Sunday, 2 September 2012

Stage at the Pass

Well here we are at the end of the summer (I hope not, got a week off coming up), work has started to pick up in numbers with people going back to the office and conference season stating again. The new ala carte menu and my new fixed price menu is going down well with numbers picking up in the evening in the restaurant and bar, which in turn keeps the bosses happy.

What else is new, well I have just spent 3 days working with Matt Gillan and his team at the Pass Restaurant, south lodge hotel. Yes its also the last place I wrote about on here so that goes to show you how highly I regarded that meal.

Arriving on my first day I meet the team and cracked on with some prep, the only real way to learn something is to get involved and get your hands dirty. I spent the first day with Donna and Caz on garnish, a great insight into the way Matt puts his plates together, full on flavors cooked a variety of ways using modern and traditional methods to create perfect results.

The second day was spent helping Ben on meat and fish, this day brought 6 kilos of langoustines to prep meaning I had shredded my hands come the end of that job but I also got to prep a goat for the first time as the guys changed the main course on one of matts tasting menus whilst I was there.

My final day I helped Charlie on pastry although with Charlie about during service you have to be quick or else he would plate everything whilst holding his own section down (a sight to behold, Charlie in full flow). First job we made the restaurants bread a small loaf per person but containing 4 separate balls of dough 2 white 2 brown all made from a starter that has been on the go for a while giving it a really nice but subtle sour taste.

In a nutshell I had an amazing 3 days with a great team of chefs, they were all very helpful and always happy to explain why or how they did something.

A special thanks to Matts sous chef Jonny whom I spent all 6 services at the pass, for his patience and for letting me help plate whenever possible.

For anyone who has not eaten at the Pass yet I suggest you get down there soon. That team is on fire and being lead by one of the most driven young chefs I have met, trust me the food really is worth the trip regardless of where your driving from.

So to end this post, a recipe from my new menu we serve this with hazelnuts, beetroot, sour cream and fennel.

Beetroot & vodka gravlax

1000g       salmon fillet (skin on)
600g         cooked beetroot (purred)
100ml       vodka
400g         sea salt
400g         sugar

Place salmon in a tray lined with cling film, rub the vodka into the fish.  Then mix together sugar and sea salt, spread evenly over the salmon and pour over the pureed beetroot.  Wrap tightly in cling film, leave in the fridge for at least 48 hours.  Take off the cling film out rinse off marinade, leave in fridge uncovered to dry for 2 hours, and then slice as needed.


  1. Sounds like you had a great time and learnt a thing or two. Love the Vodka Salmon receipe, but can't stand beetroot. It's not a taste thing, it's just my mother was always peeling then boiling the life out of beetroots and the smell has.mafe both me and my sister hate beetroot.

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