange powder over the duck - with the rhubarb they both give it a little tartness. 

 Lemon and Blueberry Tart
First time try out with the deco spoons - takes a bit more practice.....

Cerney Ash Goats cheese with honey and walnuts
No pic for this one - rush, rush. You know how this cooking malarkey is......

Plating plan needed for tasting menus so it runs smoothly.