Monday, 23 June 2008

Taste of London = Ive eaten to much!!

Mr Rhodes !
Master chef winner 2008 James Nathan @ Le Gavroche

Angela Hartnett originally heading up the Connaught, now awaiting the launch of York and Albany. A name close to my heart, so I had to be photographed with her and let her know about my little cupcake . I don't look so good in this piccy though!!

The day started off quite excitingly with me having some star struck moments. I don't normally do the autograph , photo with stars kind of thing, but to me foodie chef worship seems a bit different, dontya think?

We literally ate from 12 pm all the way through to 4pm NON STOP ! There wasn't a moment without a spoon in my mouth , well all except my awestruck chef moments! If you haven't been , there is no money exchanged , you buy a currency called crowns £1 = 2 crowns. Each restaurant then offers 3 chosen dishes and they can range from 6 crowns up to 10. I think this year many dishes definitely cost more crowns. Each stand is a mini showcase of its restaurant and many of the head chefs are there to talk with you.

We started off at Rhodes 24 with a braised beef and caramelised onion gravy. There were many versions of this kind of dish in several places, despite this it was a wonderful dish. There is nothing like a dark rich sauce and meat that falls apart when a knife goes into it. A classic lobster creamed soup followed, from Le Gavroche, which was sooo delicious I wanted another.In the bottom was the softest most flaky lobster bits to have a final seafood hit! One of the most amazing looking soups was a Beetroot velvety acrylic paint colour gazpacho from Aiden Byrne. On the top was one of my favourites , guacamole , but this was a sorbet version. Deeeeeeeeelish.

Le cercle salmon & lemon pulp

After this it was a blur of let down, great and amazing selections. A disappointing overcooked scallop was partaken from Sumosan, with a sauce too sweet and watery to enjoy, a sparky dish of salmon and lemon pulp @ le cercle, (a highly stylised offering there overall!), a bland prawns in apple balsamic dressing @ Aubaine , although their moist french bread with fig jam saved them and a notable scrummy moreish and refreshing chilled melon soup with basil oil from Boxwood cafe. This year Headchef Stuart Giles finally told me the recipe secrets for a good substantial savoury sweet version rather than , in his words a "fruit soup"! In 2006 he was rather more evasive about it when asked! Some friends may now be the guinea pigs for our experiments with this in a few weeks, so I may post our results soon, watch this space.

A dessert highlight was a chocolate layered creation from L' Atelier De Joel Robuchon.

It was true heaven in a cup!!! We tended to go around sharing most things , but with this he the mans said, "get your own, I'm having this all"!!!!! Although I don't recommend beetroot soup to follow , unless you want to be ill and leave green. You eat things a weird way round at these shows!

I am very lucky to have been able to eat in several of the restaurants showcasing , mainly the far eastern and Indian ones for some reason.I feel this show must have really helped the restaurant industry bringing a notched up buzz to London, British chefs and food in general. Its exciting times food wise. It was also interesting to see some different restaurants there that I hadn't seen before. We have a new list of places to try in the next few months. Our philosophy on this is we would rather not eat out in local chain restaurants, stay in more cooking or instead, so as not to be ridiculously extravagant, go somewhere special every few months.

Its quite an immense sized show and I find it hard to really enjoy it all in the 4hr allotted time slots. I always find at the end that I would have liked another hour to wander around all the food stalls in the middle rather than just the restaurant pavilions.

Having Taste of china area was a good addition, but using 10crowns for 2 slices of duck and pancakes seemed a bit of waste considering you can have it anywhere and especially when there was restaurants like La Gavroche offering lobster bisque for the same. I did however buy a beautiful glass tea pot and minin double walled glass tea cup and a new tea to try made from Chrysanthemums, which is great for me as its for a calming, great for a pre bed time hot drink and has no caffeine in.
I also had a free consultation on the state of my body and emotions with the ancient Chinese practise of reading your pulse and viewing your tongue. I was informed I need more chi energy , due to exhausting my liver and kidneys from thinking and stressing too much, according to the practitioner and of course there was a tonic on hand for this very affliction. Id say hes pretty spot on with the emotions and the organs. To this end I have bought one bottle to try as I'm not yet sure what my opinions are on ingesting unusual herb decoctions to salve ones mind and body ! I'm also not sure if they are classified a food product rather than a medicine? I will report back soon, especially if I go purple or something odder!
anyway , get thee to the show next year , you taste buds wont forgive you otherwise!!


Barbara said...

It all looks and sounds delish! The dessert looks divine and I can't wait to read up on the "secret" that's no longer a secret later :)

Chloe said...

Oh my god, that chocolate dessert looks divine.

And get you rubbing shoulder with the stars ;)

Hana Mi said...

ohhh my that dessert , it was amazing stuff!

We only have 2 weekends to get it right before the night. A vegetable demi glas is part of the secret mix! Weve never attempted that before.

I know clo , I was a bit star struck!! lol what a plonker hey!

Chloe said...

I've just been reading it again and am swooning over the glass teapot.
I think I have just found my parents christmas present!
Let me know how your herbal remedy goes. It sounds very interesting.

Hana Mi said...

Isnt it a lovely little thing, such a great design too.

I keep forgetting to take my tonic!