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Saturday, 29 January 2011

Wee Rabbie Burns (Inn Style)

We hosted our annual Burns Supper last night.

A relatively casual affair,consisting of Haggis pie,comprising a pastry crust filled with Macsween's haggis,topped with mashed tatty, served up with Neep Crush(inspired by the Royal Family Christmas Day Carrot Crush).Obviously lubricated down by copious quantities of assorted single malts,which in truth was the whole point of the evening.
A slightly down-market menu,though not as desperate as the concoction produced by a particularly docile Chef I once came across, who failed to fully research the constituent ingredients of that traditional Burns Night treat Cranachan.Choosing instead to mix a box of Scotts porage oats with freeze dried raspberries then baking the mix on a flat in the oven until a dried gooey mess,which stuck in ones craw,he served up his creation with a dollop of synthetic cream and  inventively renamed the dish Cranacake....

In keeping with the tawdry theme,just to give you a flavour, here's the Toast to the Lassies:

O Lassie art thou sleeping yet,
Or art thou awake and wantin' a bit?
The Viagra has worked-see the size o' it,
And I would fain be in,jo.

O let me in this ae night,
When ma cock for once is big an' tight;
Ye can even keep oan the light,
O gonnae let me in,jo.

Thou knows am gettin' on in years,
And impotency has caused us monie tears;
So I drown ma sorrow wae strong beers,
But I would fain be in ,jo

So I bought a wee packet oan  e Bay,
A kings ransom I hud tae pay;
And I swallowed them awe today,
So for Chriss sake let me in,jo.

and the Reply to the toast to the Lassies:

O tell na me 'bout yer pain,
For it only fills me wae disdain;
This neet for sure yer gettin' nane,
O I widnae let ye in,jo.

Ye've wasted money on stupid pills,
In the hope o' gettin yer kinky thrills;
But ye'd better a paid money bills,
For I wouldnae let ye in,jo.

I tell ye now this ae night,
Tho' yer cock's as big as a bulls delight;
Ye can wank away for awe yer might,
For yer gettin sweet FO, Jo.

So go take out yer ancient Razzle now,
And wank away tae some filthy cow;
Jist get oot o' ma sight any how
Cos yer damn no' gettin' in ,jo.

We're quite a classy lot aren't we?

In an effort to redress the balance and claw back some semblance of a reputation,this arrived today;

in spite of our rudimentary latrine arrangements..


Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Hands off Chef!

Annoyingly,I've noticed the topic of menu plagiarism and even the possibility of copyrighting particular dishes,cropping up quite often lately.

But can a chef expect to have copyright over dishes which he includes on his menu?

Not many dishes are truly innovative.Almost every dish has been done before in some way,shape or form,lots of very similar combinations of ingredients brought together in slightly different formats and with ever greater technicality.Things go out of fashion,people forget about them, then the person who resurrects them perhaps with a *modern* slant is credited with inventing the dish.
The fact is there are flavours that go together and there a flavours that don't.If a flavour combination works then the likelihood is that at some point, some Chef somewhere has happened to notice this before. Any Chef genuinely discovering a brand new flavour combination truly has hit Chef Recipe Jackpot.
A case in point:Sticky Toffee Pudding
The late departed Francis Coulson of  Sharrow Bay Hotel, Lake Windermere, is widely acknowledged with inventing this dish in the 60's/70's. But visit any pub/restaurant in the North of England and they will probably have reputedly the 'original Sharrow Bay recipe' included on their menu.Nearly every kitchen will have a chef who has worked with a chef who worked at Sharrow Bay ,at some point, or knows a chef who knows a chef etc,etc.The Chefs who have actually worked at the kitchens of Sharrow Bay are sworn to keep the secret recipe to themselves.(Obviously we do have *the* authentic recipe on our menu as Chef actually did once work with a pastry Chef who once worked at Sharrow Bay...)Actually randomly,Chef once cooked dinner for Francis Coulson...
The point is that similar pudding recipes can be found in many vintage cookery books.

Exhibit A

Vintage Cookery book-Post war containing recipes contributed by readers.
Note page 56:Recipe for Date Pudding

This recipe is practically identical to the Sharrow Bay recipe,the only noteworthy deviation is the use of 'best dripping' as opposed to 'best butter'.But,your average thrifty housewife living in post war Britain is hardly likely to be in a position to whack the household's full weekly ration of butter into one pudding..
So what is this recipe doing in a book published 20 years or more before Francis Coulson invented his famed dish?
The fact is all recipes evolve,different Chefs develop different variations taking ideas and inspiration from other recipes/Chefs/menus.
What Sharrow Bay actually did was reinvent old dish,breathing new life into it by coining a zippy new name 'Icky Sticky toffee pudding',thus bringing it back to popularity.They marketed it successfully and established a trend.

How about then Noma,recently voted Number One in the Worlds 50 best restaurants,Rene Redzepis award winning restaurant is seen as inspirational and cutting edge, bringing Nordic cuisine to the forefront.
A welcome move in the absolute opposite direction from the molecular gastronomy trend,Noma's cuisine is a step back to the roots of food,with more focus on vegetables,less protein and less actual cooking.Working with Food Historians to research old techniques and ingredients.So, though innovative in the sense that its not the type of food that has been served recently, if at all, can he really claim copyright(or would he even want to)?I don't think so,how can we be certain that Fred Flintstone didn't plate up a similar feast(well,perhaps not as artistically arranged) prior to fire and the cooking pot being discovered?And wouldn't he of course be eating a more vegetable based diet( and rutting around on the forest floor for roots,berries and leaves) because he didn't have the expertise to render some proteins edible? Interestingly he'd also be eating exclusively seasonal and local food.Exemplary.
Any Chef worth his salt now wouldn't be seen dead without the latest must have Cheffy fashion accessory: A Foraging Assistant. And perish the thought of admitting that you haven't physically gathered at least some portion of your menu personally,whilst preferably sporting a fetching Burlap tunic fixed with twine and flip flops fashioned lovingly from a couple of 28 day aged reindeer chops, all the while embracing ones inner self,at one with Mother Earth.The food you subsequently create thus elevated to an homage.

Please though,lets not regress too far into the realms of the raw,whilst a committed omnivore, biting the head life force out of a still moving prawn doesn't really blow my skirt up.Of course it will be the freshest prawn you've ever tasted,of course it will evoke 'essence of the sea',why wouldn't it? its still bloody alive.
And I bet Fred and Barney ate it once,out of necessity, before they thought up the only true innovation,fire and the cooking pot,that opened the recipe floodgates and set us on the journey which elevated us from other mammals.

Whilst  its unacceptable to nick another Chefs expression/personalisation of a dish in the written format(ie the method),or a brand name which I came across here,the idea of copyrighting ingredient combinations is wrong on so many levels.How can any Chef be so pompous as to think he can 'own' an ingredient combination??
Any Twanker Chef complaining about this is has surely missed the point.

I don't need to tell you what this is,but its playing JUST FOR YOU..

A few years ago before we had the pub,we owned a small restaurant.In the next village there was a hotel with a Chef/Owner.We used to eat there from time to time,the food was good.The Chef though didn't do much to ingratiate himself with his public.He actively sought out publicity and was unfailingly arrogant,once giving an interview to the local paper which contained the clunker of a quote that he was "educating people in the North East about what good food was". Insulting your diners in this way is not an overly salubrious method of customer retention.As a result Chef Manqué was always unfairly slated by reviewers and eventually sold up.
I digress,he never came to eat in our restaurant(clearly didn't want to give us the idea we were good enough to be graced with his presence) but would often send members of his staff on scouting missions.Obviously,we recognised them(donning swathed scarves and sunglasses indoors wasn't exactly conducive to inconspicuousness).Whenever they came we would ponder which dish from our menu would appear next on his.It gave us a laugh,obviously he rated our food(that or his ideas font had dried up), in any event his execution of each dish was always slightly different to ours.It gave us a warm glow and a sense of achievement to see dishes from our menu find their way onto his..

Isn't that the whole point of cooking? About creating flavour combinations that hopefully people will enjoy and if you're really lucky,will want to go away and recreate for themselves?

If they don't, then surely its a Big Fat Fail.

The idea of Dish Plagiarism is absolute bollocks.

I rest m'case y'r honour...

PS Startlingly,Noma(English meaning) is: 'a gangrenous disease caused by malnutrition'.
I'd still like to eat there though.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

An Inspector calls.

Today, just before lunch service,a message came through to the kitchen that there was a gentleman caller here to see me.
I recognised him immediately,I wouldn't call him a regular but he does lunch with us from time to time.When accompanied by his wife he will partake of a modest sandwich and a cup of tea,as a lone diner amusingly his meal of choice will always consist of:Sausage and Mash, a couple of pints and a Bread and butter pudding.We always refer to him as Mr Bangers.You might want to make a note of that before you take the decision to make a particular favourite dish your permanent choice.
Below is a transcript of the conversation which ensued.

Mr Bangers:Hello.Just wanted a quick word.
(Directing me over to a discreet spot in the corner of the bar)
Mr Bangers:Well,a couple of weeks ago my wife and I came for lunch and both had a Ham and Pease Pudding sandwich,which we both really enjoyed.So last week my wife brought her friend for lunch and they both ordered the Ham and Pease pudding sandwich.The first time we had the Ham and Pease pudding sandwich there was at least 5mm of Pease pudding and three to four slices of ham.When my wife and her friend received their sandwiches my wife noted that there was no more than a whisker of a scraping of Pease pudding ,2mm maximum, and nowhere near as much ham as we'd experienced on our previous visit.This was very disappointing for my wife as she'd recommended the sandwich to her friend and indeed had made a special trip to here to experience it again.Very disappointing..

Self:Oh I'm really sorry to hear that,if your wife had just mentioned to one of the girls when she was here,there would have been no problem whatsoever in redoing the sandwiches and adding some more filling..


Mr Bangers:No...she shouldn't have to do that, that's not the point,(shaking head with vigour)I just wanted to let you know that there's a problem here(nodding and smiling self righteously)with consistency.....Yes, its just not there is it??? Just not there......

(No,far easier to make a special journey back to the pub at a later date to draw attention to the misdemeanour)

This is what I wanted to say:
Well, our sandwiches are all hand cut to order,the ham is cooked in our kitchen then hand sliced with a knife.The Pease pudding is also homemade.With all the will in the world there is no way that every slice of ham will be exactly the same thickness nor the Pease pudding spread exactly the same on every sandwich.If uniformity is your bag then perhaps you might just want to take a short sojourn down to Tesco and purchase a Ham sandwich there.I can guarantee the ham will be sliced so thinly that you will imagine it has been done with a razor blade,but more importantly each sandwich will have been weighed and passed through several factory processes prior to packaging.There will also be a sell by date which might mean the sandwich you consume may have been prepared 2-3 days prior.Yum.

This is what Chef said to me:
You should have told the bleeper he was lucky as we must mistakenly have been overly generous with the original sarnies.

This what I actually said:
No you're right.I'm very sorry.

I bowed my head contritely and walked the walk of shame back to the kitchen.

The Ham and Pease Pudding sandwich is £3.95

I didn't make this up.

PS The Beef Police have paid us another visit this week,again requesting an inspection of the raw product prior to ordering.Chef says its only a question of time before the beef passes the inspection,we go ahead and cook it,then they accuse us of surreptitiously cooking an alternative joint....
We've also had a visit by TWO Michelin Inspectors who chose to experience the Cotes de Boeuf for two.They did not inspect the raw product prior to consumption.

We're feeling a tad under the microscope this week. 

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Vote now please,your country pub needs you!

I have a dilemma ,dear folk of the interwebs, I need your assistance.
But first,please be patient whilst I fill you in with a little background information.
During the recent the festive week,we gave ourselves a bit of a break from the kitchen,with no food being served at the Inn from Christmas Eve right through until New Years Eve.
To be honest, this year December takings have been down so drastically due to the prolonged arctic conditions, we really shouldn't have afforded ourselves this luxury, but we did, its a chance for us to do the bar and get a feel for what the customers are thinking. 
On Christmas Day we open the bar at lunchtime from 12-1.30pm, put out some tasty edible treats and offer everyone who comes,local or not,a glass of Champagne.Actually the Champagne(and I'm talking Champagne here,not cheap Sparkling wine) is on tap;-nobody buys any other drinks.Most make an impressive effort at consuming their own bodyweight in chipolatas before rolling home late and with less appetite than they should for their Christmas dinner.
We enjoy it,its a nice thing to do.
There's a regular who comes into the pub daily..he partakes of a couple of pints lunchtime and evening.He's quite good for the craic,a bit of a character.On Christmas Day he appeared as usual but refused to participate in the Champagne swilling ritual saying he 'didn't drink it'.
I sensed immediately there was a problem. I mean who the heck doesn't like gratis Champagne???

The Saturday prior to Christmas this chap had booked in with his extended family(fourteen of them) for his constitutional once yearly meal at the pub.I wondered if therein lay the problem.I asked him if he'd enjoyed his meal the previous Saturday.Yes, he said the meal was 'fine'..Hmmm not exactly gushing..I probed a little deeper..The floodgates opened forthwith...His intention was to give Chef a 'bollicking' as he had not seen fit to grace the dining room with his presence in order to socialise with his guests.Bearing in mind that we served over 100 covers that day,the chance of an exit from the kitchen,brief or otherwise, to interact with the punters certainly wasn't on the cards.The fact that this hadn't happened had clearly been festering with Regular Drinker all week.He was quite forceful in his view, in fact he was full of hell,irate even.At this point Chef wisely walked away from the conversation in the interests of preserving his buoyant Christmas Day cheer..
Unfortunately I wasn't as clever,I pursued the debate.I enquired if he had been looked after well. Yes he said the girls were 'very good indeed' but not the same as 'the owner'..
The actual words he used were he was: 'lacking the personal attention a regular customer should command'..
With difficulty I managed to contain my anger which was bubbling up assisted in part by the glass of lunchtime fizz I'd already consumed on an otherwise empty stomach.
I cant remember my exact words, the gist was along the lines of people coming here because they like Chefs food, not because they want to have a bloody conversation with him..I cant be certain,but I may have called him(eek) a snob..
To be honest I don't mind admitting that he may have hit a bit of a raw nerve here. Our initial plan had been for Moi to look after Front of house with Chef obviously in charge of the kitchen, the perfect business combination.. Over time its proved easier to find decent Front of House Staff than it has to find suitable candidates for the kitchen.
So gradually, due to the business becoming busier, I've undertaken increasingly more cooking, eventually ending up in the kitchen permanently, through default.The problem is I'm actually now too good at it,I'm fast at the service side which is essential in a pub kitchen(you can get unexpectedly hammered at any time),so as a consequence I like to think I'm a hard act to follow...
I wonder if Regular Drinkers expectations are a reflection now of the state of the industry.Most experts when asked will tell you that its impossible to run a food business without a public profile.Chef has always avoided (like the plague) any press activity, preferring instead to concentrate on what he does best.Cooking.
We've still managed to achieve a successful business.There are a lot of Chefs who take the first opportunity for an early exit out of the kitchen, whilst still running their businesses,inevitably the standard of food isn't consistent.
But maybe diners expect to canoodle with the Chef and be seen to be HIS FRIEND.Maybe they expect that now because they think it gives them kudos..maybe it makes up for any shortfall in the food stakes.Whatever the reason,the fact is that at some point every business has to prioritise,right or wrong, we've chosen the food as ours.
End of.

I believe Regular Drinker's issues stem from the way the pub has changed direction over the years,come inside and it still has the traditional pubby atmosphere,but without the food, in our rural location,it wouldn't be a viable business.For the previous owner the drinkers were the mainstay of his business,he had little food trade,as a result the business was deeply in debt.In fact we were asked to take over at very short notice prior to the sale being completed.So,contrary to being grateful that his local drinking hole has been preserved and indeed improved(we are now able to sustain six real ales on the bar instead of the previous three)whilst countless pubs up and down the country are closing faster than a camels ass in a sandstorm,Regular Drinker feels he's not as important as he was,he's no longer Top Dog.
I've been told that when I'm out of earshot,he'll often tell customers coming into the bar looking for food; 'Oh, the food's VERY expensive here'..
 On the plus side, he's stopped trying to call the shots by telling us what dishes we should be putting on the menu, that was becoming a tad tiring.

Over the three years we've been here, we've continued to stock a particular cask ale for Regular Drinker's benefit because he's been drinking it for fifty years.It costs us around £30-£40 per cask more than any of the other ales we stock partly due to the Progressive Beer Duty.We still charge the same price for this beer as we do for the others we sell,despite that fact that the other beers are in fact subsidising it.
Chef worked out that over the course of last year it had cost us over £5000 more to buy in this beer than one of the local ales.

(If that isn't personal attention I don't know what is...)

With the increase in VAT duty and also several other brewery increases which we've absorbed over the past year,we were well overdue an increase in prices.I knew Regular Drinker would kick up a fuss so made a point of letting him know *personally* today.He was predictably unreceptive,despite the fact that I reminded him that we were still cheaper than the majority of the pubs nearby.
His ungracious attitude has made me ponder what route we should take.
Shall we increase the price of his beer, charging proportionally more for it so that the other beers no longer subsidise it?Or maybe we should decline to stock it?

So, in the spirit of this Bulls Lug of a business model(which conjured up images of my youngest playing football as a five year old,when all 22 players would chase the ball around the pitch for 90 minutes like a swarm of bees, because they couldn't grasp the concept of tactics or playing positions),I'm interested to hear your feedback,so I've installed a couple of vote buttons at the top right of the blog.

Lines will close next Sunday at 7pm,votes cast after this time will not be counted etc etc...

Vote now please.Your feedback is important to us.

PS There wont be any profit share..

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Play Foggy for Me....

We savour our Monday as its our day off and a well earned rest from the kitchen.We don't serve food but keep the bar open, more as a courtesy to the regular daily imbibers than any inclination that we may make a profit.
There's a group of three oldsters who meet up on a Monday lunchtime,they love Mondays because their chat isn't disturbed by the inconvenience of the incomer diners who ensure  the pub is viable. They're also assured of a seat at their preferred table by the fire.
For the sake of press privacy lets call them Compo,Clegg and Foggy.

Foggy,suffered a mild stroke last year and with the subsequent resultant abundance of free time whilst convalescing at home,he's become dangerously au fait with t'internet and social media and has just recently treated himself to the pinnacle of mobile communication.An i-phone.

Yesterday, on returning from our usual bracing walk with The Chap, I wandered into the bar to toast my ass at the fire and dry off my soggy feet,loitering for a while to see if there was any worthwhile craic to be found.
Clegg was more animated than usual,recounting with obvious outrage the sequence of nuisance phone calls which he'd apparently been receiving.He was planning to make a formal complaint to BT as lately the calls were becoming increasingly abusive.

What do they say? enquired Compo,intrigued,
Clegg: They're just abusive,rude and offensive
Foggy:Yes but what exactly are they saying??
Clegg:Its a woman she's just very insulting...
Clegg:Well sometimes they're very late at night..

The other two visibly leant hungrily forward into the table, eager to take on board the juicy decadence of anticipated details.

Compo and Foggy(in unison):Yes....go on..

Clegg(enjoying the unexpected centre stage status his anonymous harrasser had brought him):Well,last night the phone rang at twenty past eleven,I was just getting ready for bed...

Compo and Foggy(again in unison and practically nose to nose) YES........spill the beans, Old Boy

Clegg:She said: 'Shame about The Toon tonight,pity you watched it,YOU OLD GOAT...'

At this point Foggy's pint beat a vigorous, hasty exit via his nostrils,catching Compo and Clegg full face with the boozy spray.

Foggy(several minutes later on regaining control of his faculties)You silly old fool,that was me!!It wasn't anonymous, didn't you know ? They give the number of the sender at the end...
Clegg:I didn't hear the end I was too busy telling  her to shut up.....

There then followed a protracted and involved conversation endeavouring to explain the minutiae and indeed the actual possibility of sending a text message from a mobile phone to a land line and the resultant automatically generated female voice which ultimately imparts the message to the recipient.This to a couple of outright novice technophobes, who were struggling to comprehend the concept of such an action.

In frustration, Foggy retrieved his prized i-phone from the deep reaches of the pocket of his tweed jacket.
'Look I'll send a text now to your land line'
He demonstrated,deftly picking out the required letters with fingers now nimble through frequent practice..'There its done'

The three of them sat there for a while in silence,contentedly sipping their pints, enjoying the moment, whilst pondering  the enormity of the newly acquired knowledge.

Clegg broke the silence:By the way,what message did you send?

Foggy:Oh just 'I love you'

As the fog cleared and realisation dawned,Clegg stood up,abruptly downed his pint and as he beat a speedy retreat to the door, shouted:
I'm off Nora's at home and she knows about the abusive calls...

Nora being his frail 76 year old wife who would no doubt have already taken delivery of Foggy's latest bombshell...

Sometimes I just love my job...

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The Sorcerers Apprentice

I have some sad news.Brace yourselves. I'm sorry to report that The Apprentice's guest appearance in the kitchen came to an unfortunate untimely conclusion today,following protracted discussions regarding his dubious timekeeping.
We've learnt over the years that its very rare to find staff who excel in all areas of their job description.Some are good with customers,some very well organised,some proficient on the bar.The secret is to place people on their strengths,thus achieving a balanced and well rounded team.
There are however,certain aspects which are non negotiable.Turning up for work on time and ready to attack the job in hand is a fundamental requirement .Over the past three months the number of occasions the Apprentice has presented himself for work timeously can be counted on one hand.Sometimes its only been five minutes,other times longer,the point is nearly always late,mainly due to his inability to part company with his beloved bed.Which is a shame as he is actually good at the job.
I read somewhere that teenagers actually do physically need more sleep.

The Sensible One has been home from university over Christmas,what do you think he was looking forward to most on his return?A nice home cooked meal perhaps?Seeing friends and family? No, the thing he was looking forward to most was a 'good nights sleep in his comfy bed'.

Hmmm too much partying methought,but no, he likes to sleep with the window open which is optimistic in the centre of a busy city when being a country boy what you're actually accustomed to is complete silence save for the odd moo or baa.Seemingly the fire alarm goes off most nights and in addition he's been a tad unlucky with one of his flatmates.On first arrival at the shared accommodation on overhearing music emanating from a particular individual's room,and in the interests of extending the arm of friendship,The Sensible One approached the room in question and politely enquired what  the lad was listening to.
'I have Aspergers,go look it up on Wikipedia' came the response just prior to the door being impolitely slammed in his face.Unfortunately Aspergers boy goes to his room at around eleven each night and screams for a couple of hours..So a peaceful nights sleep was the order of the day for homecoming..

I digress,The Apprentice was informed last week that if he failed to show up for work on time again, his kitchen career would inevitably be prematurely curtailed.This morning he presented himself 40 minutes late.Chef was seething and informed him in no uncertain terms that his services were no longer required.
The thing that worries me most is that if he cant fall out of bed and into the shower then walk down the stairs to work and manage to arrive on time,what chance has he got of holding down a job in the real world?
I suppose you should never employ friends or family..
Following lunchtime service it transpired that the Apprentice had wisely made himself scarce and will no doubt be keeping a low profile until stormy waters have calmed.

With our now fastly burgeoning reputation as the Rose and Fred West of the culinary world due to our apparent inability to retain the youth element of our kitchen workforce, can I just decry this with the qualification that we do in fact have an excellent record of staff turnover.Most who come to work for us don't want to leave,one of the girls has just told us today that despite buying her round the world ticket (due to leave in Feb) she now doesn't want to go.Chef has told her she doesn't have to leave if she doesn't want to but I'm persuading her that she will regret it forever if she calls the whole thing orf..So that's another drama we've been dealing with...

In addition,having both picked up the Aprentice's workload today, bad kitchen Karma has resulted in Chef sustaining a very nasty cut which has required him to wear a surgeons glove on his hand all day.He never cuts himself.Not the best start to the New Year.

On top of everything else, I've had that disturbingly annoying Katie Perry song on the brain today,probably due in part to my giving an overly enthusiastic rendition of it at the top of my voice during the wee small hours of New Years Day following one or three well earned sherberts after service,you know the one:

Cause baby you’re a firework
Come on show ‘em what you’re worth
Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh!”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Whilst the Apprentice may not be a firework, he may well be shooting across the sky once my well aimed  toe comes into contact with the seat of his lazy arse..

Quite serendipitous when you think about it.....

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Happy New Year from Up North

I thought I might give you a little flavour of our New Years Eve at the Inn.
First the menu

To start a glass of this

First Course:Veloute of leeks with roasted chicken

or Spanish meats with Manchego and roasted figs

Fish Course:Pan fried red mullet with rosemary butter and roasted fennel

The picture taking fell by the wayside at this point, due to things becoming a tad fraught,67 main courses of sirloin steak or rack of lamb to get out of the kitchen pretty much all at the same time..I did get a quick pic of the racks a la pan though,before the proverbial shit hit..

This is the bar just before midnight

And after we'd evicted the punters  to view the fireworks!

So here's the fireworks/how to watch the entire evenings bar profit go up in smoke,if I were clever I should have set this to some music perhaps a bit of Ravel or Vivaldi.But I'm not, so you'll have to make do with the banal background banter and idle chit chat.
What this video failed to encapsulate was the sight of Chef legging it after a firework missed his heed by inches,despite the instructions to retire to at least 50 yards safe distance.All of which I was blissfully unaware of being at a distance very secure from the threat of any danger myself,of course.




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