Monday, 20 February 2012

My Review of Honey Wild's First Pop up Supper Club in Edinburgh

On Friday, I did my first Honey Wild  'pop' up supper in an Edinburgh town house in Morningside offered up for the night by Joe and Jim.  They made a huge effort decorating the living room to stunning effect with  hilarious place name tags by Jim above , pink flamingo plastic  ice buckets bought from the in the The Camargue in France, colour co-ordinated tables with a beautiful array of gold and red place mats,  coloured  glasses , white linen and lovely flowers. The room was candle-lit and ready at 7.30 p.m. to recieve 18 guests comfortably. on three tables of six.

 The menu for the night was an elaborate five course meal. As ever, all the  food is prepared by me from scratch from the rolls right through to the petit fours  and I believe passionately that this comes through in the quality and taste of the finished meal making it worth all the effort.  Guests mingled before sitting down at their tables and the atmosphere convivial and spirited right from the start with hosts offering their guests a glass of Pamplerosa to kick things off. 

Amuse Bouche in the form of verrines were handed to guests while still standing . These originate from France and are typically a combination of  three main ingredients.where the  flavours, colours and texture  compliment each other and as the name suggests are designed to stimulate the taste buds. There are infinite possibilities which makes me love them all the more. I served  Nicoise Crumble which is made up of layer of a  ratatouille made in miniature, a layer of cream and cream cheese  with olive oil and seasoning and topped with a crumble and delicately served in a shot glass. I also served Carrot Puree & Caraway Seed with Goats Cheese & Mint pictured below.  

For the starters we served Caledonian Oysters They were undoubtedly the star guests of the evening with even the non oyster eating guests praising the presentation which you can see from the picture below was stunning. The oysters tasted divine with the Bloody Mary lovingly prepared by Joe. We included a twist with some fresh horseradish and sherry ensuring it had a huge kick certainly judging by the faces of the testers earlier on.

The other starter was freshly made Tagliatelle served heated with Roasted Red Peppers, Pesto, Sauce Vierge, Capers, Black Olives, Basil & Parmesan. There a many different layers of flavours in this dish and was received well.

As a palate cleanser , I served Lime Sorbet with Mint Leaves. This to me tastes like diving into  a cold pool in a hot summers day, it is so refreshing. Actually, at the last two suppers, I forgot to serve the sorbet and I nearly did the same on Friday. It gives you an idea how frantic it is in the kitchen at this point that we can ALL forget.

On to the main courses which were Beef Osso Bucco, Risotto and Purple Sprouting Brocoli, Asparagus & Green Beans and Pan Fried Sea Bass Fillets with Beurre Blanc, Sauteed Boiled Potatoes and the above vegetables. Unfortunately, there are no photos of these as they left the kitchen. I like to think it is because they were so good that they were eaten before Jess, a guest and the lovely person who took most of these photographs, got a chance. Her only option was to photograph the empty plates which I am happy to say was the case with all of the plates.  I have also talked about these dishes elsewhere so will not discuss here.

On to the desserts. I like to give loads of choice because, quite simply, I think why not and I love doing them. The choices were Orange & Almond Blossom Cake, Treacle Tart, Strawberries with Limoncello & Shredded Basil and of course, Cheese. There was on even balance between all choices. I served them with Vanilla & Cardamon Ice Cream. I also had Mint Ice Cream which was utterly delicious but guess what we forgot to serve it! Not really sure what the guests thought individually of the desserts apart from the Orange Blossom cake which received high praise from one guest but again the general feedback was good. I am still  eating my way through the left over treacle tart  with its ginger and lemony tangs and nice consistency. The strawberries served in champagne coupes with the limoncello is a delight to behold and it tastes good!


And when it comes to the cheese , I have got Jade who effortlessly produces the mosts exquisite cheesboards I have seen in a while. I get all my cheese from Mellis in Morningside. I always try to choose cheeses that are a little unusual or just very good like Valdeon,  Taleggio, Ragstone or Mull Cheddar. And finally the Petit Fours were served with coffee. I keep these simple just great Belgian chocolate sourced from Cocoa Black in Peebles, cream and a little butter and dusted in cocoa powder. Simple is good.

So that was dinner but the evening continued for a couple of hours or so. Here are some of the pictures of the after meal party which I was part of and of the team in the kitchen to include Wendy Paterson of InsideoutChef who answered a last minute call to help and came along and mucked in and  taught me a few things I didn't know. Scottish Supper clubs are a relatively new phenomenon and this kind of helping each other out is fabulous and much appreciated. So there it is , a great night. Thanks again to everyone. Roll on the next one or come visit me in Innerleithen for the 1st anniversary supper evening to be held on the Friday the 30th March where I can promise I will pull out all the stops to make it a great night.

A well deserved drink at the end of service!

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Pop Up Edinburgh preparations

Went to visit the hosts house for Friday the 17th pop up in Edinburgh. They are making an incredible job of dressing up the space with beautiful table designs using lace tablecloths, beautiful crockery, etc all drawn from family heirlooms and plans for flowers, candles and flamenco ice buckets no less. I am excited about moving the operation to a townhouse although I will, at times, be out of my comfort zone i.e. I don't know where anything is plus any cook will tell you using someone elses cooker and oven is like leaving your blue blanket at home. It is also nice to hear your guests are excited about the event. Just have to deliver the food now - gulp, no I mean no worries ha ha!