Wirral Life October 2017 - Page 40

W L AUTUMNAL DELIGHTS BY PAUL ASKEW, CHEF PATRON OF THE ART SCHOOL RESTAURANT Autumn is one of my favourite seasons. It won’t surprise Wirral Life readers to know that one of the things that gets me the most excited is good quality produce and the variety. This is absolutely the harvest festival time because the game has started, venison, partridge and it’s the fantastic beginnings of autumnal vegetable like Cavolo Nero, local corn, pumpkin and squash. It’s simply a beautiful time of year, although we all love the summer, the autumnal air and changing of the seasons is a wonderful time for Chefs and dinners alike. We get to ring the changes on the menus – that brings a real excitement in the kitchen and in the restaurant as new dishes are added and you can really feel the excitement in the kitchen as they are developed. Autumn is a great season for our wild food, partridge and venison have been on the menu for a couple of weeks and I’m expecting the first pheasant to arrive next week. As well as the game, it’s lovely to have the Romanesco cauliflower and small root vegetables to develop our vegetarian options too. Obviously the changing of the seasons does mean some of the things we’ve really enjoyed working with are no longer available, so we’re coming to the end of some of the edible flowers and the amazing Hooton Watercress from that most loveable of characters, Peter Jones, at Wirral Watercress – it may mean he’s out of shorts and wellies too, so perhaps it’s not all bad. At the moment my favourite dish of the season so far has to be the loin of Venison, or Red Deer. Which I did at a guest chef dinner in Stafford last week – I was very pleased with the reaction there and also in The Art School where it’s been on the menu for around the last 10 days. 40 wirrallife.com We take the loin, which is the equivalent of a sirloin from a cow, with Cavolo Nero, Girolles in truffle butter and fantastic pink fir apple potatoes with a little parmesan reduction and breadcrumbs. The sauce that goes over it is a game stock, made from venison bones, partridge bones and herbs, and it’s finished with a Damson puree, pink peppercorns which is quite punchy, there’s a little bit of port and red wine vinegar to add sharpness. They really complement the sweetness of the venison, and to finish, my favourite vegetables to go with venison are parsnips. The dish really sums up the Autumn for me and where our menus are going. It’s not just the game season that shapes Autumn, the fish is also seasonal so we’re moving from Turbot to Halibut and we’re seeing Monk Fish loins coming in and the end of the Liverpool Bay Sea Bass. The Scallops have been fantastic of late and we’re excited to have them on the menu. They’ll also feature on the menu in the Art School Cellars, our new champagne and wine bar that recently opened and will see hot food served from the end of October in addition to our charcuterie, cheese and bread selection. The cellars also has a tutored tasting room, our tasting table has proved a hit on social media, the room itself is a sommelier led tasting experience, fine wines an B6vW2&VBvFg&W66F7FW"F6W2ञ( fRG&VBF7&VFR6WFrb6F6G7FF&Bf"FPVRbv'&BFR&VvFV( 2ƗGFR66W"FR2w&FR( FRWfRbג7BF6Bf"גFV'W@&( 2( v&G2BWv&G>( BF6GW&W2FR6V60BFRfW'&W7B67WƖW'2WBFRf"6&7F0FW&^( 2vR7Bb'B66F6W2f"RF&V7&VFPBRVFR&VFgV'fW7BbWGV( 2VFW@F