Thursday, 1 December 2011

One Night In London


Creating a menu at any level, be it for a small dinner party or for a big event requires a great deal of thought. Ideas and suggestions should be approached with careful consideration. And when putting down these flights of fancy on paper, when scribbling frenetically with quill, when constructing a masterpiece, the chef or cook must take on board many, many, many different.............things. He or she must recognise subtle nuances of taste, they must be appreciative when balancing flavours and examine thoroughly combinations of textures and colour. The chef or cook must ask pressing questions of himself or herself. How do I present this dish? What can I do to make this better? What am I trying to say here? Who am I cooking for? Why? Why am I cooking...................why?

For chefs (or cooks) truly are artists and poets, we are the music makers and we are the dreamers of the dream.

So it goes without saying that when we were trying to come up with a menu for the forthcoming One Night In London, a collaborative venture at The Chancery in January 2012, this was precisely the process we undertook. And when I see we, I mean Luc Martin of Roast Chicken and Red Wine fame with Pavel Le Bouche, the man who knows Not How To Do A Food Blog, on board as executive, consultant chef and onion chopper. Yes, we are offering a one night only (hence the name) nine course menu for charidee in the heart of the city and after much deliberation and wringing of hands, we can finally present the menu:

Canap├ęs with welcome drinks

Amuses/Amazeballs

Charcuterie

Bread: Luc's sourdough

Roast quail

Langoustine ravioli with langoustine broth

Black Angus Onglet and a cheeky pie

Cheese!

A small sticky toffee pudding

Petit fours

In truth, this menu was thrashed out over a half-hour, three-way Skyping session which is exactly as rude as it sounds. Just imagine, three guys, behind their respective computers, barking aimlessly into space, drinking beer, swearing, sitting, wearing nothing but their underwear and you'll get the picture. There had been some lengthy, warbling discourse via email but we only really nailed it via that conference call. It was, I'd say, a little bit like the Yalta Conference as negotiation got quite edgy at times. Pavel wanted to bake a cake and I suggested a vegetarian dish at one point, both of which were shot down by Luc with a ferocious pounding on the table, heard all the way from Holland, echoing down the line. But as this was largely his baby, we let him take control and write most of the menu. Which absolves Pav and I from any real responsibility should everything go tits up on the night. But just take another peek at that menu, it might look a little bit vague still but it still looks pretty damn good to me, do you agree?

At present, we are fully booked for January 22nd I'm afraid but who knows, if this goes well, we might just do another one. Call it something like.............. 'Another Night In London'

I dunno, we would need to have a chat on Skype about that.

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