I COOKED A 5 COURSE DINNER AT HARVEY NICHOLS

To celebrate the launch of my cookbook on the 23rd January I cooked at the prestigious London department store Harvey Nichols. 50 tickets for the event went on sale a month earlier & sold out in just 30 minutes.

It was a chance for me to don my chef whites again with my chef mates Mark & Joe which I called in to assist me. I wrote a 5 course menu filled with indulgent dishes inspired by my book, with a couple of choices for both main & dessert.

I was extremely nervous & exhausted when the guest started to arrive after 2 huge days of preparation. But as soon as the amuse bouche was served I was running on adrenaline & was loving the thrill of service. It’s something I missed since leaving the professional kitchens. Although this service was a lot harder…5 course, 50 people, ALL at once! It was tough to get the food out at the level as perfection I wanted but the feedback I received after the night was incredible.

I had a standing ovation at the end of the night & managed to sign some of the guests copies of my new book. It was overwhelming.

Anyway, here are some pictures from the night & a the highlight video.

Pictures shot by @sevnblack

Video by @wanderingvisuals

Thanks to Harvey Nichols for allowing me to take over their restaurant, everyone that dined, Mark & Joe.

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FOOD SHOOT FOR MY BOOK

I have been pretty busy over the last few weeks, back and forth to London in fact I stayed there for 2 weeks to shoot all the food pictures for my cook book.

It was one of the most exciting two weeks of my life but also hugely exhausting. It was almost like I was back in the professional kitchens at times!

So a few months back my publisher Quadrille asked which food photographer I would like to work with to shoot the pictures for my book.

After learning the basics & becoming obsessed with food photography since starting my instagram. I had always looked for inspiration in magazines & online. One persons name always popped up, that person being Simon Smith. His work is simply sensational. So I asked for him – not thinking he would want to do it however..

2 weeks went by & I had an email saying that Simon had agreed to shoot the pictures!! I was over the moon but also slightly nervous…after all, his work is a big inspiration to me!

So after finishing writing the book I had to go to London to shoot the pictures. I brought all my gear up & even got my old school friend Joe to help me in the kitchen (Joe is also a trained chef) as I knew it was going to be tough shooting 8 pictures a day. SO much food to prepare, cook & style.

We turned up on the Monday & I literally did not know what to expect. I was so nervous until Simon answered the door & welcomed us into the studio. What a place it was, it was full of the most incredible backgrounds and props. The kind of things I had been hunting for since getting into food photography.

I was instantly relaxed and knew we were going to create something truly amazing..and we did just that. Click the video below to watch some highlights from the last day..as you will see I was very tired!

Big thank you to the genius Simon Smith, his assistants Ashley & Simon. Also Joe Horner for helping me in the kitchen. Plus Ohjo Creative & Helen Lewis for their support through out the shoot.

The book is going to be GREAT!!!

Thanks for reading,

Gaz

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Waitrose Cherries and LEAF Certificate #TheWaitroseWay

To celebrate the new crop of Waitrose British Cherries I decided to make this lovely Lemon, Poppy Seed & Cherry Cake. I topped it with Vanilla Coconut Whipped Cream & of course plenty of Fresh Waitrose British Cherries.

This is why I love summer so much, being able to go into my local Waitrose and find high quality British produce!

As well as the cherries being grown in Kent, they & all of the other UK grown fruits and vegetables stocked in Waitrose are LEAF Marquee Certified.

LEAF stands for Linking Environment And Farming and is a guarantee that the producer operates in an environmentally responsible way. Their certified growers employ responsible farming techniques, including crop rotation, wildlife habitat creation, such as leaving the edges of fields and hedgerows wild and limiting the use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides.

To me it’s really great to know that Waitrose are making sure their producers are LEAF certified.

Anything to protect the environment is a big plus.

#TheWaitroseWay

Click here for my recipe.

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Food Love Stories brought to you by Tesco

Hey Guys

So out of the blue last week I was asked to be part of an amazing Tesco campaign. Prior to seeing their email I noticed their recent commercials promoting plant based cooking..which was very pleasing to see.

Any way, they asked me to recreate one of their Love food story recipes by Derek who cooks plant based food. It looked & sounded great, BBQ ‘Shroom Buns. Im a fan of anyone who is showing how fun & exciting vegan food can be. Its also really good to see a major supermarket making vegan options more accessible. I noticed they have a huge range of products suitable for vegans now, which are all clearly mentioned.

So I agreed! See my picture below. Don’t they look delicious!

To be totally honest, I don’t generally shop in Tesco. Due to it being further away from my house compared to other supermarkets. But I think I will be changing very soon. I was so impressed with their Cardiff Western Road Superstore. The variety of fresh produce was incredible.

First I had to visit the mushroom section and again I was shocked at the variety of mushrooms they had, I will definitely be going back for some of their Asian Mushroom’s.

For this recipe I needed Portobello, Shiitake & Chestnut which were easy to find.

I must of been in Tesco for 10 minutes maximum with all of the ingredients to make the BBQ ‘Shroom Buns. RESULT!

AN even better result was the price of the ingredients. £8.34 to be exact. Bargain.

So I arrived home hungry and ready to cook. I don’t generally use recipes, but did use Derek’s as a guide which was very simple. I cooked the dish within 20 minutes including cleaning up time.

Whilst the mushrooms were cooking the Hickory BBQ smokey smell was wafting around the house.

The taste was surprisingly meaty. I really recommend leaving the mushroom to cook in the frying pan until really golden and almost crisp this added a great flavour.

The freshness of the gem lettuce, coriander & red onion cut through the spicy smokiness of the mushrooms. Definitely a flavour explosion in my mouth!!

I can’t recommend this recipe enough, it’s a good one for new vegans who miss that meaty taste and parents trying to make ingredients like mushrooms more appealing to kids.

Make sure you try it, and thanks to Tesco for asking me to be involved.

Click here for the recipe.

Gaz

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