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ChefPaulFoster/©PFoster

THE GAME-BRITISH & SCOTTISH CHEFS: PAUL FOSTER

The Brits have been preparing for some time the after Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White cuisine. Not that there is a british style but we can certainly say that the emerging chefs are pro-locavore and that they are sourcing the best products of the island of Albion. In the very cosmopolitan London, the influences of young chefs are many, which give them a unique culinary personality, but do not forget those who work in the countryside!

The rural Suffolk is the perfect place for Paul Foster to take the time to refine his cooking and develop a unique signature on the outside of London. In a short time, we can already say that he is actually doing the Tuddenham Mill (Boutique Hotel & Restaurant) a gastronomic destination in England.

Paul Foster completed his apprenticeship in famous restaurants (Le Manoir,WD-50, etc.) but it is truly as sous-chef at Sat Bains (his mentor) he learned the most and he developed his style. Foster’s cuisine is very personal, progressive and rooted in the British terroir (Suffolk country), and he is a fan of foraging. Certainly one of the best young English chefs of the moment and a perfect example of what Harold McGee said recently: ‘’Cooking is no longer national or traditional-it is now personal’’.

One of the chefs who will upsets the British cuisine in the coming years and Tuddenham Mill is (actually) in my Top -5- Fine dining in England!

 

 

Q+A WITH PAUL FOSTER (www.tuddenhammill.co.uk ):

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine at Tuddenham Mill and what is it main characteristics?

PFoster- The food is very natural and very British. My main focus is Purity of flavour. I look at every ingredient and think how can I best
extract it’s flavour. I don’t like manipulation of food, or dishes that are overworked. Like most chefs I am inspired by the greats but I leave it at
inspiration and never follow or copy trends. I always avoided the pointless ‘spheres’ ect. Things like that should be left to the people who do it really well. It is horrible to see concepts bastardised. I am happy to say I if you asked me to show you spherification then I wouldn’t know where to start, that should be left to places like el bulli as they do it very well.

2-(Scoffier) You are in the area of Suffolk. What are the benefits of working outside of London?

PFoster- When you are off the beaten track customers have to make a journey to dine with you. A journey brings with it different experiences and emotions. We have 15 stunning bedrooms, and 12 beautiful acres of land. Ultimately we want to make Tuddenham a food destination. But it is important to us that we give the guests that bit extra.

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a flavour or taste from your childhood that is again memorable?

PFoster- I grew up in pubs and one of the most memorable when I used to help my dad out in the cellar was malt, at the time I wasn’t aware of what it was, I just knew how good it smelt. It wasn’t till I started cooking and I smelt some malt extract It took me right back to childhood. I don’t use a huge amount in my cooking but I do make a malt bread which is now just over a year old and ageing very well indeed. The aroma when it is freshly baked is outstanding.

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?

PFoster- I cook with the seasons so certain items I won’t have on all year. I do have sea buckthorn on nearly all year round I am a huge fan of the native berry grown by the ocean.

5-(Scoffier) I had the chance to discuss with other talented chefs from England and several chefs talk to me of chef Sat Bains like an inspiration. You worked with him, is a mentor for you? What you have learned with him?

PFoster- A huge inspiration, his voice is always in my head. I use it as a tool to keep pushing myself. From Sat, as well as cooking techniques and philosophies I learned leadership, how to motivate and inspire people, and self discipline. Self discipline is very important in many ways
it’s about knowing when to stop if a dish is ready and not over working it. It is also about questioning everything you do, asking yourself is this good enough? Does it taste amazing? And if not you have to have the bollocks and discipline to start again.

6-(Scoffier) Foraging is very popular actually, you even organize days of foraging with *Miles Irving, a pioneer and expert in England. Why is it important in your cuisine?

PFoster- Foraging is huge at the moment, and it is very important to know what you are picking and using as there are some very deadly yet innocent looking plants out there. It is something I have always had an interest in. Right from the early days of just using wild garlic, plums, cherries, mushrooms, and nettles. I always wondered what else was out there to eat. Whilst at Sat Bains, I met Miles Irving and was impressed by his knowledge and passion. We worked with each other to giving advice on how we use the ingredients. After I had settled into Tuddenham Mill I organised a foraging walk with Miles and some of our customers. It was great to go on foot with Miles, his knowledge.

7-(Scoffier) How do you develop (your inspiration) your recipes and construct your Menu at Tuddenham Mill?

PFoster- The menus are gradually evolved. When an ingredient is coming into season, I will work on how to best extract it’s flavour the ingredients are celebrated on the menu untill the season starts to close all the time, I’m considering the replacements. I never switch off, I’m thinking of new dishes all the time, on holiday, when driving, when walking home from work after a long day, when I’m foraging and also when I’m sleepin

8-(Scoffier) Do you use some elements from new technology (sous-vide etc.) in your cooking techniques? If yes, which?

PFoster- I use technology where it enhances or promotes the ingredient. I use waterbaths, paco jet, ect. but a lot of my techniques are traditional, salting, smoking, curing, most of my fish is cooked classically in a pan. There is no point using equipment for the sake of it or because it is new and a gimmick. When you have a true understanding of the ingredients you are using only then you can decide the best way to cook it.

9-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of Paul Foster and Tuddenham Mill?

PFoster- Recipe:Lamb rump and shoulder, Hogweed seed, Clams, Courgette, Yoghurt

10-(Scoffier) What are your goals (ambitions) as chef or for your restaurant? Do you think about write a book, others
restaurants?

PFoster- Owning my own restaurant is a massive ambition but a good grounding here at Tuddenham Mill is essential. I want to put the
tiny village of Tuddenham on the map. It is a great opportunity to make a name for myself and to boost the reputation of the Mill. A book is way off, I wouldn’t even consider that yet but would be amazing in the future.

RECIPE:  Lamb rump and shoulder, Hogweed seed, Clams, Courgette, Yoghurt

RecipeLamb/©PaulFoster

INGREDIENT & PROGRESSION RECIPE (Serves 4)

-2 lamb rumps

-1 lamb shoulder on the bone

-1 courgette

-1 lemon juiced

-4 pink fir apple potatoes

-200g palourde clams

-Teaspoon dried and ground hogweed seeds (foraged)

-100ml natural yoghurt

-200ml reduced brown chicken stock

-200g butter

-Salt

-Sunflower oil

1. Season the lamb shoulder and roast very slowly at 120C for 5 hours,
when cooked pull the meat off the bone, re-season and mix in around 100ml of
reduced brown chicken stock. Roll in cling film and refrigerate until needed.

2. Trim up the lamb rumps cut each into two vacuum pack and cook in
water bath at 56C for 1 1/2 hours.

3. Open up the clams over heat, chill and remove from the shells,
reserve in fridge until needed.

4. Slice the courgette length ways on a mandolin, season with sea salt
and a spoon of the lemon juice, leave in fridge for 1 hour.

5. Peel the pink fir potatoes place in a bag with 50g of the butter a
pinch salt and a pinch of hogweed seeds, vacuum pack and cook for 1 hour at 90C.

6. Brown 100g of the butter in a pan add a small amount of lemon juice
and 100ml of the chicken stock, keep warm.

7. When the lamb rump is cooked remove from the bag pat it dry and sear
the fat side in a pan with a spoon of the sunflower oil.

8. Warm the clams in the brown butter dressing, slice the shoulder and warm under the grill. Carve the lamb
rump, season the pink flesh with sea salt and a good pinch of ground hogweed seed.

9. Arrange the ingredients on the plate and spoon over the warm clams. Finish
with spoons of the natural yoghurt.

 

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

-Tuddenham Mill/Chef Paul Foster

High street

Tuddenham, Nr. NewMarket

Suffolk (UK)

IP28 6SQ

www.tuddenhammill.co.uk

www.paulfosterchef.com

PRESS/REVIEW

1. Review by Jay Rayner, The Observer (The Guardian), June 5th 2011

2. Acorn Award 2011-Paul Foster

3. Skinny Bib blog (Review), July 2011

3. Restaurant Sat Bains

4. Miles Irving, Forager company (UK)

Tous Droits Réservés. Copyright Scoffier ©2008-2011

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MichaelMeredith/© Merediths

THE ÉLECTRONS LIBRES-NEW ZEALAND CHEF: MICHAEL MEREDITH

The Électrons Libres, is a group of chefs that are as individual or a leaders of a group have taken a unique route that goes beyond the learning process. Their philosophy transforms the cuisine of the present time as well as the cuisine of the future in a specific area (place) or country. Sometimes they are the leaders of a culinary movement but often, they are alone in their search.

I strongly believe in the cuisine (and chefs) is done in Australia (and in the region) actually and I can now add a very talented New Zealander chef, Michael Meredith. As some of his fellow Australians, Meredith has a mix of influences and a special talent to highlight a unique terroir.

Chef Michael Meredith was born in the South Pacific island-nation of Samoa. He grew up watching his mother cook for her pancake stall in the market of the capital city Apia. At the age of 19, he enrolled at Auckland University of Technology and a few time after at The Culinary Institute
of America
. At New York, he completed his internships at Montrachet, Grammercy Tavern and others. Back in New Zealand, he worked for the best of Auckland: Antoine’s, Vinnies and The Grove before to open his own restaurant, Merediths, in 2007.

The chef Meredith creates a cuisine simple, fresh, pure, where an ingredient or a detail may be very important in the final result. So, not far south of the chef Ben Shewry and the Australia, there is Michael Meredith and his very personal cuisine. Certainly soon, will be seen in some important European culinary events!

 

 

Q+A WITH MICHAEL MEREDITH (www.merediths.co.nz ):

1-(Scoffier) How do you explain the philosophy behind your cuisine and what is it main characteristics?

MMeredith- My philosophy is “Energy is Everything” and also creating and re-creating food memories as a whole experience. We are fortunate to have a young dining scene in New Zealand which allows me to be open with cultural influences in my cooking. I am very open minded about trying new ideas, techniques and flavours pairings, but more importantly has a clear focus on seasonality, flavours and its origin.

 

2-(Scoffier) I had the chance to interview the chef Ben Shewry (born in New Zealand) and he uses a traditional method (Hangi) to realize its famous Slow cooked potato. Is there a part of Samoa Islands in your cuisine (cookery method, products, flavours, others)?

MMeredith- I have a lot of childhood memories from Samoa and tend to use some ingredients from the Pacific Islands. I have tried a few methods but the flavours are relatively influenced by modern approach. As a child we used to have Umu on Sunday. It is a traditional method of cooking on the ground with rocks that were heated until hot then covered with banana and breadfruit leaves for two hours. I have tried to open roasting coco beans before grounding them, then reset before using it, gives more a roasted, smoky flavour that you don’t get from chocolate.

 

3-(Scoffier) Do you have a particular foods (or products) that you often use in your recipes?

MMeredith- I use a lot of coconut milk and the flesh, taro leaves and mostly tropical fruits. At the moment we are using limu (sea grapes) in our Tio Point Oyster dish. We used to harvested these and eat them from the reefs as a boy on the beach growing up in Samoa.

 

4-(Scoffier) Do you have a mentor (chefs or anybody else) that inspires you in your cuisine?

MMeredith- I admire the work of Ben Shewry (Attica) and I am inspired by the philosophy of the New Nordic Cuisine but there are a lot of great minds (Chefs) out there which provides a great source of inspirations.

 

5-(Scoffier) How would you describe the Restaurant (or gastronomy) scene in New Zealand actually?

MMeredith- The restaurant scene here in New Zealand is very young and vibrant, but has evolved and grown considerably over the last 7 years. There are a lot of great producers and growers who are committed  to  supplying  the local market which has bought a level of pride for chefs to use New Zealand produce , also a lot of chefs who are coming back to NZ bringing with them great experience and skills who in turns, gives our young chefs good training. But also a lot of is about education and trust for both ourselves and the dining public.

 

6(Scoffier) How do you develop (your inspiration) your recipes and construct your menu at Meredith’s?

MMeredith- I am inspired by what is in season which gives me the foundation to create the menu. From there I develop ideas and create a dish relating to the nature of the ingredient, but sometimes things I read and memories from my travels and just being open to the universe.

 

7-(Scoffier) Do you have your own garden and foraging also? Or you have developed good relationships with local producers?

MMeredith- A small amount is foraged, such as edible flowers and herbs but I have a good relationship with suppliers for most of the ingredients.

 

8-(Scoffier) Do you use some elements from molecular gastronomy or new technology in your cooking techniques? If yes,
which?

MMeredith- We use equipment like Pacojet and Thermo mixer and sous-vide cooking techniques.

 

9-(Scoffier) Can you give us a detailed recipe (Signature dish or other) that is characterized the cuisine of Michael Meredith? (Actually the wines from New Zealand are really popular in North America, can you suggest one or two wines for us?)

MMeredith- Recipe: Tio Point Oysters with Sea Foam

 

10-(Scoffier) What are your goals (ambitions) as chef or for your restaurant? Do you think about write a book, a television show, others restaurants?

MMeredith- At the moment still want to focus on solidifying Merediths, and would like to move more at Tasting menu concept completely no À La Carte offered. I would also like to start a book soon and maybe another smaller restaurant with a different dinning concept.

RECIPE: Tio Point Oysters with Sea Foam

TioPointOysters/©AaronMcLean,CuisineMagazine

This simple dish is inspired by the Tio Point oysters that are harvested from the Marlborough Sounds in the South Island. I have re-created the environment of the beach to enhance the memories of eating fresh oysters on the beach.

INGREDIENTS & PROGRESSION RECIPE

-2 Tio Point Oysters

-Pickled cucumber (Compress with purified seawater)

-Fennel pollen

-Graperfruit segments (broken into small pods)

-Sea grapes (limu)

-Sea foam (See the method)

-Bronze fennel fronds

1. Shuck the oysters, clean out any sand but reserve its natural juice, season with cucumber, fennel pollen, grapefruit pods, limu and one spoon of sea foam on top then garnish with bronze fennel fronds.

 

Method for Sea Foam

-400ml of purified seawater

-200ml of water

-1 teaspoon of fennel pollen

-8 grams soy lecithin

-Infuse water, sea water and pollen overnight, add soy lecithin and use hand blender to create foam.

 

2. Presentation

I collect sand, seaweed, twigs and shrubs I find on the beach to create the environment.

Wine pairing:  I suggest Cloudy Bay Pelorus, Methode nv

 

FURTHER INFORMATION

-Merediths/Chef Michael Meredith

365 Dominion Road

Mt. Eden, Auckland

New Zealand

www.merediths.co.nz

PRESS/REVIEW

1. Metro Restaurant of the year (Video)

2. Video(3 parts) on Merediths & Michael Meredith, June 2011

3. Michael Meredith Recipe(s)

Tous Droits Réservés. Copyright Scoffier ©2008-2011

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