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Matthew Tomkinson

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Posts posted by Matthew Tomkinson

  1. Definitely check out this weeks competition for some seriously interesting cooking by Anthony Flinn and Nigel Haworth. They play it like it is new (Flinn) vs traditional(Haworth) cooking, but that doesn't seem true at all. Haworth eg did his lamb sous vide without any comment at all.

    Wasn't it steamed?

  2. Went out for dinner on sunday night with the chaps from work to a restaurant in Henly called 'The spice merchant'. Food was really good, well flavoured with good breads and rice.

    With the starters and popadoms we were given a powder to spice them up called Malikas Puri (not 100% on spelling) it tasted of peanuts, lentils and delicate spices. Im guessing that these are the ingredients but would love to know more as it would be cracking on a new scallop dish that i have in mind.

    Anyone heard of it? any ideas?


  3. Congratulations to the following, who will compete in the Regional Finals on March 6:

    Robert Barham The Stafford Hotel, London

    Mark Birchall L’Enclume, Cartmel

    Daniel Cox Compass Group

    Kenneth Culhane The Queen’s Club, London

    Alastair Dale Ince & Co

    Frank Gigas The Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder

    Christopher Golding Nahm Restaurant, London

    Jonathan Hayes Copthorne Hotel Cardiff

    Ryan Mcfarland The Eastbury Hotel, Sherborne

    Adam Peirson Claridge’s

    Cameron Rutherford Chewton Glen Hotel & Spa

    Anton Scoones De Vere Oulton Hall, Leeds

    Ryan Simpson Winteringham Fields, Lincs

    Robert Stephens Millenium Hotel Mayfair

    Stephen Stevens Mill House Hotel, Oxon

    Kevin Tew Galvin at Windows

    Stephen Thompson 114 The Arch Restaurant, Pudsey

    Matthew Wilkinson Martha & Vincent in Ilkley

    Andrew Wilson Gregg’s Restaurant. Sevenoaks

  4. And seriously, come to Manchester and be our gastronomic messiah, strewing Michelin stars in your wake...

    I have tried this before with Matt to no avail. :laugh: But I think he is doing rather well were he is. I have said this elsewhere- but congrats to again to you and your team Matt.

    And how was Le Gavroche btw? Celebratory meal was it? :wink:

    Thankyou Bapi, eventually i want to as it is the long term plan.

    It was very good, I went with my old head chef, Steve Crane, Martin Hadden and Jerome Poussin from Bragard. Tim from Apicius was meant to come too but couldnt make it. It was a celebratory meal and celebrate we did!! We had a great day/afternoon/night/early morning and were looked after so well at the restauraunt.

  5. "fact-lite bastion of piss-poor reporting"


    Actually, we issued a press release upon winning the star. The version that went to the Manchester press included a quote about how i would eventually like to return to the North West. A reporter called me and asked me to comment on Paul leaving and my position in light of the statement i had made. This was the first that I had heard about about him going and didnt feel that it would be appropriate to speculate. After all we have only just just bloody got our star!!


  6. i am a restaurant cook going to morocco for a month and would like any advice on the best and most traditional cooking courses that are available out there. also any must visit restaurants/markets/farms or anything food related would be greatly appreciated!! thank you.

    I dont know many of the details but my girlfriend reviewed the cookery course at Maison Arabe in Marrakesh and thought it superb, learning to make many of the staple dishes well with a good insight into their background. have eaten in their restaurant and was very good if a little confused.

    We had several fantastic meals at Restaurant Cafe Berbere, a small family place serving mainly tourists. The food is simple and inexpensive. Soup, tagine and fruit will cost about 12euros and is really good. The Soupe Maroccaine and the Chicken Tagine are dishes i will never forget.


  7. The Hibiscus menu is a case in point.

    Three courses are £49.50. While the cost of the ingredients must be less than a tenth of that, I don't mind that as I'm paying for a clever chef to do clever things to them. However, I do mind that the langoustine ravioli and the sausage roll come with surcharges of £7.50 and £12.50 respectively.

    So do these dishes involve extra labour that's getting charged to me pro-rata? Or are the supplements to cover the cost of the ingredients? And if it's the latter, is it charged at cost price or at a 90% markup?

    No you are not being charged for the extra labour, the chefs are expected to absorb this into the normal day. You are being charged for the ingredients as they are both extremely expensive and i am sure Claude is buying some of the best available

    Some dishes on my menu are more complex to produce and some less so, when the menu has a lot of labour intensive dishes on it we work harder and longer but try to reduce this with good planning (guessing).

    Most decent kitchens work a dish at around 70% gross profit, for example my target is 72.5%. I cant see that at £49.50 for three corses Hibiscus are doing 90%. It would mean that it was costing him about a fiver to put three courses, bread, butter, appetiser etc on the plate. The supplements allow the guest to make the decision as to whether they want those expensive items. I think when you put it into context even with the supplement it is still reasonable compared to other restaurants of a similar quality.

    I do agree though that more than one or two supplemnts are too much on a menu.

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