Offering an Olive Branch

December 7, 2010

At the weekend a friend was asking if I knew of any cookery demonstration that she could send her Dad on for an Xmas present. Serendipitously the very next day I was invited to just such an event today at the Olive Branch in Clipsham, Rutland. The half-day demo is presented by Sean Hope, the chef that oversees the kitchen here, for which he has one of those Michelin thingies, and at the Red Lion in Stathern. 

Sean is a confident, competent host and the kitchen’s extensive preparation means the cooking is pacey, but Sean is left with time to answer questions and expand on his themes.  He showed us a three course, Christmassy menu and struck a good balance between giving an insight into how a professional kitchen would do it, and how the dinner party giver can do it at home. Best of all, we got to eat the menu  –  beetroot-curred salmon gradlax with horesradish  creme fraiche, roast goose breast with goose leg stuffing, chestnut and bacon sprouts, goosefat roasties and a chocolate roulade with cherry compote.

There’s five more events planned at each of the two pubs in 2011 and they do make an excellent gift or, obviously, just a treat for yourself. Sean also revealed he is planning a more hands-on cookery school for next year too so watch out for further details. Thanks to Great Food Leicestershire and Rutland for the opportunity to attend.


Market stars again

November 30, 2010

Leicester Market and Leicester chefs have another starring role on TV tonight with  episode 6 of Channel 5’s Street Market Chefs programme.  Tune in at to see 7.30pm to see Rahul Gupta of Colourworks battle it out with Phillip Sharp of Maiyango. I’ll be watching carefully as the pair have to use one of my very favourite ingredients – plantain. I particularly like the sound of Philip’s honey and ginger roasted plantain with pan-fried seabass and crispy fried cassava. Judges include chef Sean Hope from the Olive Branch and Leicester legend Herdle White, radio presenter and carnival creator.

If you miss it, you should be able to catch after transmission on catch it on

Phil Sharp, presenter Amanda Lamb and Rahul Gupta

Come to Leicestershire

October 1, 2010

I assume most readers are based in Leicestershire, but don’t let that stop you entering this rather lovely competition from the Guardian – or passing on to your loved ones  not lucky enough to be in the East Midlands: Foodie Break.  For those not wanting or unable to click through, this offers the chance for UK residents to win a short break at Scalford Hall near Melton Mowbray and enjoy lunch and a cookery demonstration by Michelin-starred Sean Hope at his Red Lion pub in Stathern. Deadline is 15 October.

And for those of you are in the area, don’t forget it’s the East Midlands Food and Drink Festival at Brooksby Hall this weekend.  A great day out  but looks like it might be worth taking wellies.

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