November 23 2012
After a live Twitter talk
this morning to answer questions about my new book on baking, another afternoon
of meetings, menu planning and navigating central London’s congested streets to
check in at our various kitchens passes by in a blink, and before I know it, it’s
time for the main event of the day.
This evening, I’m preparing a private dinner for a 12-strong team from corporate caterers Baxter Storey, in my Library Kitchen at Tramshed. It’s a space set away from the main restaurant where I work on new dishes, and where I keep my not-inconsiderable collection of cookery books. I do a version of the starter from Alnwick Castle with the polenta, duck egg and, yes, white truffles, which the Baxter Storey guys love.
I then serve some enormous scallops from the West Country with sweet and sour Alexanders – a sort of skinny, wild-celery-like plant that has a slightly perfumed taste. It works really well with the sweetness of the scallops. Roast grouse follows with chanterelles and a light sauce made with elderberries, which I have preserved in some cassis from Herefordshire.
As you can tell, there is a bit of a wild theme going on here, which I love serving to guests as it’s not the kind of thing you can buy from a supermarket. That, and the flavours are totally unique. A simple chocolate mousse made with Italian Amedei chocolate finishes off the meal.
After dinner, I join a group of friends from my building team at Tekne and from Waugh Thistleton Architects, as well as Ratnesh, my business partner. He has just been up to Hackney Town Hall for an awards ceremony there. We’ve picked up a special commendation for “Design and Build” for Tramshed, which is more than enough reason to celebrate. It may be a long night.