Hi, I’m David and I’m development chef here at Blue Apple. I absolutely love making and tasting new flavours for our customers and now I’ve been asked to share my favourite recipes and give you a little insight into my role and what I get up to day-to-day.
In my capacity as a development chef I write recipes, train our chefs, prepare and present food for our sales team and generally have the best time doing it!
As usual, this month I’ve been out and about helping out and supporting the business, but sometimes I get to do something a bit different — I recently went on a ‘development trip’ to get inspiration and to re energise my enthusiasm for food and the industry in general. Operations Director Robert Millar and I had the opportunity to support our newly appointed chef director, Lee Maycock who as chairman of the Craft Guild of Chefs, had organised the UCFF (Universal Cookery and Food Festival) — a food festival for chefs by chefs! It’s been running for a few years now and was taking place in beautiful Padstow, Cornwall.
The journey down to Cornwall was long, we even had a stroppy sheep causing a traffic jam, but we arrived safely at our hotel in Rock which sits on the north side of the Camel estuary, opposite Padstow. We had a lovely meal that evening; I had a great seared mackerel (a very underrated fish) with pickled vegetables and zingy lemon dressing and my main was a delicious sea bream on a bed of hot smoked salmon and crushed new potatoes. All very nice, very fishy and served from an open kitchen which was quiet and extremely well organised.
After a good night’s sleep we ventured out to the festival which was about a 10-15 minute drive away. We couldn’t miss it as the event was being held in a big top, surrounded by plenty of fields and a couple of (more!) sheep. On arrival we walked into the venue, the air thick with food aromas and culinary enthusiasm.
While we were waiting for our breakfast to be cooked, we enjoyed barbecued tiger prawns finished with a handful of hay which would catch fire and disappear once lit. It added a slightly smoky taste to the dish. Following that, we enjoyed a take on the classic American breakfast, consisting of a bacon or sausage waffle sandwich with maple syrup… Yum!
Next up was something a bit different — a fantastic foraging trip with Fraser Christian who was absolutely crackers, but in an informative and enthusiastic way! We were transported down to the Padstow coastline by tractor, where we foraged for wild herbs called scurvy grass which tasted like wasabi, scrabbled for sea spinach and even found wild carrots growing nearby! A fun and informative trip which was worth the journey to Cornwall alone.
It wasn’t just food on the table though; there was even a display on beekeeping and a talk on how to make your own mead — a process which is so simple it actually annoyed me a little bit! And I’ve now got a better appreciation of Gin and Tonic after finding out I’ve been making it wrong for so long…
Everyone I know places the gin in first, tops it up with ice then adds the tonic! No No No… apparently the ice separates the alcohol from the botanicals and destroys the flavour of the gin. So to make a perfect G&T, firstly pick a good gin; my favourite at the moment is the rhubarb and ginger by Edinburgh Gin. Fill the glass with ice then add your tonic (elderflower from Fever Tree is amazing) and add flavourings like a sprig of rosemary or pink grapefruit zest. Slowly pour the gin (always a double!) over the ice and allow the gin to permeate through the ice before enjoying. I make my G&T’s like this now and it’s become my favourite drink.
Amongst sampling all the different foods and tastes on offer and the informative talks, it was a fantastic festival, a real chefs’ event. There was so much to look at that this blog could go on for a few pages!