With the recent news that Spring 2013 has been the coldest on record in 50 years, all of here at the Freemasons Wiswell are keeping our fingers crossed for a fast transition into the Summer months. Fortunately, the cold weather has not dampened your desire to keep dinning or our fabulous local producers to provide us with the freshest ingredients. They have done an incredible job and worked against the odds, as I write this, we are unpacking some of the most delicious strawberries.
2013 keeps providing myself and the Freemasons team with reasons to be proud of and it was just last week that the Hotel & Caterer awards announced their short-lists and then finalists for each of their categories for this years awards, the Catey awards. It was, therefore a huge honour that I woke up one morning to find out that not only have we been short-listed, but have made the final four for menu of the year.
It is particularly pleasing for me, that the category we are in the final for is simply for the cooking we are consistently producing. The good use of seasonal produce on the menu; creativity of the dishes being served; careful marrying of textures and flavours of the component ingredients; value for money; and seeing the menu or selection of dishes, would you be tempted to eat there. I can't wait for the winners to be announced on the 2nd of July in London and hope that I have some very good news to share with you soon.
If you read my blogs, you will know that I have spent more time in London, building relationships with other young talented chefs and last month saw me host a dinner at Cinnamon Kitchen in the city with my friend and Head Chef Abdul Yaseen. The dinner was labelled “East meets West” and the menu was a combination of both of our influences. The dinner was a fantastic success and I met some great people. I hope to get Abdul up again to Freemasons for Game Week in October later this year.
June promises to be another exciting month with the events calender filling up. Alongside our Chippy tea event, we have our inaugural “War of the Roses” dinner, which we are very excited about. Teaming up with Chef Tim Bilton from Yorkshire, we are planning a fantastic evening of competition, pitting the two great counties head to head. The great news is that the event has had a really positive response, with the evening already sold out. For those who missed out, we have just put the finishing touches on our next big event, called “Master & Apprentice” dinner. I have invited my old mentor Michael Shaw from the White Hart to Freemasons to cook for a night and to see who is now the master! Again, it promises to be a entertaining evening and one not to miss.
Until next time, eat, drink and sleep well.