Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar and a dry Chenin blanc

Jan 20, 14 Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar and a dry Chenin blanc

Posted by in Food and Wine, France

A few years ago I visited the Barber Farmhouse on a press trip as part of a bigger trip to the West Country. I remember being impressed by the combination of modern technology within the traditions of cheesemaking that had been handed down through the generations. You can read about my visit here. I really enjoyed the 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar when I visited, so when they asked me if they could send me some cheese and make a dish, I was happy to do it. It also probably helps that I’ve recently changed to a wheat-free and sugar-free diet which means good cheese is a staple in my kitchen. They sent me a small recipe book which has some lovely recipes and a few of them are either wheat free or can be modified to be made without wheat.  They also sent me all the ingredients I would need to make a Spinach and Cheese souffle. Seeing as I didn’t want to use flour in my recipes, I decided to make a crustless Spinach and Cheddar cheese quiche instead. The quiche came out brilliantly, the 1833 Vintage cheddar was perfect in the dish, integrated into every mouthful. I’m not normally a big fan of mature cheddar cheese (the 1833 is aged 24 months) but Barber’s has a nutty, long flavour to it and I enjoyed every mouthful. I paired it with a chenin blanc from the Loire Valley, the Ch. de Fesles 2011 La Chapelle Vielles Vignes. What a stunner of a wine – dry but fresh with intense fruity notes of dried grapefruit, tangerine peel, and lemon zest. Rather weighty on the palate but perfectly balanced and delicious, a very good companion for the quiche. I wasn’t sure if it was going to work with the cheddar but happily, it did! I’ve still got half a block of cheese left so I think I might take a crack at the Croque Monsieur made with my home made gluten free foccacia You can...

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Upcoming – 5 decades of Chateau d’Yquem at Nobu London

Jan 09, 14 Upcoming – 5 decades of Chateau d’Yquem at Nobu London

Posted by in Food and Wine, London

I don’t usually write about events that I’m not attending but I know the guys over at The Antique Wine Company and they always have good stuff to taste. This time, however, I think they have outdone themselves. They are offering a unique, dare I say it, once in a lifetime opportunity, to taste 5 decades of Chateau d’Yquem paired with the cuisine of Nobu London. What was most surprising to me was that 5 decades only goes back to the 60’s! But, what vintages they have are going to be tasting. Starting with 1967 and ending with a 2007 – 1975, 1986,2001 and 1990 round out the evening. Nobu’s chef, Mark Edwards has worked closely with AWC to find the perfect pairings for the evening. The evening is going to be hosted by one of AWC’s wine experts, Stephen Brook, who as a Bordeaux expert, can be counted on to give plenty of insight and expert knowledge on Ch. d’Yquem.  The dinner is scheduled for Wed. Feb 5th. An event like this can only happen in London (or possible China nowadays) and at £750.00 per person, you’re going to have to have some pretty deep pockets to attend. One day…. 😉   Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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A Comte cheese tasting

Jan 06, 14 A Comte cheese tasting

Posted by in Food and Wine

Contributed by Anna von Bertele “Taste can be compared to music: we hear music as a whole, but if we listen more carefully we can make out each particular instrument and every single note of the score … Let Comté, the traditional cheese made in the Jura massif, play its delicate music on the instruments of your senses.” I had tried Comté cheese and knew of its legend but after attending a Comté cheese tasting at the great La Cave a Fromage in South Kensington, I now feel I really understand its uniqueness. Comté is made in the Jura massif, a region in France that I have only just become familiar with, having tasted some of the great wines that it produces. I was excited about exploring how the terroir in the area could also affect the cheese. Comté is made traditionally, with the production having barely changed in hundreds of years. There are three main factors to this. Firstly, the farmer who is in charge of the special Jura cows. They are only fed on a diet of hay and grass to make sure their milk is pure and truly reflects the unique land. Secondly there is the cheese maker and finally the affixer, in charge of the maturing process. It is during this third stage, with great care and attention that the aromas grow richer. When the affiance is complete, the wheel is examined and graded out of twenty according to a scale that focuses on flavour and paste quality, shape and rind. It then gets its branded band around its circumference – green for a high score and brown for those between 12-15. A score lower than this means the cheese does not qualify. We tried 5 different terroirs of the cheese, which ranged in different ages. It was interesting to taste cheese in a way more common of wine – first looking at it, then smelling it, before tasting it and focusing on its aroma and the sensations it caused in the mouth. I found out that not only does Comté change with age, but it also changes depending on the...

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Chino Latino special menu for New Years Eve

Dec 09, 13 Chino Latino special menu for New Years Eve

Posted by in All, Food and Wine, London

Chino Latino at the Park Plaza Riverbank is celebrating their 10 year anniversary with a special menu. Executive Group Chef Werner Seebach has created a ten-course Tasting Menu, featuring a retrospective of the Pan-Asian restaurant’s signature dishes of the past decade, to end off the year in fabulous style. I was invited to preview the New Years Eve dinner a week ago. At first I got a bit confused and went to the Park Plaza Westminster but the Park Plaza Riverside London is just a few minutes down the road and is even closer to the Thames.  The first thing that strikes you is the cherry red restaurant sign. It’s rather dark in the restaurant but each table has it’s own spotlight so you can at least see what your eating. The New Years Eve menu starts off with a series of  Small Dishes of: Beetroot, yuzu cream, port reduction a plate of silky Kampachi sashimi and the Tenkasu roll – tuna, salmon, seabass and avocaodo That’s followed by the Next Course : Marinated blowtorched salmon Grilled scallops and Wagyu beef taquitos The Main Dishes are a choice of Chilean Seabass and Lamb Cutlets. The menu finishes off with Passion Fruit cheesecake and Moshi ice cream. The New Years Eve menu is available for £79 per person, drinks not included. My friend and I went a bit off piste and order the Pekin Duck which was prepared for us table side and had just the right bit of crispiness to it. We also sampled the calamari and  tempura prawns in shiso leaf. I really enjoyed the Tenkasu roll as well, but I do love a good sushi roll. If you haven’t booked your New Years Eve dinner yet, the Park Plaza Riverside would be a great location and as an added bonus, you can probably see the Eye and the fireworks from the hotel front door.   Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Paprika, Porcini, and Garlic Butter Kettle Chips for the winter

Nov 01, 13 Paprika, Porcini, and Garlic Butter Kettle Chips for the winter

Posted by in All, Food and Wine

Contributed by Anna Von Bertele A staple in my house, when the wine comes out the fridge, is a packet of Kettle Chips. Crisps and dip and a glass of wine can seem like the most delicious thing. So when the Wine Sleuth – asked if I wanted to cover the Kettle Chip launch of it’s new Winter flavour, I was very excited! Last Wednesday –  to the jealousy of my friends – I headed to the Soho Hotel in London to try the new flavour: Paprika, Porcini, and Garlic Butter. This was matched with dips and different wines – a delicious Californian Chardonnay was my favourite. It was great to meet Chris Barnard, who has been the chef at Kettle Chips since 1989 when the company moved from America to settle in Norwich. Leaving his own restaurant, he was excited at the prospect of experimenting with innovative crisp flavours, and accessing a much wider audience than just those that might have visited his restaurant. He explained the thinking behind this new, seasonal taste – porcini mushrooms add a rich earthy flavour and the garlic butter adds a savouriness, with the paprika adding sweet and smokey notes – together it makes a warming crisp that will brighten any evening. It was interesting to learn the history of Kettle Chips and the overall philosophy behind them. Though I knew Kettle Chips were the classic crisps, the ones that I indulge in with my family back home, I didn’t know how natural they were, with no artificial flavours. In my mind this makes them basically good for you, though Chris didn’t quite agree with this! Throughout the evening there were canapés as well, though with the bowls full of crisps, these were slightly overshadowed (okay maybe not the mini churros). The whole evening finished with a screening of Bridget Jones – as if Kettle Chips weren’t perfect enough on their own, this completed the package! Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInPocketRedditGoogleTumblrEmailPrintPinterestLike this:Like...

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Chicken recipes for the Autumn

Oct 21, 13 Chicken recipes for the Autumn

Posted by in All, Food and Wine

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking lately at Winesleuth HQ and I have a few recipes here in association with Schwartz that I think are perfect for this Autumnal weather. Creating wonderful meals with chicken Chicken is often regarded as a rather boring fowl. If you use a free-range bird and create a recipe with wine and fresh herbs, you may soon change your opinion about this humble farmyard animal. A variety of recipe ideas One of the best things about chicken is that you can just poach it with a few herbs and have a tasty, low-fat meal served with salad or you can elevate it to the gastronomic heights so beloved of Escoffier and other maestros. You could even use a chicken recipe that includes champagne among its ingredients for a truly festive occasion and you know how I adore champagne! The important point to remember is that chicken recipes can be as plain or diverse as you wish. Coq au vin This family favourite originates from France and the recipe has altered over the years. The original calls for a rooster from Bresse with the addition of a good red wine from Burgundy. Don’t worry if roosters are thin on the ground in your neighbourhood; a good plump chicken that you can divide into portions will suffice. The most important thing to do is to allow two days for the preparation of this meal. A nice Coteaux de Bourgogne rouge would be a good choice for this dish. You don’t have to break the bank for a bottle of Coteaux and it’s tasty, too! Method for success Take a bottle of good red wine, (cheap wine will taste bitter and will not enhance the dish) and prepare a marinade with carrots, garlic and peppercorns and simmer for a short while. Add the marinade to the chicken pieces and cover. Once you’ve allowed the mixture to rest for at least a day, remove the chicken. Now take bacon, shallots and the flour coated chicken pieces and fry them in a heavy casserole dish. Season well and add...

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