Category Archives: Food

Fresh and in season: Peas

We only buy what is in season at the time, to be as close to the natural environment as possible. Peas are in season between June and July. Executive Chef Daniel Galmiche advises how best to enjoy them.

Peas

In-Season Peas

I always look forward to the change of seasons and how that is reflected on our plates, especially when it comes to side dishes and salads. Each season brings its own special selection of vegetables. The fresh, the earthy, the tender, the robust and the sweet, there is always something delicious and new to enjoy.

Peas are one such vegetable that add a wealth of flavour and texture and are available June to end of July. Whether steamed, sautéed, roasted, baked or grilled, the possibilities are endless and the bonus of growing them yourself is that you gain all of the flavour. Lightly blanched really retains their texture and are wonderful to eat alone.

Peas are best when not prepared with too much fuss. Lightly blanched or boiling briefly and they can be added to stews and risottos or pasta.

Or – peas and pancetta, what a wonderful combination. Indeed, fresh peas are really versatile and so much tastier fresh from the garden and used in more innovative ways.

For wine matching, a fresh Loire Sauvignon Blanc can go well with creamy pea risotto, whereas a more exuberant herbaceous Marlborough version can go well with a heavier pasta. For a pea salad, a not-too-leesy Picpoul or Albariño would work well too – the clean and neutral notes would enhance the delicate pea flavours…bon appetit!

Introducing The Modern Tea Ceremony

This July, we will introduce new luxury teas to our Afternoon Tea experience from Lalani & Co. Far removed from the ‘English Cuppa’, more like a fine wine or whisky, their batch teas come from family-run gardens throughout the world and are chosen for their exquisite flavour from particular elevations. This is the first in a new series on artisanal tea.

Lalani Teas

Lalani Teas

Buying tea is very much like buying whisky: some are blended and some are single-batch. Also like whisky, you get various qualities and styles, and this all comes down to the people who grow the plants as well as the plantation’s location.

The pleasure comes in the taste and there is a gulf of difference between PG tips and single batch darjeeling or oolong for example. Season, soil, elevation and producer all affect flavour characteristics and the best teas express the best flavour of their region: some batches will be exceptional, some will be average, some will be low end. This spectrum occurs even within a year on the same garden.

The very best single batch teas are made as a luxury craft with the same artisan skill as a family vineyard or a small whisky distillery. Single batch teas also offer seasonally changing flavour profiles, much as with fine wine, offering expression of their terroir which whispers its provenance story to you palate with every sip.

Throught the world’s tea trade, most batches are sold into the markets and blended, but some will be kept as single batch teas. These are normally the better tasting batches and are what will be used here.

When you taste a batch and know the story behind it, it opens up a whole new enjoyment and understanding of tea and flavour.

Sweet, fresh and in-season raspberries

A superfood, with many antioxidants and flavonols, raspberries play a part in many dishes and are in season from now. Whilst naturally sweet, they have a low sugar concentration and have a strong flavour profile so an interesting match for many foods. So says Daniel Galmiche.

Raspberries are in season now

Raspberries are in season now

With all of the delicious desserts and patisseries available from my homeland, there is still something irresistible and also wholesome about choosing juicy raspberries for pudding. Nature’s sweetener, they’re very versatile and are strong enough to be the stand-out or to match the strength and richness of creamy dishes or dark chocolate flavours. The best is to choose fresh berries so ripely-picked that they make your lips and teeth pink.

A fantastic match for lime, where the sweetness of the berries complements the zing of lime zest, the colour of this fruit is also very appetizing. They are also sensational with a crème brûlée as raspberry, despite being naturally sweet, this fruit also has a high acidity and complements perfectly the richness of such dishes.

And of course with summer sun, perfect excuse for a raspberry-embellished aperitif, such as demi-sec Champagne with a dash of raspberry puree or a single berry. And in terms of matching with wine, on their own raspberries go well with a sweet Loire or German wine. How about Côteaux du Layon?

In season now until September, you will be lucky if you have a raspberry bush at home in your garden or allotment. They are so easy to grow and just a few raspberry plants will reward you with plenty of fruit from midsummer until mid-autumn.

 

The seasonal wonders of mackerel, tuna and crab

Fish plays a big part on our menu and sustainable line-caught or certified organic fish, including hand-dived scallops is something we are committed to and believe in strongly. Here, Executive Chef Daniel Galmiche highlights  the wonders of mackerel, tuna and crab and their wine pairing, all in-season now.

The sustainability of fish is a big issue these days and is very important that I find the right suppliers who will provide the best possible fish that is also sourced from sustainable stocks. It is too easy to forget that most species are overfished and therefore becoming expensive, as well as increasingly rare.

The beautiful mackerel with its black and blue stripes, full of omega-3 fatty acids and packed with goodness is delicious grilled, smoked, pan-roasted, whole or in fillet form. Lime works with the flavour of the fish really well. Depending on how it is served, medium-bodied crisp whites such as Muscadet, Gavi di Gavi or Picpoul de Pinet work very well with this fish.

I also adore tuna, especially blue fin tuna which is incredibly rare. I source yellow-fin or skipjack tuna instead. I love tuna raw, pan-fried or marinated and it is delicious also in a Niçoise salad. This fish works well with rich full-bodied whites such as Australian Chardonnay, or light-bodied reds such as a New Zealand Pinot Noir.

Crab is now in season and when selecting crab meat to buy, as with every fish, it is so important to buy fresh, quality produce from a good source. Crabs should look undamaged and feel heavy for their size. Again this works well with aromatic medium-dry whites such as South African Chenin Blanc or crisp dry whites such as unoaked Chardonnay.

Fresh, delicious, seasonal asparagus

Locally-sourced and seasonal produce is absolutely our aim, with 90 percent or more of our foodstuffs hailing from Britain, and local farmers very much being our main suppliers. Executive Chef Daniel Galmiche has ‘picked’ the star vegetable of the moment- asparagus.

Asparagus

May heralds asparagus season

Late spring is harvest time for asparagus, both green and white – a mere seven or eight week season – and the best is whatever you can buy locally. You can often get hold of it throughout the year, but as ever I like to get seasonal, locally sourced produce, not only because it truly does taste better.

Green asparagus has more of an intense nutty flavour than white varieties and really works well with creamier sauces, such as hollandaise. I like to keep the flavours simple so you can appreciate the freshness and flavour of this wonderful vegetable.

Preparation is key and often it will naturally snap between your fingers at just the right place – to do this, when you cut it, hold a spear from both ends and bend.

When you cook asparagus, remove the bundle from the pan and plunge it into ice cold water. This helps to keep the chlorophyll (and therefore the goodness and colour) locked in.

Depending on how it is prepared, this vegetable is best served with a lovely glass of medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc, such as white Graves when served simply, or white Burgundy when served with Hollandaise sauce. Currently we have a number of asparagus dishes available at The Vineyard.

And…when the asparagus season is over, leeks make a great alternative!

Create your very own Easter nest

Chocolate - 580 x 288With Easter just around the corner, impress your friends and create your very own Easter nest by following our Head Pastry Chef, Anthony Millon’s step by step instructions and recipes.

Recipes

Chocolate mousse

Ingredients: 100g dark chocolate, 1 egg yolk, 200g soft whipped cream

Method: Melt the chocolate (slightly warmer than luke warm, but do not boil or burn), add the yolk to the chocolate, and mix and add cream to the chocolate and yolk .

Honey cream

Ingredients: 25g honey, 25g sugar, 75g double cream, 100g soft whipped cream.

Method: Use a pan and bring the honey and sugar to the caramel stage on the stove once the sugar starts to colour and you have a strong honey smell stop cooking. Heat the double cream in a microwave or on the stove until warm. Add this to the honey and sugar and leave until cold. Use a large pan to do so as this is likely to double in size. Leave to go cold. Once cold, add the soft-whipped cream through, and place into a piping bag with a star nozzle.

Rhubarb compote/purée

Cook the rhubarb with sugar until soft, and use as compote. Or alternatively once cool, blend and pass through a sieve to make a purée.

Step by step instructions

image1Crack the eggs two thirds of the way along, take the egg yolks and whites out and put the shells to one side.

 

 

 

image4Wash the shells and leave them to dry.

 

 

 

Easter nest -image 1Left: Raw Rhubarb, peeled.

Right: Strawberries, lime juice, crème fraîche and sugar
Mix these together

Crushed chocolate eggs

 

New Picture (42).jpgTop: Vanilla Ice Cream, Strawberry, add the mixed strawberries with lime juice, crème fraîche and sugar.

Bottom: A spoonful of mixed berries; blackberries and raspberries

 

New Picture (43)Top: Add chocolate mousse, pipe use a piping bag with a star nozzle.

Middle: Add crushed bits of meringue on top of the strawberry mix.

Bottom: Add rhubarb purée

New Picture (44)Top: Add decorations eg. crushed mini eggs and edible flowers

Middle: Drizzle raspberry coulis over the top of the meringue.

Bottom: Add the honey cream, pipe using a piping bag with a star nozzle.

New Picture (45)Bottom: Once the honey cream has been added, add the raw rhubarb (peeled) on top.

 

 

 

New Picture (47)Place in a cardboard egg container; add straw and extra chocolate eggs.

 

 

I hope you enjoy making these Easter nests and have a very happy Easter. Enjoy afternoon tea over the Easter holidays for just £25 per person.

Happy Cooking!

Anthony Millon
Head Pastry Chef at The Vineyard

 

 

 

Wild Garlic is in season

I love this time of year when wild garlic is in season. The white flowers are really pretty and I love the soft garlicky flavour they produce when cooked; it’s not as strong as the everyday garlic you’ll find in supermarkets. The flowers are not only fantastic with salmon and lamb, but are also great in salads. You can also eat the leaves and the stem, both of which can be used in cooking.

Found near streams, wetland areas, in nature reserves and also funnily enough you will find it growing in woodland areas amongst bluebells. It’s great to be able to walk through the woods and smell the wild garlic.

There’s so much that goes well with wild garlic, but my particular favourites are cooking up a garlic veloute and a small parmesan espuma, parfait! Look out for wild garlic infused dishes at The Vineyard soon.

I am also hosting the Magnificent Seven Dinner on Friday 20th March together with seven of my very best suppliers all providing one ingredient that will be used in each dish.A wild garlic veloute and morels Fricassee is the first course matched with a fantastic Rioja. The garlic is kindly being supplied by Mash Purveyors.  Discover more about the dinner and view the full menu online

I’d love to hear all about what your wild garlic recipes so please message me on Twitter @danielgalmiche.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Daniel Galmiche
Executive Chef at The Vineyard

Celebrate Valentine’s at The Vineyard this February

rosesandsuitcase-914x437Valentine’s is all about spending time with your loved one, and with many of us having busy schedule, it’s the perfect reason to treat yourself and partner by booking a spa day or evening, having a couples massages, enjoying a romantic dinner for two or Champagne afternoon tea.

FacialVoted the most romantic retreat by the Good Spa Guide, The Vineyard Spa is the ideal place to come for a romantic day with your partner. Relax in the tranquil surroundings and enjoying spending time with just the two of you. We have plenty of spa days and evenings to choose from whatever your budget and the time you have to spare. From our pampering evening where you’ll be treated to a 25 minute treatment, a main course from our spa menu and use of the spa for four hours during the evening to our Ultimate Spa Day, which includes three relaxing treatments of your choice, a Bento Box lunch, light refreshments throughout the day and full use of the spa pool, Jacuzzi, steam, sauna rooms and poolside area.

We are lucky enough to have a couple’s treatment room, perfect for a romantic massage or facial. Choose from our range of Darphin and VitaMan facials and massages, or choose a treatment from our signature selection. Browse our treatment brochure for our full list of treatments.

For 13th and 14th February, our Executive Chef, Daniel Galmiche has created a special fiveCheese board with wine - 377 x 221 course tasting menu with matching wines and a special sharing dessert for Valentine’s at The Vineyard. This time of year is always popular with our guests, but we do have limited availability. Browse the menu and call us to reserve your table if you’d like to celebrate with us and why not stay the night?

Think delicious cakes, pastries and mini sandwiches, plus a glass of chilled Champagne in luxurious surroundings and you have Champagne afternoon tea at The Vineyard. Delicately created by our Head Pastry Chef, Anthony Millon, you’ll be in afternoon tea heaven. Browse our sample menu to whet your appetite.

Festive Wine Recommendations

glassesinarow - 580 x 288Sparkling_Summer_HeaderWith some many sparkling wines and Champagnes to choose from, which would be your favourite picks for a festive drinks party or as an aperitif on Christmas Day?
For my festive wine recommendations for Christmas Day, I think I’ll play a classic game here and head for Champagne. I’ve always been a fan of the fuller-bodies styles, so Bollinger would be on the hit list, as would Krug subject to lottery winnings! One thing I have tried recently and been very impressed with is sparkling Shiraz (Magpie Estate, Australia). This has enough body to cope with a decent roast dinner, whilst still having all the fun of bubbles…See our wine list for our extensive range of Champagnes and sparkling wines

With the festive season well under way, which varieties of wine are great for mulling and is there a special ingredient you would include?
I guess with mulled wine I would just choose a full-bodied red and keep the price down as you are distorting the flavour so much. Oranges and cinnamon would go into my mix, but I have to say that mulled wine is not quite for me…

Which wines would you be pleased to be given as a Christmas gift?
I’m hopelessly addicted to Riesling, especially that from the Mosel Valley in Germany, so I guess anybody bringing a bottle of Haag, Prüm, or Von Schubert Maximin Grünhaus would be especially welcome! In the wine business, the pros take estate-bottled olive oil to give as gifts. If you’re looking for more gift inspiration, our gift vouchers can be emailed to you instantly. Browse our selection

Are there specific wines or grape varieties that you’d recommend with the traditional Christmas turkey with all the trimmings?
I usually serve red and white concurrently with “event” meals like this, so my red choice would be Pinot Noir-led. This year, I will be pouring Gevrey-Chambertin En Jouise from Domaine Harmand-Geoffoy in the very heart of Burgundy with all that earthy, elegant red fruit intensity. For white wine would head to my beloved Riesling grape, and I think that maybe something from the Alsace region in France would fit the bill admirably. Try a producer such as Weinbach or Zind Humbrecht.

Most Christmas lunches finish with a Christmas pudding, so what dessert wines would you recommend to match?
Tawny Port is a time-honoured classic – try something like Krohn’s 20-year old Tawny. Australian Liqueur Muscat is another choice. However, this year, I’ll be serving the pud with Argyros Estate Vinsanto from Santorini, Greece. The grapes were sun-dried for around 10 days prior to the fermentation starting, then aged for four years in oak. Trust me – it’s sensational… Browse our fortified and Port selection we serve by the glass

Cheers and have a very merry Christmas

James Hocking
Director of Wine

Brasseries in Paris

French Brasserie CookbookThe History of Brasseries
The word ‘brasserie’ actually means ‘brewery’ in French. In 1864, Frédéric Bofinger, a brewer from Alsace in northeastern France (the region that border my own, Franche-Comté), made his way to Paris and opened a tiny bar in the heart of the Marais and Fauboug Saint-Antoine area. It served little more than draft beer and sauerkraut. At that time, numerous people were moving to Paris from war-torn Alsace in search of work, so there was a ready market. Beer on tap was unheard of in Paris back then and the quality of the sauerkraut was second to none. The combination took the city by storm and in no time brassieres were springing up all over Paris. The rest of France soon followed, and I think, for this reason, Bofinger could rightly claim to be the father of the Parisian brasserie. What started as a smoky bar filled with Alsatian refugees grew into a magnificent dining room with polished wood, gleaming brass and a stain-glass dome.

Now Fashionable Hotspots
Today, brasseries are fashionable hotspots where politicians continue to rub shoulders Daniel_Galmiche - photowith artists- but there is more to them than glamour. Brasseries are popular because the food they serve is homely, heart-warming and delicious. You can eat a simple sandwich or enjoy a grand repas, and they will often serve everything from early breakfasts right through to late suppers in the small hours. Among the famous brasseries in Paris are: Bofinger, La Coupole and Brasseries Lipp, to name by a few. However, no matter where you are, you will find a good meal – and you won’t have to pay a fortune for it either.

Some brasseries in Paris will be modern and chic and some laden with so much history they are practically national monuments. But choose carefully – there are plenty on main streets, but the best ones are often tucked away down side streets and hidden behind porchways.

How many restaurants can boast the illustrious likes of Ernst Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali, Henry Miller, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse among their clientele? Well, La Coupole can. Few people take a trip to Paris without visiting this renowned brasserie at least once.

Try some of my brasserie dishes taken from my two cookbooks at The Vineyard in our California Bar. You can purchase both of my cookbooks via my website and I will sign each one.

Daniel Galmiche
Executive Head Chef