We’ve talked about the food, we’ve posted a few recipes, and given some glimpses behind the scenes at restaurant allium. But one area we’ve never really discussed on the blog is the sideline head chef James has as a respected teacher.
Working with leading equipment provider Culinary Innovations, James has become one of the culinary industry’s leading tutors, regularly providing training for fellow chefs on water bath cooking techniques and the use of liquid nitrogen in the kitchen. What’s more, the restaurant also holds regular in-house classes for local foodie enthusiasts on a wide variety of subjects. More on those in a future blog, but for now a little glimpse at a more informal teaching gig our fearless leader found himself involved with last weekend.
The event was Alex James at Harvest, a festival combining rock’n’roll and food – all presided over by renowned cheesemaker, food writer, and occasional Britpop star Alex James. Alex has long been a friend of the restaurant, even recently championing our Lamb with Hay and Wool dish in a ’30 Things To Eat Before You Die’ article in The Times newspaper, so when he asked James to come along and provide festival goers with a practical workshop session, how could he refuse?
Giving visitors something a little more technical and thorough than the usual ‘how to cook a risotto’ demos, the presentation certainly gave attendees food for thought – showing how to cut an entire carcass down into succulent venison cuts and explaining how anybody can make their own cured meats, as well as offering a few insider tips on meat sourcing, knife buying, and the merits of British versus European-style butchery along the way.
Tickets for next year’s event are due to go on sale shortly. Rumours that James is busy practising the chords to Blur’s Park Life in an attempt to secure a slot on the main music stage have yet to be confirmed.