PAUL COOKSON, head chef at the Three Crowns Restaurant and Inn at Scouthead, bids a fond farewell as he moves onto a new venture.
Find out more about the Three Crowns and their menus by visiting their website or by calling them on 0161 624 1766.
I AM afraid to say this will be my last article as Head Chef at the Three Crowns Inn as I am due to part company with Ray and Sue this week due to a new venture.
I have really enjoyed my time and will miss the comradery of the kitchen and front of house staff.
All is not lost though as the monthly instalment will continue in the form of the new head chef, Steven Mitchell. Steve is such a great chef and you will be in very good hands with him, no doubt about it!
Steve shares my passion of the open back door kitchen policy I have talked about previously and is keen to continue with our good work to take the Three Crowns to the next level, using locally sourced produce.
We have had yet another busy month, welcoming customers both old and new. There have been some additional seasonal changes to the menu with rhubarb, wild garlic, early asparagus and jersey royals becoming available. Sardines are currently in great supply and will be making it on to the specials board too.
As a chef people always ask ‘what is your favourite ingredient to cook with, or your speciality dish’. Personally, the answers differentiates dependent on the time of year, relevance of the dish, and the way it is executed.
For example, I am currently looking forward to the arrival of the gooseberry as it is so versatile and not always shown to people in a way that utilises its full potential.
There are high pectin levels in gooseberries (a gelling agent) so it makes a great jam and puree. As they have a short season there are few better ways to use a large crop than making a preserve. Or, try adding some compote to prosecco with ginger, strain and add sugar for a really nice cocktail.
Food wise, gooseberries pureed can make a wonderful pairing with Mackerel or Roast Pork for a main course. In both cases, the tart of the gooseberry cuts through the fat of both products.
As for the pudding, I would incorporate the berry with elderflower to make a fantastic crumble with a lovely ice cream. Perhaps vanilla or clotted cream for the richness.
Many thanks to you all. Signing off – Paul Cookson