Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Mixing with the Stars

With another bank holiday and lovely weather bringing in the customers, Paul hardly had time to draw breath before his jaunt over to Kentisbury Grange. An evening presented by the Trencherman’s guide, showcasing Devon's finest produce and chefs. It was an amazing opportunity for Paul cooking with the stars of the catering world Michael Caines MBE with 2 Michelin stars, Mark Dodson of The Masons Arms 1 star for over 10 years and chef Thomas Hines; Michaels head chef @The Coach House by Michael Caines auspicious company indeed. He had amazing evening and said how welcoming, obviously professional and calm everyone was, the food apparently was stunning as was Kentisbury Grange itself. Can't wait to try for myself.

Bampton hosted its first ever Spring Fest (Which replaces the August bank holiday Bampton open day)at the end of May. The day luckily saw glorious weather which obviously helped, there were a variety of stalls selling some great gifts and home-made items, there were horse and hounds, vintage cars, dog shows for all and of course Bampton's famous parachuting teddy bears The list actually was quite endless. Whether it was the date change or because the weather was kind to Bampton it most certainly was a success and if this is built upon over the years Bampton Spring Fest will certainly become a date in everyone's diary, so to those who worked so tirelessly organizing the event they should be very proud of their achievements.

Something that is already proving to be a great success is the Tiverton Electric Nights Street Food festival, so with luck The Swan will have its own pop-up bar there next time on 4th July, so look out for us.

Another month and another Devon Chefs Club dinner, this took place at The Treby Arms near Plymouth (Sparkwell) our hosts were Anton and Clare Piotrowski, Masterchef winner and also a holder of a Michelin star. He certainly pulled out all stops and definitely had all of the chefs talking, taking pictures and having a truly great night. The pub itself was immaculate, beautifully decorated, with a sense of fun and the food stunning; it’s most definitely worthy of all that he has achieved. So for that special occasion it's really somewhere to put on your hit list and I believe there is accommodation not too far away.

Monday will see us heading off to Minehead, for the very first Exmoor and Somerset chefs club dinner at the Beach Hotel which looks really interesting, we are staying over so I'll be able to give you a B&B report as well as the food next time.

With summer hopefully on the way and with a few days that the barbecue might have been fired up it's well worth thinking about making your own burgers, they are simple, reasonably inexpensive and a lot tastier than the frozen variety (obviously you don’t just have to barbeque) .We make our own here at The Swan and they are a sure fire winner. I'll give you a basic recipe and then you can be creative, just make sure you cook them through thoroughly.
We add chilli and mustard too ours and sometimes we use lamb mince and coriander.. You can use any minced meat and add your own flavorings, it's great fun and it will give your barbecue the edge, either mould in a large screw top lid (like a coffee jar) or mould by hand, good luck and enjoy the sunshine


      1 small onion
      500g good-quality beef mince
      1 egg
Just hand mix all ingredients together.
This should make 4 good-sized burgers

Add garlic, parsley, mint, chives or even curry spices, what about a chicken curry burger? There are no limits to your imagination its really down to your taste buds.

Top with any sort of cheese, mozzarella, cheddar or even a tasty blue. Once pressed, if don’t use them all, wrap in cling film and freeze until the next time, you can make a whole range.

Use all or any of the following to serve: sliced tomato, beetroot, horseradish sauce, mayonnaise, ketchup, handful iceberg lettuce, rocket, watercress.

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