What’s new in the world of food events, pop-ups, products and restaurant openings
Celebrating Burns Night?
Michel Roux Jr will be hosting a celebration of Scotland with a five course Scottish tasting menu and accompanying Balvenie whisky pairings at Roux at Parliament Square £130pp
Frenchie in Covent Garden has created the Rob Roy cocktail, a combination of Glenrothes aged 10yrs, Lustau Vermut, aromatic bitters and orange zest
The Gallery in West Hampstead has over 101 whiskies behind the bar which will you can enjoy alongside a special Scottish menu
Plum + Spilt Milk at Great Northern Hotel are holding their annual Burns Night Dinner. Chef Director Mark Sargeant will feature Scottish dishes paired with Dalmore whisky, including Haggis, neeps & tatties with Dalmore Cigar Malt ceremonially piped into the room by a bagpiper. £70pp including the whisky pairing.
Save the date William Sitwell’s next Weston Supper Club is a feast of Indian food created by rising stars Will Bowlby and Rik Campbell of the fabulous Kricket. The evening will be held at William’s Northamptonshire home on February 15. Tickets can be booked here
Don’t miss! The Le Pont de la Tour Cheese Room which is open until the 25 January and promises the ultimate experience for cheese lovers. Serving an intimate three-course menu with champagne for groups of up to four, the Cheese Room also comes with your very own private fondue waiter.
John Swannell, one of Britain’s best photographers, has created an exhibition of work which currently graces the walls at Le Caprice including shots of Sir Elton John, Rod Stewart, Darcey Bussell and this famous portrait of Princess Diana with her two sons. You can buy limited edition prints too once lunch is over.
One to watch Award winning chef Shaun Rankin is to run the fine dining restaurant at Grantley Hall in North Yorkshire, the eagerly awaited new luxury hotel which opens in the Spring.
One of England’s foremost country estates has launched a new food range to showcase the best of its locally reared game. The Belvoir Castle collection offers flavour-packed wood pigeon, pheasant and partridge exclusively from The Country Victualler, the on-site butchery in the castle grounds in Leicestershire. Chef and game expert Jose Souto has created a series of recipe cards to inspire you too.
Recipe of the week
Midnight Chicken by Ella Risbridger
There was a time when, for Ella Risbridger, the world had become overwhelming. Sounds were too loud, colours were too bright, everyone moved too fast. One night she found herself lying on her kitchen floor, wondering if she would ever get up – and it was the thought of a chicken, of roasting it, and of eating it, that got her to her feet and made her want to be alive.
Midnight Chicken is her new cookbook, illustrated with beautiful watercolours throughout, the book is brimming not only with recipes that reveal the life-changing happiness of cooking, but Ella’s natural disarming wit and gentle wisdom.
This is the best roast chicken you’ll ever have, and I think it might just be perfect.
For 2, with leftovers (for soup and salad and stock and sandwiches)
Chicken, mine was 1.6kg
Garlic, about 8 cloves
2 fresh chillies, 2 (or 3 if you don’t have chilli salt)
Mustard, the grainy sort
Chilli salt (or sea salt)
Ginger, a nub about the size of your thumb
Honey, about a spoonful
Take your chicken out of its packaging. Sit it in a baking tray; let it breathe. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C.
Take half of your garlic and chop it finely, then put it in a cup. Using the kitchen scissors, chop the chillies and a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme. Put those in your cup, too. Add a hefty teaspoon of mustard, some pepper and chilli salt (just ordinary sea salt will do, if you haven’t got any). You can add a little splash of olive oil too, if you like. I don’t always, but sometimes I do, and then it is gold.
Peel and grate the ginger, if you have a little grater, or you can just chop it if not. It’ll be okay. Add most of it to your cup with the garlic and herbs. Put the last pinch into a mug with the honey. Boil a kettle.
Take the lemon and cut it in half. Juice one half very briskly, and the other half a little less briskly. Pour most of the lemon juice into your cup of stuff. Stir.
Pour the rest of the lemon juice into the mug with the ginger and honey. Add hot water from the kettle. Stir. Drink. Steady yourself.
Go back to the chicken. Unloop the elastic string holding its little legs together, and shove four of the garlic cloves and the less squeezed lemon half up its little bottom. Loop it up again, if you can, then rub the garlic-chilli-herbs-ginger-lemon mixture into the chicken skin; into the legs, the thighs, the wings.
Slide the chicken into the oven. Set the chicken timer for about 1 hour and 20 minutes, if your chicken weighs the same as mine, and your oven is temperamental in the same ways as mine. If your chicken is bigger or smaller than mine, give it about 30 minutes per 500g. Have a glass of wine.
When the timer rings, check the chicken. I am very bad at testing when a chicken is done, but I know in theory – something about sticking a skewer into the meatiest bit of the leg and the juices running clear. If it’s still pink, send it back to the oven. If not, turn the oven off and let the chicken sit for 5 minutes. Dip some bread in the juices.
Carve the chicken. Tear the meat from the bones. Drink. Eat. Feel glad.
Midnight Chicken by Ella Risbridger (Bloomsbury, £22) out this week.