13 – Yellow Snow

Italian Spinone

If you read my last blog then you will know that we have been thrilling our customers at the desert table during this snowy weather with our Melting Snowman, where we build a 6 inch snowman which melts before the diners’ eyes to give them a surprise amuse-bouche.

Unfortunately we have had a few problems with, er, yellow snow getting into the snowmen. It seems that one of the neighbourhood dogs has been getting into the area of our kitchen garden where we get the snow from, and for some reason one of my Chef de Partie did not check his ingredients properly.

Regrettably, the first person to notice this was one of our customers. Who just happened to be the mayor of the local town. Who just happened to be dining with two other councillors… and the food critic at our local newspaper… and the local Rabbi. I don’t think it meant the dish wasn’t Kosher but it certainly wasn’t “kosher”-genuine. Well, it was genuine, in fact far too genuine, it just wasn’t quite wasn’t what they, or I expected.

Fortunately, none of them actually ate it. Unlike my Chef de Partie, who then did have to taste it. All of it.

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PostScript: My Chef de Partie was so aggrieved by what had happened, that he “voluntarily” stayed up all night to try to catch the canine culprit. Sure enough, the dog did return, somewhere near 5am apparently, and was just about to do his thing again when my chef managed to chase him off. He swears blind he would have actually caught the dog if it hadn’t been for the frost-bite in his fingers. Pathetic excuse.

The interesting thing is that he says the dog looked a bit like a curly coated retriever. When I showed him a photo later of a similar breed he confirmed that’s what it was. The thing is, the photo I showed him was a Spinone Italiano – they look similar but they are quite distinctive. And rare as pets in the UK. In fact, there is only one person I know who lives near here who has one: Carotene Half – the owner of The Bologna Pony. Surely he wouldn’t stoop that low, would he? Would he?

12 – The Melting Snowman


With all this snow, it of course makes it much harder for our customers to get to The Smoked Sausage at the moment. We wanted to reward them when they do so, so we have created the Melting Snowman as a free addition to our desert dishes:

The Melting Snowman is a 6 inch snowman made out of snow and ice which we bring to the table in its own dish. And as it melts it reveals a small but delicious present inside for the diners: a home-made chocolate, sugar candy, the Sausage Lemon Bomb or something else equally as enticing.

It’s our way of saying thanks for coming.

10 – Simple Crème Brûlée


Next month we are adding something really radical to our menu: Simple Crème brûlée. No frills, nothing supplementary, no hidden ingredients – just straight forward, vanilla crème brûlée. And yes, I know this doesn’t sound radical but there is one simple reason why it is so: because every other freakin’ chef I know at the moment just will not leave this classic dish alone and insists on abusing and ruining it with some sort of  unnecessary, horrendous,  abhorrence of an addition. And then says it’s great.

Well it isn’t.

e bloody g: I have had it up to here with raspberry versions and gooseberry versions, banana varieties and every-other-fruit-under-the-sun versions. Chocolate renditions. Chocolate! Why?! Chocolate is wonderful in so many dishes but in crème brûlée: no! Leave it out.

And then you have even worse adaptations: pumpkin crème brûlée and onion crème brûlée, for example – pumpkin and onion?!! Are you kidding me? I’ve even seen sweet potato crème brûlée and Gorgonzola and Leek crème brûlée. OMFG!

Now listen. You know that I, one of the restaurant and catering industry’s most extreme and radical chefs, love something different. I love challenging diners. And I love serving good food. But if something is sh*t then something is sh*t. And that is what crème brûlée variations are. Just sh*t.

So next month, try our radical, original, (unbelievably – sadly and literally) unique, simple crème brûlée. And leave the sh*t alone.