Sunday, June 10, 2007

The morning after the duck before

Well this is a tough gig, it’s the morning after the Fat Duck and I have the challenge of whipping up some tasty food that is going to be instantly compared to all the fabulousness of last night. The meal that MC said he’ll remember for the rest of his life. So no pressure then! After a seminal meal I generally feel buzzing with ideas and influences and immediately start thinking how I could create some homage to the occasion. But after Heston’s, where do you go from there? I just can’t imagine trying to create any of the dishes we enjoyed, the foams, the liquid nitrogen, the little cubes of intense flavourings and the theatrical technical wizardry of it all. I am defeated even before I start. So giving up gracefully I cook the Waitrose’ As Good as Going Out chicken and mushroom filo pies we were planning to have as a light lunch before the excursion to Bray. Knowing that MC might not have cream-drowned leeks again for a little time I thought I better oblige and it was the perfect vehicle for just-arrived-from-Dijon Basil mustard. If I’d cooked this yesterday I would have left out the Jersey royals and just gone for the green salad but we’re not saving ourselves for a meal later today, so a few lightly buttered potatoes get added to this plate to accompany the balsamic splattered mâche.
I can’t possible match the culinary drama of last night but I can whip out the white linen and full on crystal to at least have a dazzling table. And it seems I have quite a lot of crystal – napkin rings, knife rests, candelabra, knives, glasses and spoons etcetera, so it is all quite sparkly! After our sort of pie we have some of the wild garlic wrapped Cornish Yarg which was a nice change and then some lemon tart which was supposed to be the dessert on Friday but I guess the late hour drove thoughts of a sweet ending from everyone’s minds in favour of sleep. They can’t be many more stunning combinations of the vibrant yellow of lemon tart and the vivacious red of the raspberries.
We may not have had a feast even in the same stratosphere as our life-changing repast last night, but the company was still very fine. And I do like an excuse to use the candelabra!

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