Woodspeen – Stunning in every way

Woodspeen – Stunning in every way

A lot of people now love fame, everyone wants their 15 minutes and if they cant have it then they want to know someone who has.� Whilst I wasn’t a Donny Osmond or Bay City Rollers fan when I was young (now you know how old I am) my hero was James Taylor.� I saw him every time he toured in the UK, named my first son James and have even surged at one of his concerts.� This was a full auditorium and I was determined to get to the front at some point so at what my friend and I considered to be the right moment we rushed to the front.� Then we looked around to see that all the other middle aged members of the audience were looking at us with some bemusement.� We were the only surgers.� We then had to do the walk of shame back to our seats, heads down so no one could see the intense embarrassment in a theatre full of non surging accountants, solicitors and social workers that appear to make up the majority of JT fans.� There is a point to this story.

I was meant to interview Chef John Campbell many months ago but first my car broke down.� Then I broke one wrist, then I broke my thumb.� I was starting to wonder if God was warning me off but I hitched up my big girl knickers and gave it one more go.� Actually I am amazed he was prepared to still let me interview him but he is a thoroughly good egg.� That, dear readers, was a huge shock.� He is a chef of renown, I will be honest, I was a tad scared of interviewing him and took my lovely friend, Phil Palmer from Two Cocks Brewery, along as moral support and general good company.� Well I didn’t need the moral support because Mr Campbell was in fact very nice although Phil’s company was great!� My terror had been totally unnecessary.� Apart from James Taylor my heroes are Chefs and meeting John was just great for me.� I would have surged for him and in fact did ask if I could live at the bottom of his garden but that made him look rather worried!

As with a number of other amazing chefs he was just brilliant, totally passionate and incredibly knowledgeable about food.� He does cookery classes and I am determined to get myself along to try them.� The teaching kitchen is state of the art and there are always extremely talented chefs on hand to help including Chef John Campbell himself.� Swoon.� I did that terrible thing where I asked about the best time to feed my sour dough (this is like meeting a doctor and asking him to look at the boil on your whatever).� He was utterly gracious and answered me but in such detail that I wish I had taped that bit.� I understood many of the words separately but the sentences were way above my head.

The food we ate was astonishingly flavoursome, pure and clean and addictive.� I must go back.� As always I am not going to tell you everything about the food we ate because you need to go there to eat it mwahahahaha, just be assured that I would be very surprised if you didn’t love it.� Also I am not sure that we could be friends.

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Phil Palmer from Two Cocks Brewery, a funghi (sorry)

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Who does the most amazing bread, home made butter and home made hummus to snack on?� Well the Woodspeen obviously followed by the most delicious amuse bouche of gazpacho which tasted simply wonderful but I am sure there was no simplicity about it

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Braised lamb neck fillet, smoked wet garlic potato, plot peas and pickled beetroot

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Ok I have to tell you about this dish, it is a cauliflower cheese risotto with broad beans, pickled onions and ham hock and was delicious

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And this one which was home smoked salmon but in a chunk served with asparagus and poached egg, all perfect

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Smoked ham and chicken terrine, kohlrabi, apple and yuzu, brioche

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Oh my the scrumminess of chargrilled chicken, mushroom and asparagus tart fine and summer truffle.� A plate licker

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Also I have to mention these amazing caramelly chocolatey fudgey delicious petit four infused with Two Cocks malt

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Ooh look, the ideal Christmas present that should be on sale by then, a home sous vide!� Also you can get a set lunch for �18 for two courses.

2015-07-31 15.12.33Chef John Campbell and Phil Palmer outside the amazing teaching kitchen by the side of the most incredible garden where he is growing as many herbs and vegetables as he can and uses in his kitchen.

Chef John Campbell gets extra points for offering to help West Berkshire Mencap, he is involved with his local community and wants to continue so I am not missing this opportunity.� Daniel Galmiche came to see WBM which was very thougthful and I am arranging a tour for John and Phil.� Whoop whoop.

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