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!
Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been busy supporting some of the various sites across the Blue Apple estate, from a launch event at one of our flagship sites in Luton to a food presentation for a prospective new client, all tied up with some menu support at one of our sites in Essex. Whilst out and about I continue to observe and soak up any food ideas that come my way and I tend to (without realising it) saturate my menus and most of my food output with these flavours until the next ideas come along!
My latest obsession is the emergence of the katsu curry. Okay, it’s been around for a while, but you know what it’s like when you start to see it; it pops up everywhere! Whilst supporting a new opening in Surrey I tried katsu chicken with a teriyaki mayonnaise dip from a local supermarket. It wasn’t amazing, but I really liked the idea so decided to try it myself and include it in a sales presentation as a grab and go salad; taking the chicken but adding some tasty pickled vegetables in to the mix. The salad went down a treat as it combined the comfort of the panko breaded chicken with the new element of the vegetables which added a nice bit of crunch and texture to the salad. I stuck with the teriyaki mayo which tasted great and also made sure to season the salad well, which really helps make a difference.
When it comes to new ideas though, to really get the creative juices flowing you just need to get out there and stuff your face!
One of the places I’ve tried recently was a cosy little Moroccan restaurant in Windsor called Al Fassia which served an array of flavours from roast aubergine in garlic, lamb meatballs served in a tagine and some fantastic tiger prawns with saffron rice, all of which was lovely. The setting felt like you were in someone’s living room and the service was honest and natural. Moroccan food is always a winner and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who’s never tried this cuisine before.
I’ve also recently been to The Botanist in Reading which was a completely different proposition. First up were the cocktails which were amazing; a pear and kiwi cup which was served in two bone china tea cups filled with crushed ice, garnished with edible flowers and kiwi, then a teapot with dry ice bellowing was served to me, filled with kiwi, lime, apple liqueur, pear cognac and a splash of green tea. It tasted incredible …..I had a few of them! The food was also very good and despite being a chain restaurant everything was freshly prepared on site ― the kitchen along with the restaurant were rammed. To start, I shared a baked Camembert with a smoked bacon and onion crust which was lovely (not enough bread though!, a main of lamb kofta with peri peri sauce and a prawn and chicken gumbo. Both went down a treat and as an experience it was just so much fun; eating and drinking at its most relaxed. I will definitely be going back!
Get out there folks, enjoy your food experiences, take at least one idea away with you and have a go at making it. It’s such a rewarding experience.