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Archive for the ‘Alan’s Kitchen Blog’ Category

It was great this week to have a true athletics legend dining at L’ortolan on our famous ‘chef’s table’ in the heart of the kitchen. Olympic, World, European & Commonwealth sprint champion Linford Christie dined with me for lunch. Linford was at the peak of his career when I was following athletics as a young man (alongside fellow realbuzz.com blogger Sally Gunnell) and it’s safe to say he is a true legend. It was great to talk athletics, food, nutrition, teamwork and our new favourite subject Twitter, because it turns out Linford and I are big Twitter fans.

He’s a great character and still hugely passionate about sporting excellence and given 2012 and his elite training group, he is very much still involved with the sport. Linford like myself is also very much into mentoring and supporting youngsters. So it was great to hear about his plans and ambitions to be working with schools and developing an academy nurturing and encouraging talent and aspirations of excellence. It was also good to get Linford’s reaction to some of the dishes we serve at the restaurant. He is still in amazing shape, (I would easily whoop him over 10 miles though!) and is careful about his diet. As a very keen runner myself, I am fully aware of the nutritional and health elements of all the food we serve at the restaurant.

In fact two of the dishes that I serves at lunch typify the style of food that works for both foodies and athletes alike. Scallops with fregula & citrus purée combine fresh shellfish with high protein and high in complex carbohydrate fregula (ancient type of dried pasta made from semolina from Sardinia). Then I served him a Vietnamese chicken broth with pak choi and steamed sea bream. The chicken broth is flavoured with lemon grass, ginger and coriander and again, it’s low fat, healthy and nutritious. It was great for him to realise that fine dining does not mean cream, butter and fat and that healthy food can also be stunning and delicious!

Have a great week.

Alan

Originally posted on Alan Murchison’s realbuzz blog

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For those of you that follow me on Twitter you will have noticed the updates on the process involved in perfecting our stunning sour dough.  Young Dan in the pastry had been looking after his ferment (affectionately called FelicSourdoughity!) and the results were stunning.

We have had lots of interest about our bread and myself and Dan will be running a masterclass on 23rd June and allowing our guests to get a few of the secrets and techniques in producing our favourite bread.

The beauty about sourdough is you require nothing other than apple juice, salt and good quality flour, a good bit of technique and a little love and you can get a product that is truly amazing.  This technique dates back thousands of years, brought bang up to date through the medium of Twitter!

Until next time …

Alan

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Nice and busy in the kitchen, we have had a great start to the year, and are now working on a new A La Carte dessert menu which will be on soon.  Stephen has some really interesting ideas for food and wine pairings which as we all know will be as creative and well thought out as ever.

All our new chefs have fitted in well and we had a great lift this week as my old sous chef Phil Fanning won an Acorn Award.  This is a great achievement as only 30 young hospitality  professionals under 30 receive this award annually.  A lot of our kitchen team at L’Ortolan worked with Phil so we all are chuffed to bits for him.  Hopefully we can get Phil back to the L’ortolan kitchen soon to do a guest chef evening and show us how his food has developed over the last 18 months.

Keep an eye on Twitter for daily news from the kitchen @alanmurchison @lortolan

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New Staff at L'ortolan

Mathais, Sabrina, David, Kate, Alan

It’s a great time of year in the kitchen, spring is so exciting – berries, tomatoes, new season lamb, wild garlic and English asparagus.

Less exciting was having no kitchen extraction for two weeks!! Too old for that carry on.

Working with the guys now on a new menu, first changes have been done and now moving onto desserts. It’s going to be a good one!

We’ll also be running a ‘signature’ dinner menu each month to celebrate 10 years at L’Ortolan – great to cook some of the classic L’Ortolan dishes from the repertoire. You forget how good some of these dishes are.

We’ve recruited some great new team members.  In the restaurant we have the lovely Scottish/Geordie David and the smiley Sabrina, say hello next time you are in the restaurant.  Behind the kitchen door we have Mathais and Kate who come to join us after spending a few years with a certain Mr Ramsey.  Mathais has a very impressive CV in two and three star Michelin restaurants.  It’s great we are attracting quality people all the time.

Away to peel asparagus.

Happy cooking.

Alan

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