Summer Time

12 August 2013

The Freemasons exterior
As we race into August off the back of some glorious sunshine, it reminds me how lucky I am to have the Freemasons in such an idyllic part of the country. The last few months have allowed us to fully utilize our outdoor sections and more than ever I have managed to reflect on the food we are serving by enjoying the odd lunch in the sun myself ?. Something every Chef should spend time doing, when they are not at the BBQ.
Last month I attended the Hotel & Caterer awards, which I mentioned in my previous blog. We were shortlisted for the “menu of the year” award, one that we were honored to be put up for. The evening was a wonderful occasion and the great and good of the industry were in attendance. Unfortunately we didn’t win, but our congratulations went to a worthy winner, The Sticky Walnut in Chester, under the guidance of Chef Gary Usher. We will continue to improve the food here and hope to get the recognition.
Talking of the glorious sunshine we have been experiencing, another glorious day is fast approaching the form of the 12th of August, otherwise known as the “Glorious Twelfth”. AT the crack of dawn on the 12th, suppliers and chefs alike eagerly await the first grouse birds, heralding the start of the game season. It is one of the most significant days in my food calendar and one that doesn’t fail to get me as excited as a small child on Christmas Eve. 
For us at Freemason’s it means we can start to introduce a fresh array of dishes that make the most of the fantastic game and other delicious, seasonal ingredients available at this time of year. On the day of the 12th, I will be up at the crack of dawn with some of the guys from the kitchen and we will meet and collect the first grouse of the season. At The Freemason’s, we pride ourselves on serving the freshest seasonal food possible and serving grouse on the 12th is for me, as seasonal as it gets.
Finally, to start getting you excited about October and our annual Game Week, where we have invited a stellar list of top chefs to come and cook at Freemasons for a week. I can promise the week will be fun, yet give you an insight into some of the UK’s best cooking. We have some old favorites returning with some new exciting additions too. The full list will be announced very soon, so be sure to look out for it and get booking.
I will leave you now to get back to your BBQs and hope that this summer continues for a little longer.
For now, eat, sleep and drink well.
Steven Smith