How exciting, this is one very passionate man, great cook and must be hell to live with, appears to do everything at full speed!Ã‚Â Sam is the chef and when I visited both his brother and mum were helping so it appears to be a true family business.Ã‚Â In fact some of the meat on sale was from his brothers farm in Oxford.Ã‚Â Sam totally overwhelmed me.Ã‚Â This is one passionate man who gave me so much information my brain went into melt down mode.Ã‚Â More of that below.
The most amazing chopped smoked salmon with a slow poached duck egg (at 63 degrees until it was almost gelatinous) and wild garlic topped with a parmesan crisp.Ã‚Â Next to that are (in season) Jersey Royals with Bayonne ham and wild garlic.Ã‚Â The saltiness of the ham went brilliantly with the nutty Jersey Royals.
Ã‚Â These two look like a couple in love!
How to choose your meat, just point to Sams arm to pick your cut.Ã‚Â What dedication.
Ok this is some of Sam’s philosophy.Ã‚Â Yes, get it local if you can but make it sustainable even if you can’t.Ã‚Â Sam spent a lot of time in France and I don’t know if this has added to his passion or if he was just fairly mad anyway.Ã‚Â Here are some snippets – P’tits Guillotines is basically cheese on toast, no fussiness here.Ã‚Â ‘Is there such a thing as a mistake?’, ‘Sweetness is a flavour”Knowledge is to be shared’, ‘Fat elongates the flavour of the palate’ ‘Look up Michelle Bras – Inventing Cuisine’
The Jersey Royals were cooked in sea salt and the wine he suggested was Gris Blanc Gerard Bertrand as it has extra minerality to match the dish.Ã‚Â It is interesting to note that the owners of the Michelin starred Harrow at Bedwyn have eaten here but not a surprise.
I was thrown information at rapid fire, the importance of looking at the region that you are buying your food/wine from.Ã‚Â Is it coastal?Ã‚Â What grows naturally with it. what can be cooked with it?Ã‚Â The rapid speed of talking matched the changes in the menu, today Jersey Royals with Bayonne ham (cultivated 30 miles from Spain so with that melting fat but a different name to the more well known acorn fed ham from Spain), tomorrow a change with both soft ham and crispy spikes of ham that add an extra crunch.
I had such an enjoyable time here, Sam was just astoundingly enthusiastic, as all the best chefs seem to be.
I paid for my meal and all opinions are my own.