Posted in l'ortolan, Wine, tagged Christmas, Cocktail, festive cocktail, Festive Lunch, Food, fruit liqueurs, restaurants, sparkling wine, Stephen Nisbet, Wine on December 7, 2012 |
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A couple of years ago we blogged about the history of the L’ortolan festive cocktail; a sparkling favourite during the festive season. We thought we would share this great blog with you all again and give you an update on all the flavours that have gone into making the 2012 festive cocktail so scrumptious.
To sample the 2012 festive cocktail book a place on the L’ortolan Festive Lunch.
The sparkling wine cocktail with a specially blended syrup dates back to December 2005, and each year the syrup is developed by adding new flavours and spices. In 2011 a mulled wine reduction was infused with flavours of blackcurrant, strawberry, blueberry, fig, peach, pear, chestnut, herbs and spices & tot of Scotch. Using the syrup left over from last year as a base, L’ortolan Sommelier Craig Steven has blended raspberry, blueberry and cream fruit liqueurs of blackcurrant, blackberry, peach and wild strawberry. Earlier in the a year syrup was made from the poaching liqueur from cooking Mirabelle’s that were foraged from the local area for the use in some of the chef’s dishes. The Mirabelle syrup has also been added to the blend for this year’s festive syrup.
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Posted in Food, Suppliers, tagged artisan cheese, Blue Cheese, Cheese, cheese producers, Cheese Trolley, english cheeses, Food, foraging, Goats Cheese, restaurants on November 9, 2012 |
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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.
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Posted in Cookery School, Food, Recipe, tagged Clams, cookery demonstration, demonstration, demonstration studio, Food, Ian Swainson, Lobster, masterclass, Oysters, recipe, restaurants, Shellfish, tasty dishes on August 30, 2012 |
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Wednesday saw the demo studio come to life once again with an entertaining Shellfish Masterclass from L’ortolan Chef Ian Swainson. Due to the bank holiday weekend the demo was rescheduled for the following day, so we breathed a sigh of relief in the morning when the freshly caught shellfish arrived.
Our demonstration guests arrived early and introductions were made over tea and coffee in the bar. Afterwards the guests took their seats in the studio to learn how to prepare dressed crab, cooked lobster, clams mariniere and oysters with pickled shallot & chilli.
Here is one of the recipes that Ian demonstrated:
How to make Clams Mariniere
1kg – Clams (washed)
200ml – White Wine
1 – Banana Shallot (diced)
1 – Clove Garlic (pureed)
100ml – Double Cream
25ml – Riesling
- Take a large saucepan and heat until very hot.
- Add the clams and pour in the white wine, cover with a lid. The clams will steam in the wine very quickly.
- Add the shallots and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Finish with the cream, followed by parsley and Riesling.
Following the demonstration Ian showed the guests around the L’ortolan kitchen and introduced them to the rest of the culinary team. Once the party were seated in the main restaurant for their lunch, Ian took a couple of minutes to demonstrate how to remove the tail meat from the lobster that was cooked earlier. Take a look at the video.
L’ortolan Cookery Demonstration Programme
11th September – Shellfish Masterclass – If you love shellfish but like many find preparing and cooking it a daunting task, then our Shellfish Masterclass will teach you how to transform it into some wonderful and tasty dishes.
9th October – Game Cookery – As we embrace the game season the L’ortolan Chef’s will be revealing secrets behind some of our favourite signature dishes
30th October – Food and Wine Matching - Basics
27th November – Food and Wine Matching - Advanced
18th December - Turkey Masterclass - taking the strain out of Christmas
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