29 August 2011

BBQ FUNCTION, Maria and Wayne Murray

We have had a vast mix of weather this Summer, with a great start for the BBQ season as early as March and April, with plenty of sun and rain following after. I have just finished catering for my latest and probably last BBQ of this year as we have had more rain this August than most. However, luck held out and we had plenty of sun this Saturday when I catered for Maria and Wayne Murray and their 45 guests near Basingstoke in their lovely home. I put the menu together in accordance with their preferences and I have been looking forwards to doing the actual cooking since. The day went really well and I stayed on after the lunch time BBQ to provide food again in the evening.


Handmade British beef burgers
x x x
Pork sausages
x x x
Chicken breast skewers, lemon, fresh herbs and olive oil marinade
x x x
Vegetarian menu: Sweet potato, corn on the cob, vegetable kebabs, quorn fillets.
x x x
Warmed ciabatta bread
x x x
New potatoes
x x x
Greek salad: Feta cheese, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, capers, chopped fresh parsley and olive oil
x x x
Tabouleh: Bulgar wheat, red onion, tomato, chopped fresh parsley and mint, lemon and olive oil
x x x
x x x
Tomato and chilli salsa, guacamole, lime and coriander hummus and barbecue sauce.

To follow:

Caramelized apple tartin, vanilla ice cream
Fresh Hampshire strawberries and cream.

Evening menu

Slow roasted shoulder of pork,  leg of lamb, rosemary and garlic,
Served with floured baps, salad leaves, barbecue and mint sauce.

23 August 2011

FILLET STEAK, Wild mushroom and wholegrain mustard sauce.

Hand cut oven chips, red onion and balsamic tartin, 
Saute julienne of leeks and glazed baby plum tomatoes.

Another great dinner at home tonight! Fillet steak is a special treat as it is the best quality beef available in terms of leanness and tenderness. Because of the lack of fat in the fillet, it is best served on the rare side with plenty of seasoning and a robust sauce to give it extra flavour. I seared mine in a hot pan to caramelize the outside and then turned the heat down to finish it off gently before allowing it to rest for about five minutes. The wild mushroom sauce had a richness that complimented the steak and the chips were great to mop up the extra sauce. The pastry on the red onion tartin was beautifully crisp and the onion was soft and juicy inside. The buttered leeks and the baby plum tomatoes finished off the meal very nicely indeed.


22 August 2011


Chopped leeks, roasted baby plum tomatoes,  fresh basil leaves,
wholegrain mustard vinaigrette.

I love cooking with sexy food ingredients with not too much fuss, allowing the individual flavours simply to compliment each other. This is definitely one of those dishes! I cooked everything in the same pan, colouring the chorizo and smoked bacon first. When the natural oils came out of the chorizo, I added the leek and saute for a further few minutes. Pushing the mixture to the edge of the pan, I then added the chicken and allowed to caramelize on both sides before adding the tomatoes and pre boiled new potatoes. Tossing a few times to warm through, I then added my homemade vinaigrette before dishing up and garnished with the basil leaves. We had some lovely ciabatta and olive bread to mop up all the delicious juices, making a great summer dish that took less than 15 minutes to make.


16 August 2011

PRIVATE DINNER PARTY, Birthday Dinner for Jules

I have now cooked for Julian and Sue Porter quite a few times and each occasion has been a great pleasure. The most recent Dinner Party being to celebrate Julian's Birthday.  We worked over the menu together to choose some of Jules' favourite dishes and I had been looking forwards to cooking on the night since we put the menu together. I can now say that I was really pleased with every course that I produced on the evening and I had great feed back from all the guests which makes another great success with my Private Dinner Parties.

I arrived at Jules' and Sue's lovely home in Bassett and unpacked all the ingredients and my cooking utensils. They have a beautiful kitchen, with plenty of work space and a lovely old fashioned oven which I am still getting the hang of after several times trying to master it. I always give myself plenty of time to set up and had about an hour and a half before the guests were due to arrive so it was great to catch up with Jules and Sue as we have met up several times since they did the photography at our own Wedding. The memories captured in our album are down to their fantastic skill and their dedication and commitment to their work. I would like to think that on a similar level, I also put the same effort and pride into my own work  and that is why we have stayed friends since then. 


To begin

Platter of British Tapas;
 Cured ham, Smoked duck breast, Chorizo, Blush tomatoes, Chipolatas in honey and sesame, 
Char grilled pitta bread and chilli and paprika hummus.

To start;

Seared scallops, walnut oil and sesame seeds,
Green chilli, lemongrass, ginger and coconut sauce,
Warmed oriental vegetable salad of peppers, celery, carrot, spring onion, chilli and ginger.


Traditional British beef fillet Wellington,
Encased in puff pastry, Wild mushroom pate and Parma ham, Rich red wine gravy.
Served with:
Dauphinoise potatoes, glazed chantenay carrots, saute green beans and asparagus.


ChefGary's very special attribute to sticky toffee pudding.
Vanilla and butterscotch sponge pudding,
Prune, cinnamon, ginger and dark toffee pudding.
Served with:
Toffee custard, Vanilla ice cream, Crisp chocolate tuille biscuit.

Pitta bread and chilli hummus 
Seared scallops, chilli, ginger, lemongrss and coconut sauce, Oriental vegetable salad.
Beef fillet wellington 
Beef fillet Wellington
Vanilla sponge and sticky toffee pudding, vanilla ice cream, chocolate tuille.

  • Sue Porter
    Thank you so much for last night , The food as always was truly wonderful xx

    Julian Porter
    Thanks again Gary, everybody absolutely loved it, as always the food was sensational

All photography by Julian Porter. Thank you once again for your great shots.


7 August 2011

BBQ FUNCTION, Rob and Kate Buchele

My latest BBQ was near Weyhill, in Hampshire. I used to live in Monxton as Head Chef at the Mucky Duck which is nearby so I am quite familiar with the area. However, I was pleasantly surprised and in awe of the exquisite and spacious grounds surrounding a beautiful  thatched cottage. The garden space was very open and provided a fantastic setting to cook the BBQ menu that I had designed along with Kate to suit her guests. I was greeted very warmly by Rob and Kate Buchele and I set about unpacking my equipment and ingredients. I had an hour to set up so I had plenty of time before I needed to start cooking and I spoke a little with the hosts. During the evening, we chatted some more and I felt totally at ease with Rob, Kate and their guests who were all very friendly. It did rain a little later in the evening but it didn't seem to bother anyone as we changed the setting to indoors. It was very spacious in the cottage and everyone finished eating in the lounge and kitchen area where I also served dessert. I had a great evening and I hope that I get the oppurtunity to work again with such lovely hosts.


Ground beef burgers, 
Caramelized onion, roasted peppers, toasted cumin seeds, chilli and fresh coriander,
x x x 
Selected pork sausages, (Plain, Cumberland, Chilli and paprika)
x x x
Marinated chicken drumsticks in Tikka spice,
x x x 
BBQ Chicken breast and pepper skewers,
x x x
Salmon papillote, Chinese spices, chilli and ginger,
x x x 
Blush tomato and cheese bread,
x x x
Potato salad, Waldorf salad, Tossed salad,
x x x
BBQ sauce, Sweet chilli sauce, Basil hummus.

To follow:

Strawberry and vanilla cheesecake
Chocolate brownie, layered with Bailey's and chocolate cream.

THANK YOU SO MUCH for such a FABULOUS BBQ you laid on for us last night!  The food was absolutely gorgeous and in abundance!  All our friends commented on how wonderful it was!  You were incredibly professional, calm and helpful – even helping us lug boxes of booze into the house when the heavens opened!  The sensational desserts seemed to appear from nowhere.

We will DEFINITLY be using your services again – if all our friends haven’t booked you first!

We are already looking to plan a ‘winter’ party now!
Many many thanks again – Fantastic!"
Quote from Kate Buchele.

WEDDING BREAKFAST, Mr and Mrs Michael Tonks

I catered for a great Wedding today for a lovely couple whom I first met for their wedding taster back in March. They opted for a three course Wedding breakfast with a split hog roast for their main-course that was served buffet style. The starter and dessert were served plated at the table.



Smoked duck breast: baby leaves, raspberry vinaigrette.
Warmed goats cheese salad, rocket pesto.


BBQ spiced roast loin of pork,
x x x 
Roast crown of Turkey, fresh lemon and black pepper,
x x x
Roasted peppers, Mediterranean vegetables and cous cous,
x x x
New season potatoes, garlic and rosemary,
x x x
Fresh tossed salad, olive oil,
x x x
Chunky cut bread.


Chocolate and raspberry cheesecake, chocolate brownie base.

1 August 2011


My Grandma has been the inspiration for a lot of my cooking since I was very young and at nearly ninety she is still going strong and continues to make her own pastry and bread, as well as many other home made dishes. She is a great fan of traditional British cooking, such as roasts, stews, casseroles and cottage pie. I try to visit when I am free and she really appreciates it when I go round and cook lunch for us. My grandma absolutey loves creme brulee, but also wanted to try my apple tartin so I thought it would be a great treat to indulge in two desserts! We decided to have cottage pie to start, baked with creamed potatoes with nutmeg and grated red Leicester cheese. I took my Grandma shopping in the morning and we were sat down for lunch soon after.

Cottage pie, cheesy mash
Cottage pie, served with fresh asparagus and green beans
Apple tartin
Vanilla brulee, apple tartin, vanilla ice cream and fresh strawberries
Vanilla brulee, crushed carmel and honeycomb


ChefGary BBQs
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ChefGary Weddings
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