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Everything posted by CalumC

  1. Also worth remembering Cointreau is 40% abv so you may also find the bitterness emphasised by that in some way, though more likely it's the bitter orange peel. Usually I'll cut down on the Cointreau a little and compensate for sweetness with a small dash of gomme. Works doubly well if there's some orange blossom water in the syrup.
  2. Funny this should get brought back up, I'm visiting for a days cookery course fairly soon so I'll report back if it's interesting/ I remember.
  3. How does it compare to Essence? Just new recipes? Will be picking it up in any case! As this is sort of the Cheltenham thread by proxy, I'm going to give Purslane a go next week I think. I believe the chef did a stint at LCS (I could be wrong, I'm pretty sure I met one of the owners a while back while working at another restaurant nearby). It has a lean towards seafood and the like which we have been missing. I'll report back if all goes to plan.
  4. Ellenborough Park just outside Cheltenham is getting a lot of good press, I think it did well in the AA guide. For a while I think the draw was Tobias Brauweiler, the sommelier, but I believe he's now working at Hedonism in Mayf
  5. I spent 4 years in Leeds at uni and consequently working in a hotel restaurant and bar there. It's a very good area to build a Foh career, small enough to be able to meet the right people. I wouldn't worry too much about chasing qualifications, employers are far more impressed by actual experience working in places known for service and atmosphere. I checked Trip Advisor most days to see what punters are saying about where I work and had a manager that did the same thing, being aware of your restaurants reputation helps with how you sell yourself to your next employer. It should impress your current manager too, if you show an interest in how well your restaurant does, management notice. I guess my point is that it's important to immerse yourself in the industry, read Caterer and Restaurant magazine, read everything in fact, talk to the chefs and managers about things, show an interest. Good Foh isn't all that common so it shouldn't be long before you're noticed. It's Sunday, I'm a bit zapped but let me know if you want any more stuff specific to Leeds.
  6. I picked this up on iBooks a few months ago, it's great having access to it on the go when you've got a few ideas in the head. The new 2012 version has just been published, I believe it will be going on iBooks/kindle soon.
  7. Well, looks like I've got my next meal out decided. Great report, David.
  8. Kevin, I commend you for managing to read the whole thing!
  9. Obviously it's not quite the same thing, but... There is the technique Jeffrey Morgenthaler has been playing with where you overnight 'age' the cocktail in an isi whip and some whisky barrel wood chips, it's on YouTube somewhere. Other than that, I'd look into finding a half gallon barrel, but I don't know how common those are in commercial booze aging.
  10. Couple of things I've been playing with recently, firstly a Clover Club. Following Jeffry Morgenthaler's recipe, I made some grenadine as a test for moving the bar I work at to more homemade products, hopefully orgeat will be th next test. Clover Club is pretty simple, 50ml dry gin, 25ml lemon juice, 12.5ml grenadine (ended up tweaking up to 25 as homemade grenadine had a much darker flavour) and an egg white (about 30-40ml?). Shake hard without ice to emulsify then with ice to chill and dilute a little. Strain into a coupe. Lovely light drink. Also, was taken by a cocktail in the savoy book for a Spencer. Guide is for 2/3 dry gin, 1/3 apricot brandy, dash of angostura and a dash of orange juice. We found this far too strong, so tweaked for 40ml gin, 30ml apricot brandy, 25 ml orange juice and a dash of angostura, which made it delicious.
  11. A few things that have just come to mind: Caipirinha, maybe If you can find fresh bergamot to use as well, or maybe just with limes as normal. Use the liqueur instead of sugar/gomme. Sidecar, liqueur instead of Cointreau Same as above for a White Lady/Chelsea Sidecar
  12. I'm trying to hunt down some fresh bergamot fruit, not quite sure where to look though! With the earl grey, I hoped that the bitterness of the tea itself would be enough, and it was. With the trad bitters I'm trying next, I'll use some of the earl grey as an element of the bitter extracts (the other probably being quassia), as it should partner nicely with the citrus peels I'll be using.
  13. Great to have just found this thread, I've just started making and enjoying bitters. First experiment was Earl Grey bitters, started out just as loose earl grey in vodka, infused for 3 weeks. Obviously this is quite a pure flavour, I might mix in a little quassia bark infusion (quassia I managed to get 250g for £3 on eBay, bargain), and maybe some orange peel to bolster the bergamot/citrus element of the earl grey. Next experiment is going to be a more traditional aromatic bitters as a replacement for Angostura, might play up more on the fragrant/floral aromas. Looking forward to getting more inspiration from this thread.
  14. I suspect you'll have trouble watching it in America because of the licensing, but Jamie Oliver is doing a series at the moment about food cultures that have entered Britain, and this weeks involved italian. He made a bolognaise in the way that he thought an Italian would, that is to say, using whatever is available, and not much of it (because they probably couldn't afford a great deal). In this case, he cooked a whole rabbit in a pot with two cans of tomatoes, a whole onion, 2 whole carrots and a few other bits and bobs, then some stock or water. Cook that overnight at 110C (250F?), or use a crockpot, as you've been discussing, then in the morning, shredding all the meat off the rabbit carcasse, squeezing out the now soft onion flesh, mashing the carrots and finishing off with parmesan. I think combining this philosophy with the traditional ingredients and techniques (milk, wine). If you wanted to take it a step further then i'd definitely watch the Heston Blumenthal episode on it, theres some great ideas on building layers of flavour in that.
  15. Nice report David. Going to have to go back next time i'm home, it looks as if they've gone from strength to strength since starting up. Good value for a tasting menu, too.
  16. Drinking a lot of Old Fashioned lately, really nice way to drink a good bourbon essentially straight. Started playing around with ideas on the bar, seems there's a lot of subtle flavours that could be blended in, particularly with the bitters. Tried a Grand Marnier and amaretto mix the other night too, plenty of ice and 2 drops of angostura, lovely balance.
  17. Seeing as everyone's talking about Leeds, i'll add some relevance. Went to Anthony's Piazza on Friday and left pretty flat. Baked camembert with garlic tasted good but needed a proper whack of acid, maybe a pickle or something. Partner's squash risotto was good if a little eratically seasoned. Shared a cote de boeuf (32oz inc. bone, £42), tasted of char and not much else, really poor quality beef. Small portion of bearnaise on a bizarrely flat dish was ok. Server knew very little about the menu or drinks, on about 5 occasions between our table and the two next to us, he had to go and check on things. All in all, I wouldn't bother.
  18. Had my table cancelled in the end, the other diners were flaking at the price. Such is the risk, I guess. I'm just as keen as everyone to see some photos and reports now.
  19. When i'm serving, I usually go with what i'd like someone to say to me, the above would just annoy me. It almost sounds sarcastic, though i'm sure tone has a big effect on it. Personally I don't mind "is everything OK?" but I know that some people feel as if OK shouldn't be what we want, rather great or excellent.
  20. I'll take a camera along in case I can use it then write as much as possible after. I absolutely understand the concern, the most I've spent on a meal previous to this will have been LCS the last time I went, and that was £60 or so per head. I think this is one of the meals in a lifetime where you virtually disregard the price, though I imagine a lot of people would not agree with that. My tastes have also changed somewhat since that though, especially in appreciation of wine so I think I'll be a bit closer to 'getting it' than I might have been when I first joined egullet. Either way, I'm sure it'll encourage some interesting debate after it's all happened.
  21. Managed to get a seat with a few work colleagues so I'm going! £250 is an absurd amount of money but FL has always been one of the restaurants I've dreamed about eating in, so it's worth it to me. Really can't wait.
  22. Also, my better half has just asked me to mention, should David be reading, that if the Duck egg custard and rhubarb tart could be on the menu, that would be fabulous.
  23. After an embarrassingly long absence from egullet, and from visiting LCS, i'm back, and rather excited to be having dinner in October to celebrate my graduation. Even more keen for it now since I'm now a waiter and considering a career in hospitality! Will report back sometime after.
  24. In Bournemouth, West Beach is in a beautiful location, food is decent, and I really liked The Print Room as well. If you're in the cotswolds, you really have to go to Le Champignon Sauvage in my dear hometown of Cheltenham, if you've got time then Lumiere is well worth a visit as well. I'll send you a PM as well. Calum
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