Tag Archives: Chef

How To Make The Perfect Roast Potatoes

Much taken-for-granted, the potato is often overlooked or rushed when creating the Sunday Roast. Here, our kitchen provide a quick yet foolproof recipe to ensure you get them just right. Plenty of time to perfect them for Christmas!

PotatoesGather a selection of large potatoes, peal and place in pot of cold water.

Prepare a roasting tray by spreading goose fat around the edges and placing in the oven on a medium high heat.

Cut potatoes up in to around the size of 2 to 3 inches in circumference, place back into the pot and bring up to the boil, in till slightly soft.

Once ready, drain into colander and rumble the potatoes around in the colander until fluffy.

Carefully removing the roasting tray from the oven, evenly place the fluffy roast potatoes in the hot goose fat and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Using a spatula toss the potatoes to ensure they are evenly covered with oil.

Place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, keeping a regular eye on them and regularly turning the potatoes over with a spatula. Voila!

How to prepare duck breast for pan frying

This week, our Sous-Chef Mesut Sen from the Donnington Valley Hotel is going to show you how to perfectly prepare a duck breast to cook in the frying pan.

The main tips given are:

  • Cut excess skin slighty off the sides so the fat does not overlap the flesh
  • Cut squares into duck skin in a diagonal manner from both sides to create a crispy surface
  • Cuts into skin can be made in several directions and forms, as they are also done in order to create an aesthetically pleasing piece of art on the place

Interview with Abraham Padmanaban, Head Pastry Chef

1. How would you describe your style of cooking?
I believe my style of cooking can be categorized as being modern as well as adopting an occasional take on French and British classic cuisine. But over the years it has evolved into an undefined area – I mix and combine what I feel complements the final result until I am proud of what I have created.

2. Did you always dream of becoming a pastry chef?
I did. When I first started as a chef in the main kitchen, I didn’t feel quite complete. When I moved to the pastry kitchen, I then felt that this was the job made for me. I felt 100% in my element and loved every minute of it. Even from a young age I was unstoppable in my creations – as a child I used to play with clay all the time. The best part of it is, now I get to do the same with chocolate!

3. What’s your signature dish?
My signature dish varies periodically, and I have a new one approximately every three months. I do however, have two dishes that stand out of my collection. The first one is called the Ice Cream Fiesta, which is composed of 5 timeless, traditional English desserts which I then transformed into ice cream. These desserts included apple crumble, sticky toffee pudding with brandy snaps and butternut sauce, as well as a lemon, basil and lemongrass crisp. Another few of the classics I mix up into the five different varieties are chocolate cheesecake, crispy base and banana, and Baileys crème brulee with caramelised banana.
The second one is a shocker – sausage and mash! I do realize that at first impression this sounds strange for a dessert but it’s been widely popular. I make the sausages out of chocolate sponge cake on a hazelnut base, top it with a chocolate ganache and a sprinkle of Frangelico. The mash is made up of condensed milk, and for the sauce I use regular beef jus with chocolate liquor and thinly sliced plums on top.

4. What do you enjoy cooking at home?
I absolutely love cooking at home, it’s my life. Cooking for family and friends is an inexplicable pleasure and remains a constant reminder why I love my profession so much. In terms of what I cook, I enjoy all types of cuisine depending on my mood and occasion, as well as how much time I can afford to invest in the cook-out. I have an especially weak spot for Italian and French cuisine, but I also love to branch out into all types of international specialty dishes.

5. What’s the best piece of cooking advice you could give our readers?
I always tell people to cook only if they love it. When it is someone’s passion to cook, it is always important to cook straight from the heart, and follow your own creative path. At all times, you should be cooking for yourself with a vision to cook for an audience that shares the same passion for fine cuisine as you. This makes the experience infinitely more rewarding.