Nick’s Monthly Round-Up
Hope you all had a great Easter. Thank you to everyone who supported us over the period, it was great to see so many of you.
I am very pleased to say that Dom is now without crutches and back in the kitchen. Since breaking his hip Dom has been a good patient and made great progress. He’s kept a watchful eye over his team in the kitchen who did an outstanding job over the Christmas period and have kept up the standards throughout. I would personally like to thank them all for their hard work, passion and commitment under enormous pressure. Welcome back Dom, really looking forward to working with you again and a great spring and summer season.
In the last few newsletters I have talked about the return of the Manchester United Legends Dinner (listed in the right hand column) which is now being managed by Sears Events. Sears Events have just launched their new website, so if you’d like more details about the United dinner or would like to see what other events they have on offer (some of which are taking place at The Royal Oak) please click here.
The Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year survey will close this Sunday (14.4.13). If you think we deserve your vote there are postcards available in the pub or you can vote online.
Outfront by Restaurant Manager, Mo Gherras and the Team
I would also like to thank everyone who supported us over the Easter break; it was lovely to see so many familiar faces.
We still have places available for the Raoul Collett champagne dinner that I announced last month. Please see details below.
Raoul Collett Champagne Dinner – Wednesday 8th May 2013
The evening will include 4 selected vintages and a matching four course dinner. Maria Ferri, Export Manager from Raoul Collett is hosting the evening and will introduce you to each of the vintages. The price per person is £100. Please call 01628 620541 or email reservations to book your table.
MO and Kirri’s CHEESE BOARD
Cote Hill Blue
Cote Hill Blue is often described as a ‘proper blue cheese’. It has a thin natural crust, rich creaminess and punchy veins of blue.
The producers, Mary and Michael Davenport, make Cote Hill Blue at their farm in Lincolnshire with milk that is high in butterfat and protein.
After milking the cows in the morning, the milk is piped directly into the cheese vat and is in moulds within just five hours. The milk is not pasteurised and the process from cow to cheese is kept to a minimum. This, together with the cows eating lots of home grown forage to produce the milk, gives the cheese a unique identity which reflects the terroir of Cote Hill Farm.
Cote Hill Blue is a celebration of British blue cheese and one which we are proud to have on the board.
Mo Gherras and The Team – April 2013
What’s Up in the Kitchen by Head Chef, Dominic Chapman
A Kitchen Garden and Fresh Herbs this Summer…..
The Royal Oak has spent the winter designing a new garden; we have a water feature, planters with a maze of pathways through the herbs and flowers.
Richard Vine, expert horticulturist and magician in growing vegetables and every sort of salad leaf, has designed our garden. He has been waiting patiently for the weather to brighten up and has now begun the grand job of planting the garden ready for the summer.
His magic produces ingredients that help to make food taste fresh, pure and incredible. Flavours burst in the mouth and have a crystal clear purity.
The garden is an amazing addition to the Royal Oak kitchen. In the summer it will fill the restaurant with beautiful smells of fresh herbs and the brilliant colours of the flowers and herbs will be on show for all to enjoy.
Asparagus is a wonderful vegetable and one that, in my opinion, should only be seen on a menu when grown outside in England. The English asparagus season has now begun; the first crops of outdoor grown asparagus has just arrived to my kitchen and we can now enjoy this crunchy stick of joy for around 8 weeks.
English Asparagus is on the menu with soft boiled eggs. I love a runny yolk which acts as a delicious sauce with the beautiful vibrantly green spears of asparagus.
The season for Sea Trout and Wild Salmon is now beginning….Diver Caught Plaice, Cornish Sardines and Lobsters. We will soon have peas, broad beans, Jersey royals, sorrel and tomatoes. All this springtime produce is delicious and always exciting to have on our menu.
Hurst Farm will soon be supplying us with lots of fresh and delicious produce. Courgette flowers, runner beans, soft fruits……….. We are lucky to have Hurst Farm on our doorstep – vegetables and fruits that have just been picked are delivered to our kitchen and go straight onto the menu. There is no better way to eat fruit and vegetables than freshly picked.
All these fantastic ingredients make writing a menu at this time of year extremely exciting.
Dominic Chapman – April 2013
All About Wine by Sommelier, Simon Beneteau
This month I might not have so much to say about wine because I spent March at home changing nappies. On 3rd March I became a father. My girlfriend Vicky gave birth to our beautiful daughter Evey. I am delighted to say that both Mum and daughter are beautifully fine – my pride and joy!
Coming back to the wine…
Before taking my leave Nick asked me to have a look at an on-line auction held by Christie’s to see if there might be anything of interest for our already more than full cellar!
All the big boys (Bordeaux etc.) were overpriced, so I orientated my search around “less obvious” choices. I had a look at Nick’s all time favourite “Penfolds Grange” – an amazing red wine. A blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon from South Australia which in its best years, such as 1990, has nothing to be shy of when compared to the finest European wines. Finding a decent price on a perfect conditioned vintage (1985), we decided to ‘put in a bid and see what happened’! As it is such a sought after wine we didn’t get our hopes up.
The first day passed with no news, but the next day I received an email confirming that our bid was the highest and we could purchase the bottle. What a fantastic surprise. I completed a few Internet formalities and a week later we received a beautifully packaged parcel straight from the US and inside our precious bottle… A pristine condition Penfolds Grange-Hermitage 1985.
If you want to hear more about it just ask me!
Simon Beneteau – April 2013
Back to Nick…………..
That brings us to the end of our April newsletter. A summary of up and coming events and other things we have on offer can be found in the right hand column of this newsletter.
All that remains is for me to thank you on behalf of everyone at The Royal Oak for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you soon.
To make a reservation and/or for further information please:
Raoul Collett Champagne Dinner – Wednesday 8th May 2013
The evening will include four selected vintages and a matching 4 course dinner. The price per person is £100. Please see the body of this newsletter for more information.
The Manchester United Legends Dinner
Tuesday 14th May 2013
The Manchester United dinner is back. It’s taking place at The Oakley Court Hotel. ex-manager, Wilf McGuiness is Master of Ceremonies. Sir Michael Parkinson is hosting the event and former manager, Ron Atkinson is the guest speaker. After dinner, comic Sean Styles will entertain you and they’ll be a small auction in aid of our local charity Alexander Devine Children’s Hospice Service. A former player will host each table. The evening includes all of the above and a 3 course dinner. Tables of 10 are £2,500 each, individual tickets are also available at £250 per head. To find out more and to book your table visit Sears Events website or send them an email.
Meeting Facilities, Parties and Functions
If you are planning a company off-site or customer meeting we offer meeting facilities and high end hospitality in a non-corporate but professional environment. So why not combine a little business with pleasure? We can also provide facilities for private and business functions. Visit our website and/or call Kelly on 01628 620541 or email for more information.
Royal Oak Gift Vouchers
Our gilt edged gift vouchers make the ideal gift for any occasion. Ask at reception or call or email for more information.