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AdamLawrence

Le Champignon Sauvage

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Its amazing to think of the how the room was compared to it now. It was a nice enough place to enjoy a meal, but it didn't really do the food justice; now you feel like you are in a two or three star restaurant. I have some pictures which I will upload soon.

I always thought the food to be 3* - do you think the change of decor will help them get the third star or is it too small an operation (couple in the kitchen, no sommelier) to be considered?

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Michelin's criteria for 3 stars, as pointed out by Derek Bulmer in his eGullet Society chat includes the wording "“fine wines, faultless service, elegant surroundings." With the refurb, I think LCS has all three now, but I suppose it depends if "faultless service" in the eyes of Michelin equates to armies of waiters and sommeliers rather than the slightly more informal but nevertheless informed and correct service you get at LCS. I personally think that Le Champignon Sauvage would fit in quite nicely alongside The Fat Duck, Gordon Ramsay and The Waterside Inn.

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That's somewhat in contradiction of Derek Brown's statement that it's really about what's on the plate, which he believed was demonstrated by the Fat Duck's award of its third star, when the dining room had only 2 or 3 'knives and forks'.


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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We got a tour of the kitchen last Saturday night after an another excellent feast. The cooker is very, very impressive. The new dining is great. I was worried that “international anonymous” style had crept in but no, they’ve kept the atmosphere of the old LeCS intact. David & Helen related the awful experience living through the nightmare that was the refurbishment. Sounded really terrible.

Quick summary of the meal

Mousse of asparagus with coconut form topping with little pieces of crisp duck pieces plus a terrine of foie gras with fig chutney & crispy pigs ear. There was a drizzle of intense sweet syrup (white grape, I think) to go with the fg. All that as a pre-starter! A big wow.

Next was langoustine, tortellini and cocks kidney – superb langoustine sauce, lightly frothed. The kidneys were something special

Scallops came with cauliflower puree, thin slice of raw cauliflower, sprinkling of green apple & cumin scented sauce. Cumin lifted the delicate flavour of the scallops.

Breast of veal snugly wrapped in pasta – meat was so succulent.

Zander on a bed of ox cheek covered in little squid – a star dish if ever there was one. Details of the sauce & puree escape me but we were left quite speechless after this one.

Roast belly of pork with razor clams, cep and gnocchi. Pork & clams worked so well together – the clams were cut at an angle which brought out their flavour & also made them look very appealing.

Geranium seceded brule came with elderberry (I think) sorbet. lots of popping sugar in the brule

Lemon sorbet with pine nut kernel ice cream – the ice cream was deliciously chewy & creamy all at the same time. Not easy, me thinks

Finally –– roasted apple with caramelised brioche and “milk jam” ice cream – all sitting next to each other like a deconstructed tart tatin

Mesmerising good & ridiculously cheap - at the end David gave me some black pudding to take away. It was stuffed with sweetbreads & made a wonderful supper the following night (wish he’d approach Waitrose with a LeCS line).

Anyway – here’s a little news you may or may not know – he’s got a book coming out next year. Very much looking forward to it.

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thanks for the update tony, reminded me to get back on the phone to LCS and sort out a reservation.


Edited by Gary Marshall (log)

you don't win friends with salad

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v good review in the independent:

Sticking my head in the kitchen to say thank you, I catch Everitt-Matthias on his own and on his knees, cleaning his new oven. He is a modest man with an immodest talent for turning out delicious, sincere, beautifully put-together food.

here's the rest: click here

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This just in: David Everitt-Matthias's second chef Marcus McGuiness has just won the Best Young Chef of Britain competition, recognition not only of McGuiness's skills but of Everitt-Matthias's continued committment to providing the best training for his staff. Congratulations to them both.

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Was it springboards Young Chef Young Waiter Competition- Finals held on Monday?


http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Fans of Le Champignon should buy next weeks Caterer and Hotelkeeper when some bloke called Moby gives us a spin around David Everitt-Matthias's splendid new kitchen.

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Mr Poppyseedbagel & I have just got back from Cheltenham, having had some absolutely wonderful food on Saturday night at LSC. We had a splendid time in Cheltenham actually - it's a good place for Christmas shopping.

The nibbles were the same as everyone else upthread had, and just as lovely: our amuse-geuele was American bean soup with black lime froth [i think - the waitress had a strong accent]. It was perfectly pleasant, but to be honest tasted rather like Mr PSB's lentil soup...

Mr PSB's starter was guinea fowl, ham hock and foie gras terrine with golden raisin sauce, and was perfectly balanced - the flavours just kept on coming, with the flavour of foie gras as the finale. I had the langoustine and cock's kideney dish - this time, I think, with a cream of chervil tubers under the langoustine jelly, but again I may have totally misheard the waitress! Whatever, it was gorgeous - quite how a set jelly managed to be hot I don't know, but it was a stunning dish.

My main was pigeon breast with date purée & goats cheese - an excellent combination, just large enough and not too rich, yet deliciously strong in flavour. Mr PSB had golden headed bream with red wine and hibiscus sauce, and sweet potato purée. It looked wonderful, even when the plate was finished, the colours were so beautiful, but the flavours were even better. It was an amazing combination of flavours - Mr PSB said every mouthful was different yet always delicious.

Mr PSB's pudding was lemon and pine nut parfait with lemon curd and pepper sorbet. I only had a little taste, as by this time I was getting a bit full, but it was excellent. My pudding was hot tart of fig with brown butter ice cream. This was the only disappointment of the meal - my tart was only luke-warm, and was a bit flabby. It was like a tarte tatin, made with puff pastry, which wasn't well-enough cooked and the figs were basically just warmed through, and a bit tasteless. The brown butter ice cream was a triumph though - absolutely the best ice cream I have ever had. I told the waitress that I hadn't liked the tart, and the reason, & she said she'd tell the chef but that was the last I heard. The pre-dessert was nice, involving cream and coffee, but was too rich - other people seemed to be getting a sorbet which I would have preferred - I'd been too greedy over my starter!

We agreed with all the above comments that the wine was very well-priced. Mrs Everitt-Matthias was charming, as were all the waiting staff but we felt that we had to wait just a little too long between courses and definitely for the bill, but these are minor quibbles. Overall we had a stunning meal, technically extremely well cooked, and with a rare understanding of how well certain flavours combine. I am sure that we shall return.

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quite how a set jelly managed to be hot I don't know, but it was a stunning dish.

Isn't hot jelly a Ferran Adria trick? Just wondered if there was a CC/MG influence...


Ian

I go to bakeries, all day long.

There's a lack of sweetness in my life...

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I believe D E-M uses agar for the warm gels.


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Agar is the way to go for warm jelly. It doesn't melt until around 80 degrees. Really easy to use as well.


Edited by Matthew Grant (log)

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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quite how a set jelly managed to be hot I don't know, but it was a stunning dish.

Isn't hot jelly a Ferran Adria trick? Just wondered if there was a CC/MG influence...

People tend to think that the use of agar to make warm jellies is an Adria trick, but it is not by any means. It has been used in cooking in Asia for hundreds of years and it was introduced in Europe long ago. Vegetarians have used it as an alternative to gelatine since it is produced from seaweed. Check out Oxford Companion to Food for more background info. Asian shops and shops for vegetarians have carried agar since long ago.

It is IMO not easy to use and there are drawbacks with it. First of all, if too much agar is used, the texture easily becomes unpleasantly grainy and even when correctly applied it does not really melt in your mouth to provide that fantastic sensation of a perfect jelly of gelatine. Secondly, agar tends to encapsulate the taste so the taste sensation is often limited. Personally I also think it is not completely tasteless, regardless of in which form it is used (flakes, powder, cubes e t c) which somewhat limits the number of flavours it can be used with. These problems have been evident in most of the agar-based jellies I have had at el Bulli and elsewhere. This is not to say that it does not have its uses because it really does.


When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

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It is easy to use in respect that you can reheat and add more of required (or more of your base liquid). I tend to add less than the recommended amount as I find that sets it too hard as you say. It doesn't melt in the mouth readily presumably because of it's high melting point but if combined with a warm sauce it has a pleasing slow melting effect.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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With certain hydrocolloids - gelling agents - you can affect the melting and resetting temperatures by the amount of salt added. This is certainly true of gellan. I don't know about agar.


"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Fans of Le Champignon should buy next weeks Caterer and Hotelkeeper when some bloke called Moby gives us a spin around David Everitt-Matthias's splendid new kitchen.

Don't know who this fella is, but the article can be found here. For some reason, on my browser, the first paragraph is covered over by an add.


Edited by MobyP (log)

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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The add is a drop down from the banner just above the article and should only appear when your cursor passes over the banner. It looks fine on Mozilla.

Nice article - look out for whoever wrote it, he might just have a future.

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Unseemly self promotion alert - The current (January) edition of olive magazine features a two page "premier league" article on Le Champignon Sauvage written by me. Alert over - normal service has been resumed.

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well we finally made it to LCS on saturday, and it was well worth the wait and 6 hour round trip on virgin trains, which remarkably ran on time (so much so i was back in time to do some work on saturday night :sad: )

I'll write it up in more detail later as the spectre of monday morning and 6.30 am start looms large but just to say if you've read the (many) glowing reviews and think it sounds like 'your sort of place' then i would suggest it almost certainly is. That was certainly my feeling.

David Everitt-Mathias's cooking is exemplary and for a 2 star restaurant it is remarkable value, especially the wine list, i thought ours was good value but considering what comparable places charge it really is a foodies joy, the wines recommended to us by Helen were all in the low £20's, and very good, and she certainly knew the menu inside out and what would complement the cooking.

David very kindly offered to cook for us, and forewarned us it wasn't going to be small portions, what better news could you get just before lunch?

this is what we had, a mixture of ALC & some new things....

Foie gras royale, choucroute foam Chestnut veloute,bay boletus froth

Seared scallop,cauliflower puree, cumin sauce, ras el hanout caramel

Roasted langoustine, cocks kidneys,langoustine tortelloni.

Parsley root puree,warm langoustine jelly,lanoustine sauce.

Canelloni of veal breast and burdock, celeriac, horseraddish sauce

Smoked ox tongue on compote of cocks combs and cepes,

sweetbread with cocoa grue and lapsang souchong.

Wood pigeon, date puree, black olive goats cheese emulsion.

Perlagonium custard, lychee granitee.

Lemon and pine kernal parfait, fromage blanc and black pepper sorbet

Chocolate and salted caramel delice, malted milk ice cream

Petit fours

it seems harsh to pick favourites from the menu but things that stick in my mind include a huge perfectly cooked scallop & spicy caramel, the ox tongue & giant sweetbread, the goats cheese emulsion, and the salted caramel (like a giant rolo sam decided!). And let's not forget the perfect gougeres to accompany our champagne, and the excellent house bread that we had to hold off eating to leave plenty of room (mmmm bacon & shallot bread!).

so all in all a great lunch, it's only 5 minutes from cheltenham station so it's easy to get to and just the sort of place anyone with a love of food & wine should be supporting, here's to the next 18 years of LCS!


you don't win friends with salad

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Any other recent visits?? I'm feeling it's time for the next installment of my twice-a-year restuarant indulgence plan and this is definitely the leading candidate at the moment. I assume the longer menus are available and at the same standard on weekday lunches? I'm pretty awed by the idea of a chef who has never missed a service, not to mention 2*s with a 'brigade' of 3.... Sounds like my kind of food. :smile:

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