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Matthew Tomkinson

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Everything posted by Matthew Tomkinson

  1. Our window table was stunning and the tarte tatin delicious!
  2. We are booked in for lunch tomorrow so will let you know if we get a window table
  3. Sorry, I completely forgot to write it up. Well we enjoyed it overall. We didnt particularly like the place itself, the decor is i think a bit tacky and the flames on the water are definately too much. The service on the whole was average apart from one girl who was realy good, they seemed very nervous and a bit fed up that we were there (they only had one other table and they were leaving as we left). The restaurant manager kept interupting our conversation to ask us crap questions about how the traffic was and what we thought the weather would do? strange We all took the alacarte but to be honest my memory of the food is a bit sketchy.We started with nice sourdough bread and an appetiser of parsnip espuma with curried parsnip crisps. This was lovely, not too sweet and the savouriness lifted by the curry. I started with scallops which were good, if not amazing and had the turbot with oxtail as a main. This was delicious, there were many different little garnishes on the plate including girolles and some purees (one being smoked mashed potato i think). For desert we shared one of each of the menu, the highlight for me being a plate of lemon cream with blackcurrant sorbet, vanilla tapioca and mint cress. The cress was superb and had a light lemon flavour. I remember the chocolate dessert having vinegar ice cream which was interesting.P4's were okay, red pepper jelly, sherry vinegar chocolate and some others. overall the food was very nice, complex on the plate but relatively simple on the palate. If i can dig out the copy of the menu i should remember more of the food and will edit this post.
  4. Did you have the fantastic Polish girl serving you?
  5. I think the classic chef's uniform is a mixture of both symbolic and functional design. As i am aware most of the outfit has come from military origins, the hat and the double breasted tunic in particular. The hat started out much smaller and grew in height to distinguish rank, i guess the pattern on the toque has come from folding the material to support it's height. The jacket is clearly a descendant of the Napoleonic style tunics that soldiers wore and its weight has been retained (up until recently) to protect the wearer from spills and splashes. The double breasted front allows for easy removal if it catches fire and its white colour is to promote cleanliness. The apron is to extend the life of the jacket through the service and the neck tie is to help make them more comfortable by absorbing some of the sweat. The thing i would love to know is why are chef's trousers blue and white and checked? Also if i am wrong on any of this i would love to find out the real origins! Matt
  6. Whilst on my stage in France Michel Guerard used tempura rose petals as a garnish for a foie gras dish. Not a massive amount of flavour but crispy and interesting.
  7. Thanks for that Gary, i am planning to go up and see the place in the next few weeks and you certainly have given me an insight into what to expect. May have to come over to your place and see how it should be done! Matthew
  8. Does anybody know much about Middlethorpe Hall or The Feversham Arms?
  9. Four of us from work are booked in for lunch on Tuesday. Will let you know what we think.
  10. Do you know The White Horse in Kings Sutton near Banbury at all?
  11. MPW is an acronym used in many of his restaurants too, it's part of his branding. I have limited experience in US kitchens, i worked for just one week in New York at 4 diiferent establishments. I found very few differences between them and British kitchens, same lapses of ideal food handling practises, same desire to get around hygiene legislation when the chef 'knows better' and the same dirty spoons in your dinner.
  12. I thought you had worked in lots of kitchens? Marco Pierre White
  13. I think a critic of Matthew Fort's experience would be able to tell most of the contestant's food apart especially the stuff from Marcus Wareing (apart from the hotpot which certainly doesnt look like the Food from Petrus but does from The Savoy Grill but also isnt vegetarian) I think if you have eaten in the various restaurants you can see who cooked what (apart from the odd dish).
  14. My favourite is Marmite and peanut butter on toast. Mmmm lovely
  15. Best taste for money for me is well buttered brown bread chopped up with a runny boiled egg and lots of salt and pepper. Its heaven Worst for me has to be ortolan which i tasted when i was working in France, it was absolutely average and cost 50 euros per bird!
  16. Me too, it looks like quite a good book with lots of infomation about the suppliers they have been using around the country. Its good to see a few lesser known names making it into the programme, i wonder if some of the more high profile chefs from around the regions were 'unavailable'.
  17. Next time I'm in New York... it's a date. ← You must have the frog's legs and chicken oysters to start!
  18. So what would you choose to put in your own no limits sarnie?
  19. When i was in New York a few weeks back Daniel Boloud's Bistro Moderne was just down the street from our hotel. We ate there on our second to last night, one of our party took the burger and although not the record breaking burger (there is a plaque in the window from the Guiness World records) it was still the most expensive main course we ordered. It had black truffles, foie gras and wagyu or kobi beef and was really, really good. It had a little cone of fantastic chips and a selection of homemade condiments. I must say i had a starter or chicken oysters, frog's legs, confit garlic and pine nuts and it is definately one of the best things i have ever eaten.
  20. Agree completely, all of our free range chicken, pigeon and guinea fowl comes from Landes. We are probably selling as much as we ever have done, the majority of our customers dont seem to be too concerned yet.
  21. For me to get the best from a chicken remove the legs and press them overnight (as for confit) with garlic, rock salt and any herbs you choose. Wash them and confit them very slowly for about 4 hours (the better the bird the longer they will take). When cooked fry them skin down until very crispy and serve with the remaining crown of chicken browned and roasted for about 20 - 25 mins depending on size and variety of chicken (rest for at least 15). Flavour the chicken as you roast however you wish, i think the cheaper the chicken the more herbs, garlic, lemon you would probably want to use. Then serve as a normal roast.
  22. From what i hear she did really well, all of the finalists did. I think that getting through to the final already demonstrates she can hold her own. The scholarship really do want more women to enter, compete and win the competition. I have worked with several really good female chefs but few seem to want to enter the scholarship and i am not really too sure why. There is one previous female Roux Scholar and (I think) one female Ramsay Scholar. There are obviously many more male chefs in the world so statistically that would be reflected in these events and in the resultant winners. Im sure I speak for many chefs in hoping that more women come into the industry and win some of these competitions.
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