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Chef Notes for the September Tasting Menu
"September is probably my favourite month for seasonal cooking... The shooting season has just begun so any duck or partridge I am lucky enough to be given will for sure make their way into our canapes.
Scallops are fantastic at the moment, and our local butcher's black pudding is one of a kind. We hardly need a reason to get celeriac on the menu but as the nights start to draw in this creamy, comforting soup really is the perfect antidote to the winter blues - especially when paired with fresh turmeric.
I would use venison all year round given the chance, and our wild muntjak are absolutely perfect when paired with woodland mushrooms, parsnip and the saltiness of home-cured bacon and aromatic thyme.
Our local Cheesemonger (Haydn) in Lower Broadheath produces a sublime blue cheese for us, this is rather nice with orchard pears and honey and fits beautifully in this months menu, nicely sandwiched between venison and damson...
We have picked bucketfuls of damsons this year so the pre-dessert this month will absolutely be damson-based... Its sort of a rule in September.
And Finally, the dessert. 'Apple Tart Tatin' is one of Septembers many gifts to us, and after a liberal dousing of caramel and a ball of vanilla ice-cream, September really is complete..."
Chef Notes for the October Tasting Menu
"The nights really are drawing in now so as you wind your way down to the restaurant in the darkness, the thoughts of a roaring log fire and a delightful tasting menu, reflective of the seasons will be at the forefront of your mind. Thankfully, October helps us provide just that! We tend to be curing and smoking even more than usual in november, and one ingredient that responds especially well to both is the makerel - add some orchard apple, some of our own pickled walnuts and you really have a dish to remember.
We have a great local supply of Quails eggs and what better way to enjoy them than gently poaching them and serving them in a foraged mushroom veloute?
We then move into a dish using our wonderful cured pork. Pork with mustard is a real winner and with our very own ham and pork this dish really does sing!
It wouldn't be autumn without serving locally shot partridge now would it? We love this beautiful bird when paired with belly pork, confit white cabbage and juniper - for me this dish is autumn in a mouthful.
Haydn - our cheesemonger, supplies us with 'ashed little flea' in october - a fort, creamy goats cheese with a hint of ash - lovely!
The pears will have been picked for chutney and we will also be using our own harvest poached with a rich caramel to create octobers pre-dessert...
Finally, the damson never really leaves our menu until we have finished the last drop of damson gin (around boxing day usually!), so as a tribute to the humble hedgerow fruit we will prepare an assiette of damson to show this fruit off in all its glory...""