26 – A Slight Faux Pas

soupx3

I wasn’t working last night at the Sausage. If I was then the following would not have happened. But it did. We need to learn our lesson. I’m sorry. I’m sorry to the customers who didn’t realise and I’m especially sorry to the poor diner whose lips swelled up and, according to my head waiter, Gordon, appeared to sprout blue splotches all over her face as he watched.

What did we do which was so bad, so heinous? Unfortunately, one of my chefs (now no longer one of my chefs) added alcohol to our soup. And not just a little alcohol but a lot of alcohol. A lot. Gin, vodka, I’m not sure what else. It wasn’t clever but it was bad.

I should also like to apologise to the customer on the nearby table who had their dinner suit speckled with vomit from the allergic diner, and in turn to their dining partner who received a plateful of pearl necklace all over her lap when her husband jumped up to avoid the vomit. (Bit of a waste of good seafood really). I also understand that the police took a lot of convincing that the poorly woman’s husband had himself not been drinking-and-driving; at least we now know that a breathalyser cannot distinguish between a glass of something which you have genuinely drunk and a bit more than a glass (or three) of something in your soup.

It was, as the French say, a slight faux pas. Or as we would say here, an absolute f****** nightmare.


PostNote: I have to tell you one more thing. The reason I wasn’t at my restaurant last night was because I was meeting a very interesting man who had an astonishing story to tell and an amazing offer for me. I can’t tell you more just yet – we are currently looking at contracts – but trust me, when you hear the news you are not going to believe your ears! It is something out of this world.

Watch this space…

25 – March Menu

hedgehog

Our new menu for March is now being served. This includes two new starters: Raw Vegetable Salad (so raw you just go into our kitchen garden and pick some yourself) and Fake Foie Gras with Rose Tahini and Carob Molasses – flavour without the cruelty.

But the stars of this month’s menu are our three new main courses:

  • Hedgehog sans piqûres: sous-vide hedgehog, sweet corn puree, bacon popcorn and a red wine jus (no pricks will be served)
  • The Moules Marinière Full 3D Seascape Experience: Moules marinière with cream, garlic and parsley – and a seascape of sounds, smells and fresh sea breeze. Served with a large oilskin jacket – you’ll see why when you read the full details.
  • Poke: traditional Hawaiian cubed ahi tuna over seaweed, marinaded in soy sauce, green onion, avocado, mango, brazil nuts, sesame oil, ginger, sweet chillies, Japanese seasoning blends, with seasoned rice.

You can see the full menu here.

24 – The Moules Marinière Full 3D Seascape Experience

moules

New to our menu this March – look out for a real interactive, 3D Dining Experience. At the heart of this dish is a classic moules marinière with cream, garlic and parsley, you absolutely can’t beat it. But I’ve always remembered times of my youth, eating mussels straight off the boat from a Normandy beach in winter and as such I’ve always felt that eating moules marinière at a comfortable restaurant table – albeit a damn good restaurant table – never quite gave you the same providence. Until now.

Because when we serve you our moules marinière it comes with a seascape of sounds, smells and fresh sea breeze.

The sounds are produced from a micro MP3 player and wireless headphones plugged into your ears – the cries of the seagulls, the crash of the waves, the blast of the horn from the returning fishing boats. Topped off with French fishermen’s finer language.

Additional smells are also pumped across your table: the smell of the seagulls, the saltiness of the waves, paving stones danced on by rain. Complemented by the aroma of French fishermen’s boat exhausts. I’m not saying it will make you sick but you’ll need a strong stomach. Think you can take it?

And the pièce de résistance: the wind machine and rain simulator. I don’t want to spoil this for you but let’s just say that you’ll need the oilskin jacket. You can even buy the jacket after as a souvenir after the meal (and a 10% discount if you mention this blog) if you want something to remind you forever of this unique dining experience.

23 – Banana Appeals

bananas

I’ve been experimenting recently with cooking a few things which most normal chefs would just discard. And one of my successes has been the banana peel. And next month will see one or two of my new inventions hit the Sausage menu.

It’s funny how popular this has been with some of my sous chefs and even my head waiter, Gordon. Not only have they embraced the concept of using up all the banana skins in new recipes, but they have even taken away some of the more stringy parts of the peel for “our own experiments” as Gordon explained to me. Certainly there has been a lot more laughter in the kitchen since they started. And a lot more smoking breaks. And some of the chefs who I am sure used to smoke cigarettes are now smoking roll-ups. Good for them, I say.

Some of this is what you can expect from our new menu now or over the coming months:

  • Banana peel curry. The peel is an amazing addition to a classic Indian curry, and adds a unique sweetness and texture.
  • Deep fried Banana Skins: sliced very thinly and with a secret selection of spices, and a ginger ice cream. Delicious.
  • Banana skin huts: I won’t tell you more yet – but they are something to behold.

I tell you, other chefs will be copying me in no time. Hashtag food trend.

22 – Why I Should Replace James Martin on Saturday Kitchen

James Martin at the Good Food Show Winter 2014So James Martin has left Saturday Kitchen – adieu, James, we loved watching you – which means that the BBC will need a new presenter. As such, I would like to put myself forward as the leading candidate. I mean, why would you look any further:

  • I have been presenting my own TV show, Christoffel Cooks, on Mad4IT TV for, well, ages now. (Admittedly, Ainsley Harricot has been helping but, well, he’s not really SK material is he).
  • I am the creator and chef for such culinary classics as The British Rail Experience, New Forest Foraged Ant Legs, Roast Roadkill and the World’s Most Expensive Fish Fingers.
  • I also cook the classics – witness my Simple Crème Brûlée which no-one else seems to serve nowadays – and controversial food such as Guinea Pig (where the customers can choose their own cavy to be cooked).
  • And as per my biog, I did my training with Jamie’s Olives co. and model my restaurant on Heston Services.

But above all, my cooking and I are unreal. I think you know what that means.

I await my invitation from the Beeb.

21 – Bins and Moles

mole

I think I almost captured the mole last night. You’ll remember that we had a problem with dogs somehow getting in to our secure grounds and pissing in the snow a while back, and more recently a strange case of Carotene Half’s lawyers accusing me of slandering Half on my TV show when that episode had not even been broadcast yet. Unsurprisingly, I smelt a mole. And today, my suspicions have increased.

Last night, after I closed up the Sausage, I remembered I had to collect some papers to work on at home, so I went back to the restaurant when it was shut up. It was nearly full moon last night and so the dining room had an eerie but very bright feel. But as I was walking between the tables I suddenly saw a flash of light from outside. Intrigued, I pushed open our back door and immediately heard a crash which sounded like two of our large wheelie bins being shoved into one another.

At first I thought the dogs might be back – you might recall that I suspect Half could have sent his dogs here – and so I ran full pelt towards the bins. But when I got there, it wasn’t a dog I saw running away, but the silhouette of a somewhat portly man as he rather clumsily squeezed himself between two bins and ran towards our back fence.

But as he clambered over the fence, he caught his jacket on a fence-post and twisted round so he was facing towards me, and as the moon was out I caught a half glimpse of his face. And I can’t quite believe what I think I saw. I had of course suspected it would be Half or one of his staff, but it wasn’t. In fact, it looked like Ainsely Harricot. It stopped me in my tracks.

Ainsley Harricot? Why would he be rifling through my waste bins? He can’t have been looking for food. But my next menu maybe? My recipe notes? I know other chefs are jealous of what I achieve.

Or maybe I was mistaken. Maybe it wasn’t Harricot. But I tell you what, I am having CCTV installed immediately. And whoever you are, mole, next time I will capture you on film. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.