Great British Menu
One of my favourite chefs in Sussex is the hugely talented Matt Gillan of the Michelin-starred The Pass at South Lodge near Horsham. The food that he and his team produce is astounding, and the experience is made even better by the fact that they are all really friendly, approachable people.
Matt will be appearing on BBC 2’s Great British Menu in late September, with the challenge to produce 21st century dishes that honour the custodians of first class home cooking, and pay tribute to the generations of women who have helped make Britain the great culinary nation it is today.
The chefs have taken inspiration from the women in their families – their mothers, grandmothers and great grandmothers – and the pioneering women of the Institute, to turn home-cooked classics into modern masterpieces. Tune in and support a genuinely great British chef.
Cheers for beers
An emerging trend in bars at the moment is the beer cocktail, although my mate Jake Goldstein at the Plotting Parlour in Brighton tells me it’s no new thing as they were all the rage in the 1800s.
Back then they would have eggs and cream as well as beer and were more about sustenance and protein than getting drunk. In modern times, the resurgence of beer cocktails is due to the popularity of craft beer at the moment.
The late 20th century saw a massive degradation of beer quality due to the domination of the big brands, but now that this is finally over. Beer cocktails are about the accentuation of the flavour profile of the beer and using notes that play off that profile.
They are also about making beer approachable. With the use of reductions, dry hopping, malt syrups and the like, you can make a cocktail that mimics and accentuates the make up of flavours in the beer without using too much beer itself. Keep an eye out for beer cocktails at a bar near you soon.
Scores on the Doors
It’s perhaps not the first thing that comes to mind when booking a restaurant but are you confident that your chosen eatery has high standards of health and hygiene? After all we’ve all experienced a dicky tum after dining out at some point in our lives.
Across the UK, the Food Standards Agency and council Environmental Health departments subscribe to a common national scheme called ‘Food Hygiene Ratings’, or slightly more sexily ‘Scores on the Doors’.
Restaurants and other food businesses – including hotels and guesthouses – that serve in excess of 20 meals a day are all rated from zero to five, with regular inspections depending on the perceived risk posed by the business.
Personally, I’d start to be concerned by a score of two or less, as that means standard health and hygiene practices are not being followed. You can check the Scores on the Doors for any food business online at www.scoresonthedoors.org.uk, and any reputable business should clearly display their rating at their entrance… if its not there then ask why!