Sunday, 29 December 2013

The Yard on the Edge - “An evening with Arthur Potts Dawson”

As well as being a grocery store, butchery, bakery, deli and juice bar, the Yard on the Edge (in Alderley Edge, obvs) has a craft shop, café and ‘event venue’.

Known as the ‘Back Yard’, the events space regularly hosts a diverse range of community based and creative happenings, including: exhibitions, markets, cookery classes, workshops and supper clubs.

Arthur Potts Dawson is a chef who, having initially trained with the Roux Brothers, Pierre Koffmann and Rowley Leigh, spent much of his career working for the likes of Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers as the River Café Head Chef, before going on to restyle the Petersham Nurseries Café and work as Executive Chef for Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen – you may also know him from Channel 4’s ‘The People's Supermarket’.

Besides being a chef with an incredible pedigree, Arthur also happens to be the nephew of Rolling Stone Mick Jagger – it is this relationship that brought him into contact with the musically connected Pickering Family who own The Yard.

The night was billed as ‘An Evening with Arthur’ – where, as well as cooking a three course meal, the chef shared recipes, experiences and anecdotes from his 27 years of working in prestigious professional kitchens. There was an ‘Open Kitchen’ and guests were encouraged to ask questions, take photos and poke their noses in the cooking pots. Arthur was great – the type of chef that has probably forgotten more about food than I’ll ever know.

Candied Beetroot with Black Truffle Pecorino & Rocket – a wonderfully light salad using delicious golden, heritage beets that would equally be at home on a summer, autumnal or winter menu. The flecks of black winter truffle in the cheese and drizzle of balsamic adding an indulgent festive frisson.

Pheasant with Fondant Potato – sharing buttery techniques, such as tunnel boning legs for filling with a forcemeat / mousseline, Arthur served the pheasant in two ways – a stuffed leg and bacon wrapped breast. This was served with a fondant potato (one of my favourite ways of serving potatoes that is sadly rarely seen in restaurants today), greens, cauliflower and ‘proper gravy’.

Poached Pears with Vanilla Ice Cream – the pears were poached to the perfect texture and served with a deeply aromatic and flavoured poaching liquor featuring white wine, bay, black pepper, cloves and star anise. (Please note: The Roux Brother taught Arthur to never serve something on the plate that should nit be eaten but we thought the bay leaf would look good.)

Another great evening at The Yard with friendly foodies - follow @YardOnTheEdge and @ArthurPottsD for more information on future events and collaborations.

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