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There are few things more attractive on a Saturday afternoon than the prospect of an extended multi-course lunch in the comfort of a friend’s home, with fellow food-nut obsessives and menu items devised by some of the UK’s top chefs. It has all the necessary elements to guarantee a good story – wonderful food and raucous company, not to mention no washing up (for the guests at least).
Such was the invitation I found myself RSVP-ing to with great enthusiasm last week; a meal hosted and cooked by Selina Periampillai from Yummy Choo Eats was the format of the afternoon. All we had to do to earn such a treat was share a little about the evening and the recipes through our blogs; I know a good deal when I see one.
I am well acquainted with Selina’s tasty handiwork, from the Mauritian pop-up I scoffed my way through with all the fervour of a bullmastif on a new chew toy, to the food stall Selina has commandeered at several events I’ve attended, to an educational dhal puri making class taught in Balham – the girl can cook.
All dishes on the agenda were chosen from the vast database of recipes found on the Great British Chefs website – a well-known digital publisher providing those who are partial to cooking up a storm with an unrivalled collection of over 1500 recipes and tips from the best chefs in the country. Staying close to where Selina’s cooking expertise lie, the plates selected were mostly of Indian and tropical heritage, fanning our appetites with bold, fresh flavours and vibrant colours.
A bottle of wine to compliment each course was kindly selected and provided by Corney & Barrow, independent wine merchants since 1780. Entertainment came in the form of wonderful dining companions and fellow food-fanatics of the London food scene: @Clerkenwell_boy, Katy from @Feelgd_Foodbk, Laura from @digestmag, and Sally from @thecafecat.
Here’s the running order of the feast we devoured over several hours, the recipes on the Great British Chefs website, and the chef who invented it:
- Salumi ‘nduja bhajis (adapted by Selina with Iberico chorizo) by Marcello Tully – savoury crisp bites with chicken and pork and flavoured with seeds and spices
- Wine – Marsannay Domaine Joseph Roty 2008 – raspberry and strawberry flavours; very elegant and almost feminine
- Grilled aubergine rolls by Alfred Prasad – grilled slices wrapped around a spiced quinoa and paneer filling
- Lightly curried chicken with mango mayonnaise by Galton Blackiston – succulent and mild chunks of meat with a fruity mayonnaise jazzed up with lime
- Indian potato cakes by Alfred Prasad (and Selina’s coriander chutney) – chickpeas and spices pad out these well-flavoured bites with a lively chutney
- Wine – Puligny-Montrachet Domaine Francois Carillon 2011 – warm fruit and biscuit flavours
- Peshwari lamb kebab by Alfred Prasad – marinated with raw papaya to tenderise, garlic, ground chilli, fennel, cream and grilled until tender
- Wine – Gevrey-Chambertin Clos des Varoilles 1er Cru Domaine des Varoilles 2007 – black fruits and gentle spices
- Zaffrani pulao by Alfred Prasad – braised basmati rice with cumin, whole spices and saffron for a simple yet flavoursome and hearty side
- Mango salad by Alfred Prasad – light and zingy with cress, tomatoes, coconut, walnuts and lime
- Seared bream with roasted aubergine, tomato and potato crush and kachumber by Vivek Singh – best-friend flavours and textures along with a fresh Indian salsa; the onion seeds make it
- Wine – Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons Domaine Vincent Dampt 2011 – good acidity cutting through the plate
- Pineapple upside-down cake, spiced rum caramel, and Devonshire clotted cream by Marcus Wareing – quite the finish, sweet and boozy with an outstanding crust, works wonders with the clotted cream
- Wine – L’Effronte Moelleux Domaine Matrot 2007 – sweet wine so smaller pours, serve from the fridge and open before the kebab course
A huge thanks to Selina for putting in the hard work to host and feed us for the day, to Great British Chefs for the recipes and ingredients, and for Corney & Barrow for the very quaffable lubrication.
Until next time.