We were delighted to partner with John Lewis this summer on its vibrant roof garden on top of its Oxford Street store. Transformed into a beautiful and relaxing space with amazing views over London, it was the perfect venue for our pop up restaurant. Working with our executive chef and owner of Hardley Hill Farm, Sven-Hanson Britt we also hosted exclusive Farm to Fork dining experiences that showcased the finest British produce and traditions.
Hardley Hill Farm, on the Trusley estate in south Derbyshire, is the location of Sven’s thought-provoking new project, which will bring the relationship between the farmer, gardener and chef closer than ever before. The concept is to operate a restaurant where all of the ingredients are grown and reared on Trusley’s farmland and gardens, meaning the food has complete and clear traceability. The dining experience offered guests a taste of what is to come when Sven’s restaurant opens in 2017 with a four-course menu featuring produce from the Trusley estate, as well as some of the county’s best and most acclaimed ingredients.
The experience began with a delightful Spelt Brioche, cooked to perfection using the Moisture Plus function, for a well risen, light dough with a golden brown crust. This was followed by a light potato and tomato ‘tart’ flavoured with in season summer herbs. Using potato can be a healthier alternative and when cooked with the Intensive Bake function provides a satisfying crunch. Main course was a choice of gently steamed Portland Mutton or Cornish Pollack both cooked in a Miele Oven using the Moisture Plus programme, which increases the humidity of the oven and injects precise bursts of steam throughout the cooking process for fantastic results. Not only suitable for doughs and pastries, Moisture Plus also provides the perfect environment for creating succulent meats and delicious seafood with ease. Sven prepared the accompaniments for both dishes including vegetables in the steam combination oven to help preserve essential vitamins and minerals while still retaining a great texture. The evening was finished with a stunning strawberry and Earl Grey posset with droplet meringues. Sven used the new Sous Vide Vacuum Sealing Drawer to infuse the posset cream with the fantastic Earl Grey flavour and the low temperature cooking programme on the Sous Chef Food Warming Drawer to create delicate, light meringues for a contrasting crunch.
River Cottage HQ curing and smoking expert, author, consultant and teacher, Steven Lamb was our fantastic host. He also interviewed Sven throughout the events to understand the thought behind each dish so guests were fully engaged with what they were eating and drinking. Here he shares with us his first hand experience of the Farm to Fork dining experience.
‘I had just returned from my honeymoon and the thought of getting immediately back in to the saddle was a little daunting because in my head I was still firmly ensconced on the Italian Amalfi coast. However, when I arrived at the roof garden it immediately began to feel like a holiday extension thanks to the wonderful open space filled with foliage, herbs and growing vegetables. A welcoming haven of peace and calm, it was a perfect venue for a fabulous sky high, pop-up restaurant powered by Miele cooking appliances. Amongst the shade of fruit trees, sheds and over flowing wheel barrels of produce, the tables and chairs were set for the diners.
I have worked with Sven several times before and he has a great passion for good, well sourced and seasonal produce – with my River Cottage credentials we make a formidable pair when it comes to quality! As ever with Sven, food becomes a joy and he produced amazing dishes full of skill and technique that were delicious as well as thought provoking. There was a lovely energy with guests invited into the open kitchen so they could see the team in action and ask any questions they might have, helping to diminish any formality. The food was extremely well received with each course complemented with a thought provoking drink, including homebrewed apricot pale ale.
Innovative, creative and trying to be better than ever, it is no wonder that Sven Hanson-Britt was picked up by the Miele team and I for one will always be delighted to work alongside them.’
Click below to view the recipes from the evening: