David Everitt-Matthias is the epitome of the ‘chef’s chef’. He has been running 2 Michelin Star Le Champignon Sauvage with his wife Helen since 1987 and has famously never missed a service. In that time they have been quietly amassing a range of accolades including the 2 Michelin stars, 4 AA rosettes and the Good Food Guide’s Chef of the Year award in 2014.
“Here in the Cotswolds, we are very lucky to be so close to such wonderful produce: terrific cheeses, lamb and game as well as an abundance of wild mushrooms and other foraged foods. We have a good climate, which helps with the growing and farming of produce. There has been a huge development recently with many small producers coming to the area to grow, brew, distil and produce wonderful food and drink offerings, including an insurgence of microbrewers and even locally made gin. It’ s a very exciting time for the region. Being surrounded by great producers and great natural ingredients means that we can put the best seasonal flavours on the plate. A lot of local chefs are in the same position. There are so many good restaurants within this region it’ s hard to pick, but if pushed my favourites are 5 North Street, The Wild Rabbit, Purslane in Cheltenham and The Butchers Arms in Eldersfield.
When building a dish we look to the seasons, though the most important thing is taste. How can we extract as much flavour as possible into the dish? We are known for our bold, masculine flavours. I want a lemon tart to taste like it has a whole box of lemons in it! Then we look at texture; a plate of soft food is not stimulating so texture is needed to excite the palate.
Finally we work on the appearance of the dish and which plates to use. Occasionally we may commission local potters to make some of the plates for specific dishes at various times of the year. At Le Champignon Sauvage, we love natural ingredients. Spring heralds growth and there are new shoots popping up everywhere. Wild garlic appears, scarlet elf caps grow nearby, stone crop, young nettles and sorrel begins to appear. Autumn brings the mushroom season with blue limbs, bay boletus and honey fungus all coming to the fore. And for those empty basket days, there will always be crab apples, chestnuts and acorns to gather. It’ s not all about foraging, of course. We are blessed in having good contacts with many of our suppliers. Charles Martell & Son supply our Stinking Bishop, which is washed in perry cider to give it its characteristic flavour and pungent smell, and May Hill Green, a soft cows’ milk cheese inspired by the May Hill – an important part of the Gloucestershire landscape that is topped by 99 pine trees on May Day for revellers to assemble round and greet the dawn.
Hamish Campbell supplies his ‘R Oil’ rapeseed oil to the restaurant. It has a uniquely nutty flavour and a wonderfully deep golden colour. I remember him coming into the restaurant many, many years ago. He offered me a bottle of oil and I loved it. He hadn’ t a clue who I was – but we’ ve got on well ever since. Chefs need to care about their produce and forge links with their suppliers – and home cooks can too. Regular chats with your butcher, fishmonger and greengrocer about what is available and what affect the weather has had on the produce will help you get the quality you are looking for. Even in the land-locked Midlands you can still access an excellent quality of fish and seafood. I use Flying Fish Seafoods in Cornwall and Johnny is, without doubt, the best fishmonger I have ever had. It is in a cook’ s interest to deal with suppliers that are as proud of their product as they are in cooking it. I am very fortunate to be in this part of the world and I have been lucky enough to work with some great suppliers. It is with such delight and pride to champion our favourite producers, chefs and venues in this prestigious cookbook”.
Gayette of Pig's Trotter
The idea for this dish came to me when Johnny, my fishmonger, gave us some whelks to play with one day. They arrived in the same delivery as some stonkingly fresh mackerel. From this the seeds for the dish were sown. It has taken a little while for it to come together, but now I am extremely happy with it. It is a real chef’s dish with its contrasting flavours, textures and temperatures.
Gayette of trotter and whelks: Mince the whelks, belly pork, lean pork and back fat through a fine/medium mincing plate. Place in a mixing bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and beat in the egg, then add the diced trotter, onions, lemon juice and seasoning and mix well. To check the seasoning, take a small spoonful of the mixture and shape into a flat burger, then cook in 10g of the oil in a small frying pan for 1 minute on each side. Remove from the pan and taste. Add more seasoning if required.
Divide the mixture into 55g balls. (You only need 8, but it is difficult to make a smaller quantity of mixture; you could shape all the gayettes and serve the rest on the side.) Lay the sheet of caul on the work surface. Wrap each ball in caul, cutting it as necessary. Flatten the balls to resemble burgers and trim. Place on a tray and keep in the fridge until needed.
Mackerel: Put all the ingredients, except the mackerel and olive oil, in a food processor and blitz to break down the aromatics a little. Place the mackerel fillets skin side down on the work surface and sprinkle the flesh with the aromatic mixture. Place one mackerel fillet on top of another, flesh sides in, and tightly wrap the pairs in cling film. Place on a lipped tray and leave in the fridge for 2 hours. After this curing time, rinse quickly under cold running water and pat dry with a cloth. Keep in the fridge until needed.
Cardamom yoghurt: Place the milk in a saucepan and whisk in the skimmed milk powder, then add the cardamom and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and cool down to 35oC. Strain through a fine sieve. Mix in the cultured yoghurt and place in a yoghurt maker. Leave for 8–10 hours. Keep the yoghurt in the fridge until needed.
Pickled mooli: Peel the mooli, then use a mandolin to cut it into long, thin strips. If you don’t have a mandolin, then grate the mooli. Place in a bowl of salted water and leave for 1 hour. Meanwhile, bring all the remaining ingredients up to the boil in a small saucepan. Cook for 1 minute, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Pour the pickling solution into a bowl. Drain the mooli well and add it to the pickling solution. Leave to marinate for about 1 hour. When needed, drain.
Gozmasio: Put all the ingredients in a food processor and process to a coarse powder (it can be finer if you wish; I quite like a coarse texture).
Finishing the gayettes: Heat the remaining oil in a large pan. Place the gayettes seam side up in the pan and cook for 3 minutes, until golden. Flip them over, add the butter and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Remove from the pan to a tray and keep warm.
Finishing the mackerel: Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Place the mackerel fillets, skin side down, in the pan and cook for 1 minute. Flip them over, then remove the pan from the heat and let the mackerel finish cooking in the residual heat of the pan for a further 1 minute. Remove from the pan and place on a tray. Keep warm.
Serving: Split each mackerel fillet lengthways, then cut the pieces across in half. Make 2 swipes of cardamom yoghurt on each plate, then place a cross of mackerel on it. Put a gayette at the opposite side of the plate and add a small mound of the gozmasio. Place a third piece of mackerel on top of the gayette and garnish the plate with a small mound of the drained mooli and the radish shoots.
This recipe is featured in our book Signature Chefs South West & Channel Islands. Click here for more information.
Ingredients for eight servings:
Gayette Of Trotter And Whelks
- 300G Poached And Shelled Whelks
- 125G Belly Pork
- 70G Lean Pork
- 20G Pork Back Fat
- 50G White Breadcrumbs
- 1 Egg
- 125G Meat From Poached
- Pig’s Trotter, Finely Diced
- 65G Finely Chopped Onions
- Juice Of 1/2 Lemon
- 60G Olive Oil
- A Sheet Of Caul, About 150G
- 50G Unsalted Butter
For The Mackerel
- 75G Salt
- 50G Light Brown Muscovado Sugar
- 20G Grated Lemon Zest
- 20G Grated Orange Zest
- 10G Coriander Seeds, Crushed
- 2G Mustard Seeds, Crushed
- 6 Black Peppercorns, Crushed
- 20 Leaves Of Lemon Verbena, Shredded
- 3 Mackerel, About 350G Each, Trimmed And Filleted
- 50G Olive Oil
For The Cardamom Yoghurt
- 250G Milk
- 8G Dried Skimmed Milk
- 3 Cardamom Pods, Slightly Crushed
- 50G Natural Cultured Yoghurt
- For The Pickled Mooli
- 1 Medium Mooli
- 300G Orange Juice
- 200G Caster Sugar
- 100G White Wine Vinegar
- Grated Zest And Juice Of 1 Orange
For the Gozmasio
- 50G Peanuts, Toasted And Peeled
- 50G Sesame Seeds, Toasted
- 13G Salt
- Radish Shoots, To Garnish
Copyright © Gourmet-Lifestyle Ltd