Nick’s Monthly Round-Up
Well February started with a bang with The Good Food Guide Pick of the Pubs Chefs dinner on Monday 4th. Some of the top chefs from around the country cooked a dish on the five course menu which was served with matching wines. Before dinner Elizabeth Carter, the Editor of The Good Food Guide, interviewed each of the chefs before inviting the audience to ask questions.
Stephen Harris’ famous Rock Oysters with Chorizo set the scene for what was to come. Stephen Terry’s pressed Braised Ham Hock with Welsh rarebit was a knock out. James Durrant’s beautifully presented Old Smoked Salmon dish got everyone talking. Dom’s Roast Squab of Pigeon was the star of the show (but then I would say that), it was so incredibly tasty. The grand finale was Tom Kerridge’s Chocolate and Ale Cake which left everyone scraping their plates – even after eating all that.
I would like to express my sincere thanks to all of the chefs for creating such a wonderful evening and to Elizabeth and the team at The Good Food Guide and most importantly to all of you who supported the event. We have another chef’s dinner in the making – more about that shortly.
The Royal Oak came number 6 in the ‘Budweiser Budvar UK’s Top 50 Gastropubs Awards 2013’ which took place at the end of January. This is an industry award voted for by other Chef’s, Restauranteurs and others involved in the business. It is alway an honour to be recognised by your peers, we are our own worst critics, so the panel is tough. I am delighted that we are in the top 10, it’s a great achievement. All credit has to go to Dom, Mo and the team.
We’ve hung some beautiful art in the restaurant during the last month. The large wall space in the new room and the light through the patio window shows it off very well. The most recent addition is a painting of Sydney Harbour that used to hang in Langan’s. A number of you have already recognised it.
The Manchester United Legends Dinner
Many of you will be pleased to know that The Manchester United Dinner is back. It’s being managed by Sears Events Ltd., a corporate hospitality company who specialise in sporting events. The dinner is taking place at Oakley Court Hotel, anybody who follows United will know that this is where the team stay when they are playing at Wembley. The date is Tuesday 14th May 2013. Ex-Manager, Wilf McGuiness is Master of Ceremonies. Each table will host one of the former players. There’s a special guest speaker and comic Sean Styles will entertain you after dinner. They’ll also be a small auction in aid of Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service. The evening includes all of the above and a 3 course dinner. Tables of 10 are £2,500 each, individual tickets are also available. To find out more and to book your table email Roz.
The Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year
Every year The Good Food Guide invites members of the public to nominate their favourite independent dining establishment in their local area. Voting is now open and will close on Sunday 14th April. If you think we deserve your vote, please complete one of the voting postcards when you are next in the restaurant or click here to place your vote online.
Outfront by Restaurant Manager, Mo Gherras and the Team
It was lovely to see so many of you during January despite the snow. Personally the novelty of snow has worn off over the last few years of harsh weather and I really resent it when it messes up my plans.
The TerraVin wine dinner on the 16th January was a great success. Thank you very much to everyone who supported the event. The next wine dinner will take place in May; more about that soon.
We have a number of other special events coming up, the first of which is this Thursday….
Valentine’s Night – Thursday 14th February 2013
We are offering a 5 course menu and a glass of champagne on arrival for £85 per person. A vegetarian menu is also available. Please check the What’s on Page on the website to take a look at the menus.
Mother’s Day – Sunday 10th March 2013
Treat your Mum to lunch at The Oak this Mother’s Day. Choose 3 courses from our à la carte menu, plus coffee/tea, petit fours and a little Mother’s Day gift for all the Mum’s to take home. The price per person is £60.
Easter Sunday – 31st March 2013
Easter is early this year. It’s always busy so please book early to avoid disappointment. Once again you can choose 3 courses from our à la carte menu, plus coffee/tea and petit fours and a box of Royal Oak chocolates for £60 per person.
MO’S CHEESE BOARD
Reblochon is an absolutely delicious cheese. In the middle ages farmers in the mountains of Haute Savoie, north east of france (Alpes) used to pay their taxes with part of their milk production. Before the tax officers arrived to measure the cows milk production the farmers would only partially milk the cows. Once the tax officers had gone they would milk the cows again and collect the remaining milk. The milk they got was much richer and was used to make Reblochon!
Reblochon is aged in cellars or caves in the mountains. The cheese maker turns the cheese every two days and washes it with whey in order to speed the ageing process. Reblochon has a creamy, softer than Brie texture; a nutty after taste; and a strong herbal aroma that is not for the timid.
Mo Gherras and The Team – February 2013
What’s Up in the Kitchen by Head Chef, Dominic Chapman
A Dinner with Friends
Monday 4th February saw a rather special evening at the Royal Oak. It was great to welcome four great chefs to our kitchen for an evening of fine food and wine.
The food was delicious and the spirit and morale in the kitchen was electric – a lovely mood to be a part of. A huge thank you to Michael and my team in the kitchen for a top class effort and also to Mo and the restaurant team. I’d also like to thank Tom Kerridge, Stephen Terry, Stephen Harris and James Durrant, it was great to work with you guys. A big thank you to Elizabeth Carter and the team at The Good Food Guide and a special thank you to all of you who attended the event and for your positive feedback. It’s very much appreciated.
February is a turning point in the kitchen calendar. All the wonderful game birds will soon come to an end and my attention will turn to Roe Deer, Squabs and Rabbits from Vicars game. Middle white-pork and the famous Longhorn Beef from Richard Vaughan and Lamb from the Denham estate. All these suppliers produce wonderful and delicious meat. They’re passionate about their product and for me this is an absolute must when choosing a supplier.
Scottish sea kale and Yorkshire rhubarb always excite and provide delicious and colourful dishes. Wonderful January king cabbages, English spinach and lots of beetroots and squashes. The changing of produce in February still provides some very special food for us all to enjoy.
The end of game bird season isn’t quite the end of winter and the cold days, but it certainly brings a feeling of excitement. Spring is on the way and with it warmer days, more beautiful produce and for me perhaps the chance to finally loose my crutches.
Dominic Chapman – February 2013
All About Wine by Sommelier, Simon Beneteau
A new wine will soon be available by the glass. It is the Novas Grand Reserva Viognier from the organic winery of Emiliana in Chile.
Coming from the Casablanca wine region, this 100% Viognier wine, shows some fresh, ripe, yellow nectarine on the nose, and some floral notes too.
It is a rich luscious glass of wine with stonefruit flavour, almondy in the mouth, with a refreshing acidity on the finish.
Viognier generally produces a low yield. It can easily reach 13-14% abv, even in a cool climate.
Being a really hard grape to grow correctly, Viognier is a well respected grape variety, producing one of my favorite wines – Condrieu from the North of the Rhone valley in France.
Simon Beneteau – February 2013
Back to Nick…………..
That brings us to the end of our February newsletter. As always I would like to thank you on behalf of everyone at The Royal Oak for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you soon.
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