FOOD MATTERS… WITH MICHAEL WIGNALL

Our new culinary columnist invites us in to his foodie world...

I’m delighted to join the Luxe family and share my love for Yorkshire and the North East. I grew up in the Lake District, so this part of the world means a lot to me.

There are so many inspiring things happening here in the North; the food scene is getting bigger and more exciting all the time and it’s wonderful to be a part of it.

My wife, Johanna, and I took over the famed Angel Inn at Hetton in September and it feels great to be back in Yorkshire. We have big plans for the Angel and I look forward to sharing them with you all as they unfold…

MY FOOD TRAVELS >>>

We recently enjoyed a trip to Wales, where we stayed at Ynyshir, Gareth Ward’s restaurant with rooms, just outside the Snowdonia National Park.

Gareth has been winning awards at Ynyshir left, right and centre recently and I’d been dying to visit him.

There is no menu; all 24 courses are a complete surprise and, boy, what a surprise they are. Every dish was insanely good – you could see and taste the work that
had gone into every element.

I’d encourage anyone who loves their food to pay it a visit – it’s really special. Further afield, we also loved Faviken in Sweden, which we visited last spring. It’d been on my bucket list for a long time and the whole experience is still on my mind – it was just on another level.

The grounds that the restaurant sits within are truly beautiful and most of the food that chef Magnus Nilsson serves is grown, foraged, caught or reared right there on the estate. We had about 30 courses of phenomenal food – each one unforgettable.

ON MY PLATE >>>

There is an abundance of stone fruits and berries at the moment, so we’re busy with ferments and making our own wine.

Of course, game season is upon us. This is an exciting time for us – my favourite time of the year. We are so lucky to be in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales, with fantastic moorland on our doorstep.

I’ve worked with the same local gamekeeper for years; I stuck by him when I moved to the South East and then to the South West, as the produce from up here really is second-to-none.

A favourite dish of mine during this time of year is loin and best end of hare, smoked beetroot, puffed buckwheat and toasted buckwheat milk. Look out for this on the menu soon.

MY WORLD >>>

Refurbishment work at the Angel began in September and we’re excited to see our vision come to life. We want to bring the pub into the 21st century, but retain the original, traditional features that make the place so special.

Our bedrooms and kitchen will be given a makeover in January 2020, as well as, subject to planning permissions, our second project – the introduction of our sister restaurant, Cove.

The Angel’s original wine cave will form the nucleus of Cove and an expansive steel and glass structure has been designed to shed brilliance on what will be a truly unique dining experience.

A modern, luxurious haven – a space that connects the old with the new – is what we envision.

I’ve always wanted to do something that reflects my food and I – and this is my opportunity.

Watch this space.

MICHAEL’S LUXE FACTS >>>

• Michael was awarded two Michelin stars in 2012, at his restaurant in Surrey. Following his move to Gidleigh Park, Devon, in 2016, he again retained two Michelin stars within just 10 months of his arrival.

• He was awarded five AA Rosettes in January 2017 – the first time the AA had ever awarded five rosettes mid-year in its 61-year history.

• He’s travelled all over the world in the name of food and has worked in kitchens in the likes of Spain, France, Surrey, Devon, North Yorkshire, The Lake District and Lancashire, where he grew up.


TRY THIS >>

Salt-baked celeriac, fermented Yorkshire garlic emulsion, celeriac purée, ricotta
Serves 6

For the salt-baked celeriac

Ingredients

• 1 medium-sized celeriac 150g salt

• 300g plain flour

• 200g waterHen of the woods mushrooms

• A handful of baby watercress

Method
Mix the salt and plain flour together in a bowl, slowly adding the water to make a pastry (you may not need to use all of the water – just until your pastry is the correct consistency to roll out).

Roll out the pastry and wrap it around the whole celeriac. Place on a baking tray and cook in the oven at 180C for 1 and 3/4 hours (ideally until the internal temperature reaches 87C).

Remove from the oven and leave to cool. Once cool, break open the pastry and remove the skin. Then roughly tear the celeriac into pieces.

For the garlic emulsion

Ingredients

• 4 cloves Yorkshire garlic (blanched for 7 minutes)

• 4 cloves black garlic

• 1 egg yolk

• 60g water

• 1.1g anthem gum

• 2g salt

• 175g sunflower oil

Method
Add all of the ingredients, apart from the oil, into a small jug blender and blitz until well mixed. Slowly add the oil to emulsify, then season to taste. Pass through a fine sieve.

For the celeriac discs

Method

Using a mandolin, cut the celeriac into slices, approximately 3mm thick. Using a 7cm-round cutter, cut into disks. Set the off-cuts aside for your purée.

Cook in salted simmering water for one minute.

Remove from the water, lay flat and allow to cool.

For the celeriac purée

Ingredients

• Off-cuts of celeriac from your disks 100g butter

•  Salt to season

Method

Take the off-cuts of the celeriac from your disks and finely slice.

Place into a ziplock or vac pack bag, remove air and seal.

Boil in the bag for 40-45 minutes. Blend with the butter, salt and a little hot water.

For the nasturtium oil

Ingredients

• 100g nasturtium leaves 220g sunflower oil

Method

Bring the oil to 50C. Add your nasturtiums and oil to a jug blender and blitz on max for 20 seconds. Pass through a muslin and chill. Any excess oil can be stored in the freezer.

To plate

Colour off your mushrooms in oil and season with salt and pepper on both sides.

Add a knob of butter to the pan and allow to foam. Cook the mushrooms for a few seconds.

Lightly colour your salt-baked celeriac in oil and season with salt and pepper.

Heat your celeriac disks in hot water, drain and glaze with olive oil, or melted butter.

Wilt the baby watercress lightly with oil and season with salt and pepper.

Heat your purée. You can make your own ricotta, or buy the best quality you can find.

Add approximately two heaped teaspoons of ricotta to each plate, then serve.


 

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