16 October 2011

COOKING COMPETITON, Sodexo Chef of the Year

My latest cooking competition is for The "Sodexo Chef of the Year" Title, sponsored by Knorr. 

I will be competing against some really great chefs who will all be striving for the title. The first part was for me to come up with a three course menu which I would have to produce within 1 hour and 30 minutes as part of a live cook off if considered for the next stage.

My Menu utilises seasonal British produce and traditional cooking methods, fused with Asian spices. Asian cooking styles have long been a part of British culture, bringing unique flavours and textures as well as many health benefits into our diets. I have aimed to produce a well balanced menu, combining classic and modern presentation techniques to set an example for today's cook.

My starter offers versatility in style and plenty of flavour from ground spices and fresh ingredients. My main course will be a twist on traditional cooking, with a great blend of spices that adds texture and compliments the lamb. I aim to finish with a dessert that brings a new insight into an old recipe which is modernised by added flavours, difference in textures and presentation techniques.

Chef of the Year Menu.

To Start:

Asian platter,
Carrot, parsnip and onion bhaji, 
Garlic, coconut and coriander naan,
Noodle salad, lime and sweet chilli dressing.


Spiced Rack of lamb, Chilli and ginger fused gravy.
Served on curried puy lentils,
Saute leeks and green cabbage, garlic, cracked black pepper and fennel seed.


Creamed rice pudding,
Scented with Cardamom, cinnamon, orange and vanilla.
Honeycomb topping, chocolate and cinnamon tuille biscuit.

2 October 2011

PRIVATE DINNER PARTY, Paul and Lorna Benton

My latest Dinner Party was  for Paul and Lorna Benton at  their beautiful house in North Hampshire. We  planned the menu together to suit Paul's preferences and  I have been looking forwards to the cooking and serving since then. I began the food preparation that morning and brought up everything I needed for the day including crockery, cutlery and cooking utensils. I arrived about 6:30p.m to serve dinner for about 8 and I was greeted by Paul and  Lorna before being shown to the kitchen.

I unpacked my equipment and ingredients and began to get ready for the dinner service. I laid the table before getting to work in the kitchen, whilst chatting away to Paul and Lorna. I was very comfortable getting things started and the kitchen had plenty of space for me to work on. I was confident that I would produce another great dinner party and I was really happy with all the positive feed back that I received.


To Start:

Warmed Goats cheese, blush tomato and fresh basil pesto,
Rocket leaves and roasted red peeper and balsamic dressing.

Toasted Ciabatta bread.

Main course:

Pan fried organic chicken breast, wrapped in Parma ham, crispy sea salted chicken crackling,
Tomato and basil sauce, 
Diced paprika roast potatoes,  Wild mushroom risotto, Roasted carrots, Saute green vegetables.

To follow:

Trio of desserts:
Chocolate and Bailey's Tiramisu,
Chocolate tart, fresh strawberries,
Lemon and raspberry Panna cotta.

1 October 2011

PRIVATE DINNER PARTY, Mark and Cindy Billington, September 30th

I have now cooked for Mark and Cindy a total of three times. They became "Fans" when they were guests at a previous dinner party and almost immediately booked me in for two parties round at their lovely home in Rownhams. This has defintely been one of my favourite menus to prepare and serve as they just seem to get better and better. Mark is a great lover of my food and we tailored up this menu, with Mark taking the lead and I helped choose the garnishes and finishing touches.

                Dinner Party Menu for Mark Billington                         

To Begin
Warmed goats cheese, blush tomato and fresh basil pesto,
                                    Roasted red pepper, virgin olive oil and balsamic dressing.
Freshly baked ciabatta bread, blush tomato and basil.

Pan roasted duck breast, marinated in soy and honey, 
Served pink with crispy roast duck shank in 5-spice and crispy duck pan cake roll. 
     Hand-cut chips, sauté cabbage, shallots and peas, buttered sesame and fennel seed carrots.
Red wine, cranberry and rosemary gravy.

To Follow
Vanilla and cardamom brulee, crunchy honeycomb, caramel tuille and orange shortbread. 

"Hi Gary, just a short note of thanks for a tremendous dinner on Friday. Once again you and your food stole the evening and our friends were simply blown away with the standard of cooking and presentation. You delivered another fine dining experience for all  and though every element was brilliant, for me the trio of duck was a simply stunning combination. We are working on pulling together the next evening and really looking forward to working up the next menu with you. 
Looking forward to seeing you at ours again soon." 

Mark and Cindy billington.

Private Dinner party, Kavita Deepak-Knights

I had the recent pleasure of catering for a Birthday Dinner Party for some great friends and cooked up some delicious favourites for the menu. Fillet of beef Wellington has definitely become one of my more popular dishes at dinner Parties and it is obvious to see why. The most tender cut of beef is used, and I seasoned the meat well, before searing and wrapping with Proscuitto ham, wild mushroom pate and puff pastry. It was a fantastic menu which was chosen by my good friend Carrie, and I was invited to join in on the dining experience which is always a pleasure.


To Start:

Mixed platter of: Parma ham, Sliced Chorizo, Bresaola, 
Sesame and honey glazed Pork Sausages, Chorizo Picante,
Served with: 
Cheddar, blush tomato, basil and red onion loaf, 
Rocket salad, Blush tomato and Olives.

Main course:

Fillet of British Beef Wellington, 
Wild mushroom pate, wrapped in proscuitto ham and puff pastry.
Red wine gravy.

Served with:
Dauphinoise potatoes, 
Sesame and honey glazed carrots, Saute asparagus, green beans and brocolli.

To Follow:

Trio of chocolate desserts;

Chocolate and orange tart,
Chocolate and Bailey's Tiramisu,
Chocolate Brownie, Caramel and chocolate ice cream.

"Hi Gary, just wanted to thank you so much for the most delicious dinner! The starters were so yummy, especially the chorizo and homemade bread. The beef Wellington was to die for and the desserts were my idea of heaven! You cook with such passion and love and this is most certainly reflected in the food you serve! Thanks so much Gary, we will most certainly be having you over to cook for us again soon!"
Quote from Kavita