Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Local Eat Treats #7 Gloucestershire’s Finest

Imagine this: Four of the finest chefs in Gloucestershire all working under one roof to produce an exquisite five course meal.

Thanks to the team at Food Central, the brand spanking new restaurant based at Gloucestershire College, Gloucestershire’s finest did indeed come together - for one night only. First up was a starter from chef Jon Howe who runs Lumiere. Now, I love fine dining, but when this piece of abstract art appeared in front of me, I wasn’t sure that art on a plate would do it for my rumbling tummy. But I admit, hands down, I was wrong; the flavours were like a party in my mouth, every single element was impeccable, both aesthetically and in taste. What was it? Heritage beetroot with chorizo, apple & Innes goats curd. Served with this we had a glass of Nyetimber Classic Cuvee.

For the fish course, Gareth Fulford from Purslane cooked up Bibury trout, confit Burford Brown egg yolk, smoked Wye Valley eel and purple sprouting broccoli, served with Don Jacobs Rioja 2013 Spain. I’m afraid I can’t comment too much on this one as I’m not the biggest fish fan, but it must have been bloody good, because Kingsley ate mine and his!

For the main course, David Kelman from Ellenborough Park did spiced fillet of pork; apple, sage & vegetable fritter, crackling with a sage & onion crumb and chive potato puree with quince jus. The spiced fillet of pork wins the prize for the tastiest and most perfectly cooked pork I’ve ever had. And served up alongside this we had Beyerskloof Pinotage 2013 South Africa.

Dessert was the showstopper for me; it was so beautifully plated up. This exceptional forest scene was all edible and made up of delice of bitter chocolate & pumpkin, acorn cream and crisp pistachio sponge. David Everett-Mathias, the creator of this course, has two Michelin stars and runs the much talked about Le Champignon Sauvage. This was served with my favourite tipple of the night – Pedro Ximenez Triana Hidalgo, a very thick, dense and sweet drink.

With two courses still to go, my tummy was complaining of being full – but I soldiered on. So, after dessert, came the cheese course courtesy of Godsell’s. We were lucky enough to have Liz, the Master Cheesemaker, talk us through the cheeses she had chosen for us and the cheese making process. We had Single Gloucester, Hooded Monk with is a Double Gloucester cheese and Holy Smoked, all served with honey.

And finally, we finished with coffee provided by The Green Coffee Machine and an array of petit fours made by Jon Howe of Lumiere. I really was struggling by this point, so I just picked the one to savour. It was like a mint white chocolate with air bubbles running right through it – absolutely delicious. Oh I almost forgot, there was also one more drink, just to wash it down with – Chase Vodka Marmalade.

The only bad thing about this fine dining experience is that I’m not sure any meal will ever be able to live up to the precedent set by Gloucestershire’s Finest!

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