Archive for the ‘Cookery School’ Category

L'Ortolan Demo Studio

In 2008 Alan Murchison wanted a new demonstration kitchen at L’Ortolan that would both match the quality of the restaurant and be practical to cook in. He turned to bulthaup Winchester who were able to translate Alan’s vision into a reality. Ever since, the L’Ortolan butlhaup demonstration kitchen has played home to a number of cookery demonstrations and masterclasses run by Sous Chef, Mark Apsey. As a natural teacher Mark is keen to share his knowledge and passion with people who enjoy great food and want to learn more, indulging their culinary passion and teaching them to cook food with Michelin flair.

With Mark’s love for locally sourced ingredients and his passion for foraging, last week’s demonstration topic ‘Summer Kitchen Garden’ was the perfect masterclass for any aspiring Chef. Looking at ingredients that grow locally in gardens and footpaths throughout Summer, Mark showed his willing students an exciting selection of dishes from a beautiful summer berry Mille-Feuille to a fresh tomato Gazpacho. After tasting Mark’s Gazpacho we asked him the secret to creating such a delicious Spanish summer soup.


Tomato Gazpacho Recipe


3kg Ripe Plum Vine Tomatoes, roughly chopped
600g Cucumber, peeled deseeded and chopped
1.5kg Red Peppers, diced
130g Onions, finely chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
12 Basil Leaves
50ml White Wine Vinegar
25g Salt
70g Sugar


1. Mix all of the ingredients together and place in a refrigerator overnight
2. Place the ingredietns in a food processor and blend until smooth
3. Pass the mixture through a coarse sieve to remove any skin and seeds
4. Season to taste

Tomato Gazpacho


Mark’s tomato Gazpacho is now available every lunchtime at L’Ortolan on our Menu du Jour.

Two courses £28.00

Three courses £31.50

Call us on 0118  988 8500 to make your reservation or click here to book online.


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L'ortolan Macaroons

Yesterday our demo studio came to life with an afternoon tea inspired Patisserie Demonstration from L’Ortolan Pastry Chef Samantha Rain. Our demonstration guests arrived to a beautifully sunny L’Ortolan and introductions were made over tea and coffee in the bar. Afterwards the guests took their seats in the studio to learn how to produce a stunning selection of pastries both appealing to the eye and delicious – the perfect accompaniment for afternoon tea!

Macaroonier Sam demonstrated her perfect Liquorice Macaroons; a small light biscuit, crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, made with ground almonds, sugar and egg whites. Macaroons are one of our favourite current sweet crazes so we asked our very own L’Ortolan Pastry Chef for a lesson in baking the popular French confection.

Liquorice Macaroons


300g Icing Sugar
300g Ground Almonds
10g Liquorice Powder
115g Egg Whites
80g Water
300g Sugar


1. Blitz together 300g icing sugar, 300g ground almonds and 10g liquorice powder and pass
2. Whisk 115 egg whites to stiff peaks
3. Boil 300g sugar and 80g water to 118°c and pour onto egg whites
4. Whisk egg whites until fluffy and add to dry mix
5. Once the Italian Meringue is cold, combine all the elements into a smooth paste
6. Pipe the mixture and leave to form a skin
7. Bake at 150°c for 6-8 minutes

Liquorice Pastry Cream Filling


250g Milk
1 Vanilla Pod
60g Sugar
4 Egg Yolks
22g Cornflour


1. Boil 250g milk, 30g sugar and vanilla
2. Pour milk onto egg yolks and whisk, then place mixture back into the pan and cook out
3. Combine 30g sugar and 22g cornflour
4. Add Liquorice compound to taste

Liquorice Macaroons_______________________________________________________________

L’Ortolan Cookery Demonstration Programme

9th April – 3 Course Dinner Party – Bring a little Michelin star flair to your dinner party at home with some ideas and inspiration from the L’Ortolan kitchen.

23rd April – Chocolate Heaven – The perfect indulgent treat for serious chocoholics. During this masterclass you will be introduced to a variety of different chocolates including some of the world’s finest single estate chocolate.

14th May – Shellfish Masterclass – Delicious ways to prepare and cook shellfish – include a selection from lobster, oysters, clams, mussels, crab and razor clams depending on availability.

11th June – 3 Course Fish Supper – How to select and prepare the ‘catch of the day’ and cook your fish to perfection.

18th June – Summer Barbecue with the Big Green Egg – The Big Green Egg can be used to smoke, bake and slow cook as well as a barbecue. Join chef on the terrace and discover some new techniques and recipes.

To book your L’Ortolan demonstration please call 01189 888 500 or email info@lortolan.com

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L'ortolan Shellfish MasterclassWednesday saw the demo studio come to life once again with an entertaining Shellfish Masterclass from L’Ortolan Chef Ian Swainson. Due to the bank holiday weekend the demo was rescheduled for the following day, so we breathed a sigh of relief in the morning when the freshly caught shellfish arrived.

Our demonstration guests arrived early and introductions were made over tea and coffee in the bar. Afterwards the guests took their seats in the studio to learn how to prepare dressed crab, cooked lobster, clams mariniere and oysters with pickled shallot & chilli.

Here is one of the recipes that Ian demonstrated:

How to make Clams Mariniere


1kg – Clams (washed)
200ml – White Wine
1 – Banana Shallot (diced)
1 – Clove Garlic (pureed)
100ml – Double Cream
Parsley (chopped)
25ml – Riesling


  1. Take a large saucepan and heat until very hot.
  2. Add the clams and pour in the white wine, cover with a lid. The clams will steam in the wine very quickly.
  3. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
  4. Finish with the cream, followed by parsley and Riesling.

Following the demonstration Ian showed the guests around the L’Ortolan kitchen and introduced them to the rest of the culinary team. Once the party were seated in the main restaurant for their lunch, Ian took a couple of minutes to demonstrate how to remove the tail meat from the lobster that was cooked earlier. Take a look at the video.


L’Ortolan Cookery Demonstration Programme

11th September – Shellfish Masterclass – If you love shellfish but like many find preparing and cooking it a daunting task, then our Shellfish Masterclass will teach you how to transform it into some wonderful and tasty dishes.

9th October – Game Cookery – As we embrace the game season the L’Ortolan Chef’s will be revealing secrets behind some of our favourite signature dishes

30th October – Food and Wine Matching – Basics

27th November – Food and Wine Matching – Advanced

18th December – Turkey Masterclass – Taking the strain out of Christmas

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Big Green Egg Lortolan Demo
On Tuesday seven enthusiastic guests joined us for the Summer BBQ demonstration with Alan Murchison and Head Chef Nick Chappell. With the welcome arrival of the British summer sun, the terrace made a very pleasant setting for the event, creating a true BBQ atmosphere.

After the initial welcome, Alan introduced the guests to the Big Green Egg, a barbecue that has quickly shot to fame on our screens in recent cooking shows and has become very desirable in the finest restaurants in the UK and Europe.

The Big Green Egg is a charcoal based ceramic cooker that offers a wide range of precise cooking modes never seen before on a barbecue. It can grill, roast, smoke or bake pizzas in temperatures ranging from 80 – 400C.

Alan Murchison and his team began using a combination of large and small Eggs in the kitchen about a year ago, and were quickly won over by its diversity of cooking techniques; smoking, baking, slow cooking for a range of different dishes.

“This is the Formula 1 of barbecues. Every now and again a product comes along which redefines everything. The Big Green Egg is it.” Alan Murchison


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