Angela.jpgI’m just back from a magnificent, ten-course tasting menu prepared by two Michelin-starred chef John Campbell and his brigade at the Vineyard in Stockcross – ooh, get me!
The dinner was part of the hotel’s 2007 Chef’s Table festival, during which John and five invited chefs are preparing tasting menus that reflect their differing cooking styles. Other nights are being taken care of by Phil Howard of The Square, Brett Graham of the Ledbury, Nobu’s Mark Edwards, Angela Hartnett of the Connaught (pictured) and David Thompson of Thai restaurant, Nahm.
Chefs’ Table is an inspired idea. For guests, it offers a chance to enjoy Michelin-starred food out of London. (To ensure they feel part of the occasion and get a real sense of the chefs serving them, plasma screen televisions in the dining room relay a live feed from the kitchen.) For the hotel, it’s a great way to raise profile and boost occupancy levels. And for staff, it offers an exciting break from the norm, and a chance to work with eminent chefs. Tales were circulating, last night, of commis chefs stopping to video goings-on in the kitchen, on their phones.
Of course, having a two Michelin-starred chef like John in the kitchen makes it that much easier for the Vineyard to attract big names totheir festival. Still, maybe you could consider some similar kind of initiative to drive footfall in your restaurant?
John’ s menu in full
Local wild harvest
Feves, bacon, mushrooms, crayfish
terrine of suckling pig
Piccalili flavours
Organic salmon
Foie gras, red cabbage, apple
Sheepdrove organic chicken
Sweetcorn, wild watercress
Rump, sweetbreads, cheek
Beetroot ravioli
English goat’s cheese, summer squash
Cream cheese
Carrot and orange
Mango and lime
Highclose red berries
White chocolate, olive oil and balsamic
Banana and passion fruit
Raisin panna cotta