From today the L’ortolan cheese trolley gets a British makeover. It’s out with the French cheeses and in with the British. The L’ortolan cheese trolley will now contain a variety of 14 different English cheeses and a Scottish blue cheese.
Head Chef Nick Chappell explains that as L’ortolan moves forward with contemporary tasting menus it is important we support British artisan suppliers. British artisan cheese producers produce great quality cheese, as good if not better than French suppliers.
A couple of cheese suppliers can be found on L’ortolan’s doorstep in neighbouring Berkshire towns; Village Maid in Riseley produce two of the cheese trolley’s classic soft cheeses, Wigmore and the French farmhouse style Waterloo. The Barkham Blue produced by Two Hoots Cheese is another local favourite with its rich blue taste, smooth buttery texture with a melt in the mouth flavour.
Other suppliers are sourced from all over the country, from North Yorkshire and Linconshire to the southernmost counties including The Isle of Wight Cheese Co. with their award winning IOW Blue.
Brock Hall Farm in Shropshire is one of L’ortolan’s most prolific British artisan goats cheese suppliers. Sarah and her goat’s supply three wonderful cheeses; Capra Nouvea, Dutch Mistress and Pablo Cabrito. Capra Nouvea was a winner of 3 Gold Stars at Great Taste Awards 2012 and named as a Top 50 Food in Great Britain 2012. This is one the Chef’s favorites and can often be found on the menu in dishes such as; Scorched Brock Hall goat’s cheese, beetroots, beetroot sorbet, soy nuts & seeds.
Diners can enjoy a selection of L’ortolan’s British cheeses as an additional course with any of the menus. The cheeses are plated with a variety of different condiments such as a truffle honey with the goat’s cheese, quince paste jelly with the blue chesse, a pear and fig chutney with the soft cheese, and a rosehip jelly with the hard cheese.
L’ortolan Sous Chef Mark Apsey is a keen forager and when the ingredients are in season you’ll often see him around the grounds of the building and in the local area foraging for the fruit to make the chutneys and jellies to accompany the cheese.