Monday, 6 November 2017

Indian Summer - Look Back

The last two months for me have been another eventful chapter in my little food adventure. I feel I've turned a corner and am stepping out from under the MasterChef umbrella. Doing my own thing and loving it. September saw the start of my Indian Summer campaign, my new branding and putting my own style of food out there for people to try. The whole aim of Indian Summer was to show the vibrancy of Indian food and how it can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. It was also very important to me that I start to forge my own style and show how my food is evolving and hopefully improving. 




It all started way up high on the roof terrace of Jacobs Market with the brilliant Lost Lands Cinema and the fantastic food film 'Chef'. The food was my take on the classic kebab! My version of this national treasure used the very best Welsh PGI lamb shoulder slowly roasted over night, shredded and then crisped up. This sat on top of a fluffy home made naan bread, mint yogurt spiked with cumin, topped with my signature chilli sauce, pickled onions and coriander. For the vegetarian version I crisped up slabs of paneer until golden in a spiced coating then served exactly the same as the lamb kebab.




The dessert was my first collab with the brilliant Pettigrew Bakeries. We recreated the New Orleans classic beignets (little doughnut style morsels of heaven) served with a rich Green & Blacks dark chocolate sauce. David who is the mastermind behind the Pettigrew empire is a real inspiration to me and has become a great friend and mentor over the last year. 



I've been a big fan of the roof top cinema since it started and I'd like thank Ian who runs Lost Lands cinema for inviting me up there and sorting it all out! Thanks for all the help dude much appreciated! Also to Meat Promotion Wales for the backing, Oriel Jones for the lamb and the saint like John and Ceri Cook from Arbennig for letting me use their amazing ovens (again!). I had a blast doing this and was the perfect start to Indian Summer!




I was also lucky enough to take my Indian Summer vibes to Abergavenny Food Festival this year and I had to pinch myself a little to believe it actually happened. This for me was dream come true! I've been a fan of this festival for a number of years but to actually be there showing off my food and what I am all about was for me incredible. There was mango lassis and spiced roasted peach for the masses! Thank you Abergavenny I hope to see you all again soon!



The business end of Indian Summer came in the form of my supper clubs at Pettigrew Tea Rooms. I put so much effort into devising this menu and really trying to showcase what I can do. This was my heart and soul, this is what it is all about and this is what I was most anxious about. To say I pushed myself is an understatement but I am so pleased with the outcome! Smiling faces and full stomachs are what I'm trying to achieve! Sometimes when we are busily working away downstairs at the supper club and I catch the hubbub of conversation in the air from the dining room full of people having a good time that for me is the best feeling. Thank you to all that came to the supper clubs, I really appreciate the support. 








Not only that but if it wasn't for the phenomenal team at Pettigrew this would not be possible. I don't ever really want to do a supper club without them.



By no means was everything all plain sailing and Instagram photos of having fun, but I am not the finished article. I am learning all the time, I am improving all the time and I am loving every minute of it. Even when I wish the ground would open up and swallow me whole, it did not deter me. Which can only mean that I am meant to do this. I've said this before and I'll say it again, I'm just getting started.




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