Our first theme night of 2020 was a huge success, celebrating vegan food with a fabulous menu every member of the team contributed to and a nice relaxed, social night in the restaurant.
We had an amazing salad of produce from Vanessa’s allotment including oyster leaf, love leaf, viola flowers, primrose flowers, mallow, and ox eye daisy. There was loads of colour and flavour in there and some really cool things from the allotment.
Our commis chef Gavin put together a brilliant lentil bolognese dish and our colleague Ben came up with two excellent desserts – a rhubarb meringue pie and a black forest gateau-style dish with beetroot.
The feedback from our guests was all very positive and we’re planning some more themed nights in the coming months.
Spring has sprung early this year and we’ve already been out picking wild garlic. It makes a lovely soup, which always signals the start of the warmer weather. We’re also using some on our turbot and langoustine dish, which is a match made in heaven.
There are all sorts of spring flavours coming through and by the time the next edition is out, we’ll be right into the summer with bright colours and flavours all over the menu.
Away from the kitchen, I’ve got a place for this year’s Great North Run, which I’ll be running for The People’s Kitchen. It’s a great charity which supports people in Newcastle and I’ll be proud to run my first Great North Run for them in September. I’ve already started training and have got a few five-mile runs in between split shifts.
I’ve also been back down to London, where I visited Blues Bar for the first time since I was on MasterChef. I also got a pizza down there, but it didn’t come close to what the guys at Cal’s Own and Flint are doing.
We’ve also got a staff day out planned for the summer to see Sam Fender – which will be a great chance to chill out as we’ll be working flat out in the next few months.
It’s busy as ever but we’ve got a great team in the kitchen and front of house who keep smashing it every day – there’s nowhere better to be when you’ve got a team working at this level.