As we’re now less than 4 week’s off opening, this week we’ve started to think about the dishes we want to serve when we open on April 14th. For those of you who don’t know, the slogan I use to describe our food when people ask what is it we cook, is ‘locally sourced, seasonally influenced, globally inspired’. This means taking the best local produce available to us or ingredients that are in season now and using spices, herbs and flavourings used in other cuisines to create something delicious to eat. We also want the food we serve to be healthy, adaptable for people with dietary requirements and affordable to our diners.
An example of a dish that encapsulates this ethos is our salad of English asparagus, watercress, ‘Jersey Royal’ potatoes, tender stem broccoli, sugar snap peas with a cashew nut and wild garlic pesto drizzled with a soy, lime, lemongrass and ginger dressing. I love this dish as it brings so many things that are important about the food we serve at Blend Kitchen together. The beautiful asparagus, locally foraged wild garlic and new potatoes that are just coming into season now, a dressing that took me back to the time me and Caz spent in the far east celebrating my 30th birthday nearly a decade ago now and something that is easily adaptable to meet any of our customers dietary requirements.
Another skill I’ve been brushing up on has been home curing, in particular fish. When I started out at Whitley Hall, we used to serve a lot of smoked salmon and I can remember at the time learning how to make the Swedish classic, Gravalax. This process requires a fillet of salmon to be encased in salt, sugar and various herbs and spices for a number of days before being sliced and eaten. This is normally done with herbs like dill and coriander but I wanted to develop a Blend Kitchen version using some of the far eastern spices such as kaffir lime, lemon grass and ginger. I brought a little sample in for the team to try this week, pairing it with the asparagus salad and it went down a treat.
Elsewhere, Chef Richard has been busy refining his brioche recipe at home and brought some in for us to try the other day. The good news is it’s incredible! The bad news is it’s at least another 3 weeks before the majority of you can get to try it.
What’s important with all of the food we’ll be serving at Blend Kitchen is that it enables our trainees to develop skills resulting in us serving incredible food to our customers. Great restaurants aren’t about serving food you’d prepare at home, they’re about serving food and providing service that gives you an incredible experience. Our booking system will be going live in the next few days, so please keep an eye on your emails this week as we’ll be contacting you to make a reservation for when we open on April 14th. We are incredibly excited to be opening our doors soon and can’t wait to see you at Blend Kitchen.
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