I had a fantastic time in London the week before last, working on Gordon Ramsay's Taste of Christmas. It was organised by Brand Events and held in Excel in East London. I organised and managed Gordon's dems in the main theatre where we got through 14 dems over four days. I was helped by four fantastic crew - three of whom came from the cookery school Gordon is involved with, Tante Marie.
Sarge (Mark Sargent) from Claridges also cooked and performed with Gordon in a hilarious Christmas themed production. Sarge was even unfortunate enough to end up dressing as a fairy and flying over the audience sprinkling fairy dust, need I say more. Each show, eight lucky people got the chance to come up on stage and be wined, gin'd (!) and dined while the chefs cooked. They had three yummy courses: roast chestnut, parsnip and apple soup (see recipe below), duck breast with braised chicory and almond sprouts and finally pear frangipane tart with ice cream.
Now, pour me a Gin!
ROAST CHESTNUT, PARSNIP & APPLE SOUP
This soup is very quick and simple to make and is seriously delicious. I'm hooked on it! If you watched Cookalong on Friday night, this was the starter you would have seen Gordon cooking. It is adapted slightly from the recipe in his new book, Cooking for Friends.
- 50g butter
- 2 medium parsnips, peeled and grated
- 2 celery stalks, chopped
- 1 apple, cored and chopped
- 1 tsp curry powder
- Small bunch sage
- 250g roasted chestnuts, shelled, skinned and roughly chopped (vac packed are perfect for this)
- 800ml – 1 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock
- 100ml single cream
- Olive oil to drizzle
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Melt the butter in a wide pan and add the parsnips. Allow to cook out briefly before adding the celery followed by the apples.
2. Add the curry powder and tear in a couple of sage leaves.
3. Season with salt and pepper and allow to soften before adding the chestnuts.
4. Pour in the stock. Cover and allow to simmer for 4–5 minutes.
5. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the cream.
6. Use a hand-held stick blender or a regular blender to liquidise the soup to a smooth and creamy purée (you may need to do this in batches if using a jug blender).
7. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.