Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Menu Testing

On Thursday last week Russell had to cook up and test out the whole proposed menu for ‘The Cheerful Soul’ under the scrutinising eye of Raymond Blanc and our mentor John Lederer, who you may remember as being one of the judges on series one of ‘The Restaurant’.
It was a lot of work to create one of each dish at the same time. We both got our chef whites on and got cooking. We presented all the dishes along with the costing for each dish down to the last gram of flour.
Their favourite dish was a Rhubarb Trifle, it was quite flattering to have chefs walking around Le Manoir kitchen eating Russell’s Rhubarb Trifle saying ‘that’s delicious’.

There were a couple of other dishes they really liked, one of which was this Ham Terrine served with Russell’s cauliflower piccalilli.

Don’t think the menu testing was by any way smooth and easy – oh no! Raymond and the others don’t just want the food to be OK. They want it to be really good so they were critical of every little aspect – things that most of us wouldn’t think twice about gets noticed by Raymond Blanc. He always gets his hands stuck in and rearranges things on the plate!

So the outcome was that we had a few dishes staying just the way they are, a few that will be changed slightly – different accompaniments, arranged differently etc, and a few we will change completely. It was the first time Russell had cooked up all the dishes on the menu so he decided he didn’t like them all either.

A chef’s work is never done – back to the kitchen Russell!


Rachel said...

I managed to catch the second half of The Restaurant episodes some weeks ago online, and it's really great to see you guys carrying on after the show!

Have to say just looking at Russell's cooking is making my mouth water. :)

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work. We saw the whole series and really admired what you are doing!

David said...

Don't suppose you would care to share your recipe for the Ham Terrine with the rest of the world. I would love to make it (and publish it) as it looks excellent in the photograph - you can almost taste it.

Melissa and Mark Lefkow said...

I want some of your pea and broad bean soup!