What’s new in the world of food events, pop-ups, products and restaurant openings
Boutique Great Northern Hotel is adding a new name to the list of cool places to hang out around Kings Cross station when Anthracite opens its door on 14 November. Martinis will take centre stage, with an extensive selection of vodkas, gins and vermouths for guests to create a bespoke martini, expertly mixed by head bartender Balazs Nagy and his team.
A special treat for a foodie loved one. French restaurant Le Pont de la Tour is celebrating the festive season with their bespoke Truffle Hut. From 5 November, the riverside experience will offer a romantic space for two including a four-course menu and a bottle of Moët & Chandon champagne. Guests will a private waiter for the evening while they look out over the iconic views of Tower Bridge. It costs £145 for two, and tickets can be bought here
Mark Sargeant and Ben Tish are reuniting in the kitchen as part of the guest chef series at The Game Bird. On 23 November, Mark will be at the pass serving Smoked Cod’s Roe with seaweed crackers, followed by Pheasant Ravioli in a game and truffle broth. The fish course will see scallop paired with an earthy Jerusalem artichoke purée and sweet sherry caramel. The star of the show is a classic Venison Wellington and finally, guests will be enjoy a spiced Pear Tart Tatin with cinnamon ice cream. Tickets are £80 and can be bought here
On 20 November, Le Cordon Bleu will welcome one of the world’s most exciting mixologists, Matthias Giroud, to host a Cocktail Masterclass at the London school. The event will feature an introduction the amazing world of mixology, alongside a demonstration and tasting of cocktails and mocktails taking inspiration from the perfume world.
Salt Yard will be celebrating truffle season with a special Truffle Lunch on 25 November. Priced at £120 with a wine pairing, the five-course menu include dishes such as White truffle risotto, egg yolk, cracked black pepper; Pan fried wild bass, grilled hispi cabbage, black truffle butter; and Aged Galician beef sirloin, Truffled parmesan polenta, Jerusalem artichoke, parmesan custard, truffle jus.
If you have the stomach for it there’s some ghoulishly good dishes around for Halloween. Our top three grizzly delights:
1. Sweeney Todd pie at The New Street Warehouse
2. Eyeball dessert at Bluebird Chelsea
Bloody Scotch Egg at Mac & Wild
We aren’t in too much of a hurry to mention the C-word but anyone planning Christmas dinner at home, we recommend checking out the amazing selection of meat at Farmison & Co who last week were named Best Independent Retailer 2018as well as Online Butcher of the Year. The Chef Prepared turkey, chicken, duck, gammon and pheasant looks amazing.
Recipe of the week
Pierre Koffmann’s Soupe de Citrouille – Pumpkin Soup
My cooking has and always will follow the seasons; this was the way I learned to cook. For my mother and grandmother, using seasonal produce was an obligation; the year was governed by the rituals of the harvest and what it provided, so there was no alternative. This soup is something I often ate as a child and is therefore firmly lodged in my mind as a winter dish – the time when pumpkins were at their most abundant. My mother would not, of course, have had access to coconut milk, but I like the richness and mildly tropical twist that it lends to the mix.
100g unsalted butter
2 small onions, finely sliced
1kg pumpkin, finely sliced
100ml orange juice
75g Arborio (or other short-grain) rice
3 cloves garlic, finely sliced
150ml canned coconut milk
2 litres water
salt and pepper
For the croutons
small baguette, cut into 1½cm cubes
a little olive oil
Melt the butter in a large, heavy-based saucepan set over medium heat. Add the onions and leave them to sweat until translucent. Season, add the pumpkin, and leave to sweat for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the orange juice, rice, garlic, coconut milk, and water.
Bring to the boil, then leave to simmer gently for 30 minutes. Check the seasoning. Blend the soup in batches using a powerful blender, then pass it through a fine sieve. Return the soup to a clean pan and place it back on the heat to warm through. Taste to check the seasoning.
While the soup is heating, make the croutons. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a frying pan set over a medium heat. Fry the bread until crisp and golden. Serve the soup with the croutons scattered on top.
‘Classic Koffmann’ by Pierre Koffmann with photography by David Loftus is published by Jacqui Small, RRP £30