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#31 Sat 23 Jun 12 7:29am

mummza

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Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

Thankyou Joy , I will be going to all the supperclubs for the celebration , (lucky me ) but did not go to the first one . I am glad you are enjoying reading them . I know they are long posts but there is a lot to at !

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#32 Thu 12 Jul 12 11:25pm

LuLuBell

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From Cardiff
Member since Sat 08 Jul 06

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

It’s almost the eve of July’s supper club and I’m only just getting this up, but I guess it’s better late than never as they say…

I think I’ve said it before, but it seems a good place to start - every supper club seems to have a different vibe. The 2006 Graduates were perhaps a little more timid than their predecessors from the class of 2005, and not as keen on talking about themselves in front of an audience, but their food was up there with the best of them and you can certainly say that spoke for itself. The “audience” or guests also made more than enough noise for the chefs to get away without having to give too many speeches.

The chefs in question were Gavin Gordon on the starters, Luke Robinson on the main, and Leona Williams on dessert and with the help of John Harvey, who works as a food stylist, made sure all the dishes looked perfect for service. Gavin is actually a 2005 graduate but, being Leona’s other half, he was drafted in to help and seemed plenty pleased to be doing so.  Jai Harrower and Mercy Taembo (both Class of 2011 graduates) were also there lending a hand, and a special mention should also be given to Mercy’s three month old daughter Ava who had spent the day “supervising” the chefs – i.e. snoozing in her pram and getting lots of attention for being so darn cute.

At this point you may be wondering if I will ever get on to the food itself, so I had better make a move. The starter was a quail ballotine with celeriac and pistachio puree, puy lentils, summer truffles, and a crispy little quail leg. Quails are teeny tiny and I can only imagine the fiddling that Gavin went through to make such neat little ballotines - skinning, boning and butchering, plus making sure that none of the miniscule little bones snuck through on to the plate. I will say that it were certainly worth the work, particularly when smeared with the gravy-like lentils and the creamy yet faintly nutty pistachio puree. The truffle shavings were also a lovely touch. They were not only luxurious, but the earthiness meshed well with the puree to remind you that although delicate, quail is indeed a game bird found in the British woodlands. All around winner – if it were bigger I’d have guzzled it as a main just as happily.

The main itself was a slow-braised shoulder of lamb with miso glazed aubergine, confit garlic, and a wild mushroom and broad bean fricassee. The lamb was so tender it dissolved on the tongue and the miso glazed aubergine! Oh the glazed aubergine. An aubergine can be a tricky thing to get right. Like courgettes, a lot of people do not know how to cook aubergines and end up with an insipid, watery mush which is a disgrace to the word vegetable. I am personally of the opinion that if we send Luke around the world, spreading the miso glaze gospel, we would never again have to face the perils of bland aubergines. They were caramelised and almost crispy – balancing out the saltiness of the lamb like a sweet sauce.

After all the richness, you’re probably surprised that I had room for dessert. I always have room for dessert and I am a firm believer in the “two bellies” theory – I have a main belly for savouries and a secret second one for sweets.  The sweet in question was a hazelnut ganache with chocolate shortbread, cherry ice cream and Vin Santo marinated cherries. I personally found the cherries a little strong – which was lucky for my boyfriend who whipped them off my plate before I’d even finished saying so. The ice cream was divine though, particularly when coated with little crumbles of short bread and a swipe of ganache. Oh what rich ganache. It pains me to admit that it defeated even my “sweet belly” and there was some left on my plate at the end that I could not quite stow away…

Rich food and rich company, all for a good cause. It doesn’t get much better than that now does it?

Last edited by LuLuBell (Tue 17 Jul 12 9:08pm)

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#33 Thu 12 Jul 12 11:41pm

mummza

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Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

That's lovely to read , now we have to look forward to Sundays supper club , such a treat to be able to attend these isn't it lovely LuLuBell .

So this Sunday the 15th July mother and daughter will be off again ready to eat another wonderful meal and report back to you all just what we have eaten and what the group have been doing since they graduated from Fifteen .
I will try to do a bit better with the photos this time !

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#34 Thu 12 Jul 12 11:44pm

Kye

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Member since Fri 04 Apr 08

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

thumbsup  kiss

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#35 Thu 12 Jul 12 11:48pm

Grandmadamada

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Member since Fri 19 Nov 10

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

crossed  thumbsup  thumbsup  thumbsup  big_smile vai mummzaaaa

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#36 Thu 19 Jul 12 6:40pm

mummza

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Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

The supper club for the 15th July was lovely , I have written about it , it just needs checking then it will be posted ,

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#37 Fri 27 Jul 12 2:43pm

mummza

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Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

Supper club 15th July 2012

Well time has flown by this month; it was hard to believe that it was already the 15th July, time for another Supper Club.


It was only a couple of weeks ago I travelled up from Wales to go to the street party that was held to celebrate the 10th anniversary for the Jamie Oliver Foundation, a great day where the sun shone down on the street and all had a really fantastic day.

When I went up the stairs above the Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen, to the large room where the Supper Club was being held in it was a flurry of activity but very well organised.  I popped into the kitchen to see what was happening and the surface was set with what seemed to me to be endless plates of tomato and mozzarella that were having the finishing touches added.

I was delighted to see Gavin Gordon again as he helped out at last month’ Supper Club, but this time he was there as it was his groups turn to cook... The class of 2007.

I soon learned that the only other chef that was able to be at the supper club from that group was David Slim, David was busy organising the boards of breads that were to go along the tables together.  This month the bread was to be a sour dough bread and a focaccia that was topped with sea salt crystals and chopped rosemary.

Jai, whom I have now met on several occasions, was also there helping. Jai is part of the group that graduated last year, he is a larger than life character and always so full of smiles and fun!  There is such a family atmosphere at the Jamie Oliver Foundation that I have started look forward each month to seeing familiar faces. 

Back in the main room Gavin was busy preparing the main course in full view of all the diners, there were several pans of little vegetables that were so beautifully prepared they were a real picture.  Little slim carrots peeled and glistening in the pan smelling wonderful and I had learned that these had been cooked with green cardamom pods to enhance the flavour giving the carrots a delicate overtone of a hint of cardamom.  There was a pan of caramelised onion purée, Gavin explained to me that there was probably most of a sack of onions in the pan but when I looked into the pan it seemed to only contain a small amount. To my untrained eye it looked like the contents of the pan was barely enough to fill a pint pot!  This amazing transformation of the sack of onions had happened as the large amount of onions had cooked for a long time resulting in the contents reducing greatly in quantity.  To achieve the amazing flavour of the onion puree the onions had gently cooked and caramelised for 6 hours.  The onion puree was a huge success and worth every effort.  Being smooth and a little sweet, it was appreciated by all the diners.

Also ready for cooking into the vegetarian main course was a pan with ratte potatoes that had been cut so that each little tiny piece was smaller than many rice grains, which must have taken a long time to be very precise.  The potatoes were destined to become the vegetarian main course as a potato risotto.  Nearby was a bowl that had baby broad/ fava beans that had been double podded.  Again this job must have been very fiddly as the bean halves were tiny and these too were added to the potato risotto.
 
The Supper Club dining room was filled with people happily chatting to each other.  Sitting nearby at the table was a lovely gentleman who had known Jai's family for over 30 years, long before Jai arrived in the world! He was a remarkable elderly gentleman who as an octogenarian (and in just a couple of years’ time will be a nonagenarian!) When we were all seated, I sat opposite this gentleman who told me interesting stories of being evacuated in war time, as a child, He told me that he had ended up evacuated to a farm in Wales and learned all manner of farm hand duties including how to milk a cow. 

The meal started, the wonderful focaccia and sour dough bread had been placed along the tables on wooden boards together with that glistening olive oil that I always look forward to eating. We were each served with a plate of Mozzarella Di buffalo Campana with Isle of Wight tomatoes, basil, pea shoots, aged balsamic and spiced pangrattato.  The tomatoes were delicious and the addition of the spiced pangrattato on top of the mozzarella was a great idea, it had been spiced with paprika and gave a new dimension to the creamy mozzarella.  I know from what Gavin had been telling me that as a trainee he had been on a sourcing trip to the Isle of Wight and seen the tomatoes growing using the hydroponics system. I had maintained that I felt all tomatoes grown in hydroponics produced beautiful fruits but were lacking in taste. I will now admit that I was wrong! Now I have tasted these tomatoes that we're grown in hydroponics I will admit they were very tastey (and yes Gavin... if I saw tomatoes from the Isle of Wight for sale I would buy them!)

Whilst we were busy eating the starter, Gavin was busy cooking the main course. Butter poached loin of rabbit crusted in wild mushroom with caramelised onion purée, summer vegetables, gravy filled doughnuts and crackling.  I had seen a large deep tray of golden clarified butter in the kitchen area where Gavin was working, he had been paying constant attention to this often giving it a gently stir it to keep the temperature even and checking the heat in it, it was a crucial part to how the main dish would taste. Too hot and the rabbit loins would ruin, too cool and they would not cook in the desired way!  The thin rabbit loins were poached in the clarified butter and coated with the wild mushroom which looked like it had been dried and powdered; the result was I am exquisite. The plate of food was a beautiful looking dish, the rabbit loin had been cut which enhanced the dark edges of it that had been created rolling the rabbit loin  the wild mushroom and the little baby carrots, so beautifully prepared adding vibrancy to the plate, a real delight to look at. I am told it tasted every bit as good as it looked.  'Simply divine' was one comment that I happened to overhear from a fellow diner. 
I have to mention the gravy filled doughnuts. They were not at all like the jam filled doughnuts that are so common in the bakers shops here in the UK, these gravy filled doughnuts were made from potato, their texture was very light inside, to me this was quite an unexpected texture as when I had heard that they were made from potato I had imagined them to be a denser texture, but they were beautifully soft and light inside. Amazing!

The vegetarian main course dish that I ate was Risotto with ratte potatoes. It was delicious, subtle flavoured and had plenty of the baby broad beans added. Sitting on top of the risotto was a very generous amount of truffle shavings together with some baby carrots and baby turnip. I have never had a potato risotto before and had been intrigued to try it.  It was well worth all the care and work that went into making it, very nice indeed. Thank you so much.

Dessert was prepared by David Slim, this was described on the menu as Amedei chocolate marquise with raspberry sorbet and chocolate taille.  The description did not do it justice!  It was during his training with the Fifteen Foundation that David learned about the rich, smooth intense flavour of the Amedei chocolate, so it was the natural choice for making the marquise.  The chocolate marquise had been sat on a layer of crisp buttery shortbread and itself had a magnificent depth of flavour.  The texture although similar to a mousse had a bit more depth to it, it was rich and each mouthful kept you going back for more!  The raspberry sorbet was a perfect addition to the marquise and was just divine.  I have never seen such a thin chocolate tulle as the one that accompanied the desert, I will admit that when I first looked at the plate of desert I had marvelled at what I thought was a very thin oblong chocolate shaving, wondering to myself how chocolate could be cut so thin and remain in shape. It was only after I tasted a bit of what I then realised it was the chocolate tulle that I realised my mistake. It was amazing, so thin, so delicate, great flavour and a perfect shape.  There were a great many clean plates down the table which showed just how fantastic this desert was.

As I have mentioned David Slim has been working at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen, where he has been Chef du Partie, he has recently had a promotion to Chef Tornone and this gives him the flexibility to work on any section in the restaurant.  He has done several jobs since he graduated from the Jamie Oliver Foundation, including initially working at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen then going on to work in several gastro pubs and also working with Aaron Craze.  David then returned to Jamie Oliver's Fifteen where he has been working and continues to work in his new role.  Like all the apprentices David found that the sourcing trips were a very valuable part of the Fifteen Apprentice Programme, and in particular, his favourite sourcing trip to Tuscany where the apprentices learned about Olive Oil, Rice and Wine.

Gavin Gordon, is about to start a new role as Sous Chef in the newly opened restaurant, South Place Hotel.  Gavin described the sourcing trips that he had done as an apprentice for Fifteen as "mind blowing" as there was so much to learn and it bought an full understanding to things that he had been taught previously during the training process.  This made me realise just how valuable these trips are during the apprentice programme and they are not just 'days out for fun' but it is a time of intense and practical learning and also a very interesting way of collecting and retaining the knowledge gained.  The sourcing trip to the Isle of Wight remains a favourite of Gavin's.  He explained that during this trip he was able to learn a great deal but also made the most of the trip as it was the last before graduating from the Fifteen Apprentice Programme.

As you can see the training process in the Fifteen Apprentice Programme has given young people so many great opportunities all over the world.  This to me is really very exciting.

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#38 Mon 30 Jul 12 6:22pm

mummza

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Occupation avoiding housework
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Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

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#39 Tue 31 Jul 12 3:27pm

JoyYamDaisy

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From Melbourne Australia
Member since Sun 12 Apr 09

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

What a magnificent report Mummza! I really loved reading about the huge amount of onions, the tiny pieces of potato, the gravy filled doughnuts..... and all the rest! Such an interesting piece! cool

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#40 Tue 31 Jul 12 11:59pm

mummza

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Occupation avoiding housework
From The land of song.
Member since Tue 04 Oct 05

Re: Graduates supper clubs .. celebrating 10 years for Fifteen

Thank you Joy , it was an interesting evening . I am now looking forward to next months supper club.

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