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Classic cooking

Firm favourites given a sophisticated twist

Old vines in New World bottles Our wine expert defends California’s California‘s finest

Dine with me

Meet the chef whose career started with a TV challenge


DAILY POST Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Tasty evening out BRITISH asparagus is officially in season, as of this month, and cream of the crop is the stuff from the Wirral. Claremont Farm, in Bebington, is offering 11 asparagus evenings in May where guests go into the fields with the farmer and pick their own asparagus, then learn how to make mouth-watering dishes from the vegetable, under the tutelage of Claremont Farm chef Brian Mellor, before tucking in to an asparagus-themed buffet. Asparagus weekends are also available, staying at nearby Mere Brook Farm. On Saturday, May 23, Claremont Farm is holding an asparagus fair, celebrating all things foodie related to the ancient delicacy. Email or ring 0151 346 1796 for details.

food facts

REFRIED beans got their name from a translation error. Frijoles refritos actually means “well fried beans”, not re-fried

DO YOUR tastes run towards the exotic? How exotic? For the more daring palates, Bugworld Experience, in soon-to-open Liverpool museum, is offering a lavish bush-tucker banquet. Baked Tarantula is the tastebudtickling first dish served up during national family week. Tastes just like chicken, apparently. Next up is Aussie favourite

Barbecued Worm, lipsmackingly good with a squeeze of lemon. Then it’s Thai Curry with Cricket Noodles. Dessert is yummy Toffee Scorpion Candy. This unique tasting event will take place from May 25 at the Bugworld Experience, which fully opens on July 1. Details will be posted on the Bugworld Experience website, www.bugworld

food facts

Souper idea

ASPARAGUS is a member of the lily family

PUTTING the soup into supermodel, Croydon fashionplate Kate Moss, right, is said to be writing a cookbook. She’s said to have been inspired by a Jewish recipe book penned by the stepdaughter of billionaire Philip Green, and is rumoured to have roped in her old pal, Davinia Taylor, for the project.

A VIBRANT pub and restaurant is to launch in Liverpool’s neglected Baltic Triangle this week, which will showcase new musicians and offering speciality ales and food. The Orchard Restaurant and Tavern is to open on the spot of Mexican restaurant Cantina Tequilla, which went into administration in February. The 120-cover Orchard restaurant will serve hearty dishes from locally sourced ingredients, while the onsite Tavern opens its gardens to musicians and theatre productions from around the city. It will also offer 30 different varieties of cider and real ales, and hold regular tastings and a bi-monthly barbecue.

try it . . . AS THE weather lightens up, so does the food we want. Chefs at New Covent Garden Food Co have created two new delicious summer soups – Carrot & Coconut and Watercress & Creme Fraiche and brought back three favourites from last year – Pea & Mint, Gazpacho and Summer Vegetable. All five soups are packed full of deliciously healthy, fresh ingredients and contain no preservatives or colourings. Available in store from May 25 until the end of September, priced at about £1.99. Go to

Dinner date Who would you invite to your dream dinner party: Gordon Ramsay, Rafael Benitez, Hugh Grant and Angelina Jolie.

Debbie Taylor

Debbie Taylor, age 37, Director of Whitegates Auctions, in Walton Who would be your nightmare guest: Amy Winehouse. What would you all drink: Laurent Perrier Jouet with a splash of peach schnapps.

What would you serve: I would serve Gordon Ramsay’s rack of lamb in a rosemary jus, served with fresh seasonal vegetables. What would be the topic of

conversation: Probably football. Who would do the washing up: Definitely Gordon, the chef should always clean up after they’ve cooked.

Ideal dinner guest – Rafael Benitez


DAILY POST Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Chef’s Table

A taste of childhood

Steve Hampton has taken some of Britain’s best loved dishes and given them a sophisticated edge as William Leece discovers


Playing with your taste buds – chef Steve Hampton, from Circo bar, Albert Dock

Hot Chocolate fondant Ingredients (serves two) 50g unsalted butter plus extra 2 tsp cocoa powder 50g good quality bitter chocolate, in pieces 1 free range egg 1 free range egg yolk 60g caster sugar 50g plain flour icing sugar Vanilla ice cream

Method: Preheat oven to 160C/Gas Mark 2 1. Butter two large ramekins about 7.5cm in diameter, then dust liberally with cocoa and shake out any excess 2. Slowly melt chocolate and butter in a small bowl set over a pan of hot water, then take off heat and stir until smooth. Leave to cool for 10 minutes 3. With an electric whisk, whisk

the whole egg, egg yolk and sugar together until pale and thick, then incorporate the chocolate mixture. Sift the flour over the mixture and gently fold in, using a large metal spoon. Divide between the ramekins and bake for 12 minutes. 4. Turn the chocolate fondants out onto warmed plates. Dust the tops with icing sugar and serve with a spoonful of vanilla ice cream.

HEY are the much-loved memories of childhood. Comfort foods, even, dishes like corned beef hash, perhaps with baked beans, a pan of Scouse, rhubarb and custard. Except in Steve Hampton’s hands they come out a little bit different. A quail’s egg with the corned beef perhaps, or the rhubarb and custard as a mousse. He is the head chef at Circo, at the Albert Dock, in Liverpool. It’s billed as bar, restaurant and freak show, but, while there may be a twist in the tail when it comes to planning the menu, there’s nothing freakish about the food on offer. Well, not too much, anyway. “In here, I do modern international,” says Steve over a refreshingly conventional cup of morning coffee. “I like to play with classical dishes and modernise them into my own little dish, to twist them round and elaborate on the flavours.” Steve is a native Liverpudlian who trained in the city and has spent most of his working life here, too. Like many a professional chef, he caught the bug at an early age. “It’s something I was always interested in as a kid,” he recalls. “From being about eight, I’d always do my own breakfast, and make my tea when I got home from school. “I’d always cook for the family. Nothing great, but I always wanted to do it.” Small wonder that, no sooner had Steve left Archbishop Beck school, in Aintree, he was straight into catering college in Liverpool, and after just six months there he was snapped up into his first job, a commis chef at the Adelphi hotel. A stint with Liverpool Football Club’s hospitality operation at Anfield followed, and then it was off to the much-missed Bechers Brook, in Hope Street, then one of

The overall aim is to tickle a few nostalgic tastebuds

Liverpool’s finest, with two rosettes. After a short spell in Canada, he returned to the UK to spend several years with Rob Gutmann’s Korova group of restaurants and bars, and has stayed on at Circo after Korova sold off some of its operations last year. He also helped Natasha Hamilton set up her restaurant, Hamilton’s, in the Metquarter – “more as a consultant, really,” he says. The change in ownership and the relaunch of Circo earlier this year has worked to Steve’s advantage, as new owners Gary and Jason McNeil. have taken a hands-off approach to the kitchen side of the operation. “It makes a change, because a lot of restaurateurs I’ve found in my past are frustrated chefs who want a hand in everything. “But Gary and Jason came in sat down, and said right, this is what we want. We want you to write the menu, because we’re not chefs; we want you to cost the menu and from there on produce it. “They’ve left me alone – if it looks great and it tastes great then they leave me to it, as long as it’s money making.” The overall aim is to tickle a few nostalgic tastebuds. “When people come out to a restaurant they’ll sit, look at our menu, and there’s something there that will stir a childhood memory – or I think it does!” Hence the corned beef with the quail’s egg, or the blind Scouse without meat served with pickled beetroot sauce and a rump of lamb. Seven chefs work in the kitchen at Circo, plus two porters, many of whom have worked with Steve before. “I’ve got a fantastic team at the moment. It’s very unusual to have a team of seven, a team of three even, that all want to succeed and all want to push in the same direction.” He reckons he’s always made money for every employer he’s worked for. So, does he ever want to run his own restaurant? “I’d love to do it,” is his first response. But then he admits that maybe just now he hasn’t the bottle for it. “At what cost does it come?” he asks. “I could walk away from this job any time I want without losing my house, my car or someone coming after me for twenty grand. “I’d love to because I know I can make money for people. But if I failed I’d be devastated.”

DAILY POST Tuesday, May 12, 2009


TV show completely ch Updating the classics


RAWN cocktail has been a dinner party favourite since the 1970s. Paul Heathcote, of Heathcotes, brings it up to date.


Chilli Prawn Cocktail with Avocado (pictured on the cover). Ingedients (makes 6) For the sauce 9 heaped dessertspoons quality mayonnaise Dessertspoon Worcestershire sauce 1 small mild red chilli de-seeded & chopped finely 4 dessertspoons tomato ketchup Juice ½ lime Salad 500g frozen good quality prawns 200g peeled crayfish

2 small ripe avocados 1 Cos lettuce finely shredded A little milk 1 lime cut into 6 wedges Cayenne pepper

1. First make the sauce by mixing all the ingredients together, cover with cling film and put to one side. 2. Defrost the prawns in a colander or large sieve, and then add the crayfish. 3. Peel and cut the avocado in half, remove the stone, chop into 2cm cubes, place in a bowl and pour over a little milk, this will prevent the avocado browning or discolouring. 4. Place the shredded lettuce in the bottom of a glass drain the avocado and place on the lettuce followed by the seafood, top with the sauce and a pinch of cayenne pepper and a wedge of lime.


Liverpool’s Premier Open Thursday, Friday and Saturday till late

2 Courses


£12.95 Restaurant


Live Entertainment

89 Victoria Street, Liverpool L1 6DG 0151 255 0588 - Call for bookings


HANNEL 4’s Come Dine With Me has whetted people’s appetite for discovering their inner Jamie Oliver and entertaining at home. Leading from the front in Liverpool is the aptly-named Ian Cook. He is the 44-year-old former BT customer services manager, from Allerton, who collected the £1,000 prize three years ago. From entertaining just four people round his table, he’s gone on to feeding up to 70 people at a time – after he chucked in his job and began a new life as a chef. “My days of clubbing were over, so what I tended to do with friends was see each other in each other’s houses. One of the greatest pleasures in life is having good food, good wine and good friends at your table.” His TV guests were vegan Nikki O’Leary, fishmonger Dan Redfern and traditionalist Margaret Twemlow, who served her seafood starter on the beach in West Kirby. Nikki is now one of his best friends. “My dinner was later on in the week, so we had relaxed with each other by then. There was a more mature lady in West Kirby who was a true blue Tory, who normally wouldn’t be my type of person at all, but at the same time she was lovely.” There was the added pressure of having a film crew at his shoulder – and being at the mercy of the editing

More and more peo TV programme to e process. The crew followed him shopping in the morning and prepping his vegetables in the afternoon. But, he said, he managed to stay relaxed. “My advice is to enjoy every part of the process. When you’re chopping your vegetables, have a nice glass of wine and turn on some music. “My meal was very, very simple and based around the fact Nikki was a vegan, so I did roasted butternut squash and red lentil soup with garlic croutons, followed by whole roasted seabass wih tartar potato cake and parsley and cream sauce. I love seabass and my advice is serve what you love. For Nikki, I did roasted tofu with a tomato reduction. I wanted to be as inclusive as possible and make less work for me.” Another winning feature of his meal was the minimal time he spent away from his guests in the kitchen. “The only thing I had to do was roast the fish. If you’re a half decent host, you want to spend the time with your guests, give them a drink and talk to them, because they may not have been in your home before. Ask them questions about themselves.” His method paid off. “I got 39 points out of 40 – a score that nobody has come close to since.


DAILY POST Tuesday, May 12, 2009

hanged my life

Cupboard love PICNICS don’t have to just be cheap and cheerful. Make dining al fresco a fashionable thing with the funky Summer Living outdoor dining range, by Linea at House of Fraser. Acrylic flutes, £3; acrylic wine glass, £3.50; acrylic pitcher, £10; acrylic tumblers, £2.50; acrylic plate, £4.50. All available in olive and raspberry.

WITH summer racing nearer, every good foodie’s thoughts turn to ice cream, and what better way to serve it than in these cute little candycoloured bowls, £10 for a set of four, from Next.

Ian Cook at Studio 2. His career as a chef began after winning Come Dine With Me Picture: ANDREW TEEBAY/ at080509acook-3

DON’T just yank open a bottle of vino, put on a colourful show with this Alessi Proust Sommelier Corkscrew, ideal for the discerning wine connoisseur or wannabe pirate! A gorgeous reinvention of an Alessi classic design, it comes with a foil cutter, cap remover and corkscrew, £28, from Utility, on Bold Street.

ople are being inspired by a cult Channel 4 entertain at home. Emma Pinch reports “Before the show, I didn’t really realise how good I was. It gave me the confidence to make some key decisions.” First was to quit work as a customer services manager. “I went to work in Spain for 18 months, learning the language and the cuisine. “When I came back, I thought, I don’t want to go back to what I was doing before. I thought about going back to college and doing it that way but a friend put me in touch with Cameron Acott, at Parr Street Studios, who offered me a place in the kitchen at bar and restaurant Studio2. He’s sticking close to his maxim of locally sourced food simply cooked, currently preparing the likes of Formby asparagus risotto and beef and Cains beer pie and loving every minute of his new career. “Come Dine With Me was the turning point. It was one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done.”

OPEN ALL BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND Mon - Sunday 12.00pm - 3.00pm & 4.00pm - 11.30pm Fri - Sat ‘till 12.00pm Telephone:

0151 707 2202

Well-known faces also tried their hands at throwing dinner parties in Celebrity Come Dine With Me: Christopher Biggins, Julia Bradbury, Edwina Currie and Liverpool’s Philip Olivier

Albert Dock 6 Atlantic Pavillion Liverpool L3 4AE

DAILY POST Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Sommelier – Mathew Sloane


HE sun is shining. Unbelievable; I have barely managed to recover from some serious winter debauchery and I'm having to deal with outrageous bank holiday madness. It is a tough and thankless task that I have undertaken this year, venturing into previously uncharted territories in search of the most splendid plonk known to mankind. My voyage of discovery has taken me and my hangover far and wide, so it is with a slight sigh of relief that I have decided to veer slightly off course and visit a couple of old faithfuls. My first port of call is an often misunderstood grape that, unfortunately, is responsible for some terribly insipid party garglers that shouldn't be within a million light years of any decent vintner. A gang of Californian nutjobs have, over the years, grossly overplanted the mighty Zinfandel grape, capable of seriously belting red swag, and have been peddling it off as nasty pink gear for a few too many years. When bad, Zinny can taste more like bubble gum than anything resembling wine, and will often be seen in those industry-threatening “three for a tenner'” fiascos. A good winemaker with a decent heart can fashion tremendously spicy, fruity, hearty stuff from this juicy fella, known as Primitivo in mad old Italy. Look out for “old vine” on your prospective bottle of dinner lubricant; old vines have worked hard to get their roots deep into the ground and will yield smaller quantities of highly flavoured grapes. Mancunian crackpot, James McGrory, has a very tidy example of what could well be my favourite grape – Clos Du Val Zinfandel is available at his suave wine temple, Vinea, down on Albert Dock. Good Zinfandel works well with a leg of lamb,

Best bar none

boned, plastered with garlic and rosemary, and slapped on a proper barbecue. Moving from the Californian sunshine to the blistering heat of South Africa, my next tipple tip is a grape born from an unholy union of Pinot Noir and Cinsault. Pinotage is the result of some serious plant bothering and can be a cracking alternative if one is feeling a bit dangerous. Pinotage definitely falls into a “you get what you pay for” category. The good stuff can often have a smoky, leathery smell and will possibly blow your legs off when swigged. Get yourself to a respectable wine boffin and ask for his best Pinotage, stroll down to a smart butcher and ask him to cut a couple of thick fillet steaks. Get the steaks in some oil and pepper and leave them to chill out for a few hours. Roast some parboiled new potatoes with some cumin seeds, get some English asparagus wrapped in bacon in the roasting dish. Heat a pan to within an inch of its life, sear those fillets for a couple of minutes. Serve the lot with some red wine sauce and open your cleverly purchased bottle of South African Pinotage. Accept praise with dignity from your lucky dinner guest and feel free to doze and dream of England after a superlative dining experience. Armed with these two, criminally overlooked, wines you should be able to keep yourselves occupied during the early barbecue season. Steer clear of the very cheap stuff and especially anything calling itself “blush” or “white” Zinfandel. I shall be spending the next few weeks investigating the enigma that is English wine, God willing you shall have my report, good or otherwise, at the end of my adventure.

Owner Natalie Haywood, at Leaf LEAF bar is a hidden gem, right on the edge of Liverpool city centre. With good service, a superb wine list, and delicious food, it’s one of a growing breed of places happy to serve you just drinks or drinks and food, calling itself a tea shop and wine bar. Inside, the decor is chic and welcoming, with stripped wooden floors and lovely big comfy sofas. It’s the kind of place you could happily laze away an afternoon browsing the papers and peoplewatching with a bottle of wine. Or, if you’re feeling so inclined, one of a huge array of teas just begging you to sample them. The service is quick and friendly and the menu is fairly extensive, with lots of drinks to choose from and an impressive list of snacks. If you're feeling peckish, the butterbean soup (£3.25) is suitably hearty, and there’s a lovely black

olive & parmesan salad (£3.25). A hearty full breakfast (£5.95) is served until 12 during the week and all day at weekends. As you might expect from a place called Leaf, their tea menu is superb, with 22 infusions from all over the world. Owner Natalie Haywood, from Aigburth, set up the first incarnation of Leaf at the Roscoe gallery two years ago – at the tender age of 24. She cut her teeth with Korova Corporation, promoting venues such as Alma de Cuba and Baby Cream. Last year, Leaf moved to its new Parliament Street home with little fuss or fanfare. But that’s its charm. It’s a friendly, relaxed bar, without a whiff of a VIP section. ■ LEAF, 27 Parliament Street, Liverpool, L8 5RN. Tel 707 7747,



£5.95 Fri - Sat £6.50

Mon - Thurs




0151 709 2811


GRAND BUFFET 6.00pm - Midnight

£8.95 Fri - Sat £9.95

Mon - Thurs

ALL DAY SUNDAY 11.30am - Midnight



DAILY POST Tuesday, May 12, 2009



DAILY POST Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Advertising Feature

Julian’s Restaurant

New menu a treat for tastebuds


Fine Dining & Internaional Modern British Cuisine

AKE advantage of the warmer and brighter evenings and enjoy a night out at Julian’s Restaurant, in Hoylake. The restaurant is considered one of the top eateries in Wirral. In fact, Julian’s is one of only a handful of restaurants mentioned in a new guide to eating in Cheshire, the Taste Cheshire Food Trail. Julian (head chef) and his wife, Jackie Davies (front of house) have recently prepared a brand new table d’hote menu which offers the best of British food, locally sourced and freshly prepared every day. There are terrific traditional main courses such as roast topside of beef and Yorkshire pudding, plus amazing Welsh lamb cutlets – with the lamb sourced fresh from Denbigh – alongside firm favourites such as trout fillet stuffed with a seafood mousse. And don’t miss the opportunity to try the egg mayonnaise with pickled oxtongue starter. There are also new desserts like the White Lady, poached pear on homemade vanilla ice cream, which is styled upon France’s famous Mont Blanc, along with a soft fruit pavlova and Wicked, a chocolate tart with a cone-shaped parfait of

orange zest and cointreau – sounds delicious! And, in order to help the pockets of customers as much as possible, the prices for the table d’hote menu have not increased from 2008. So you can still get two courses before 7pm, Tuesdays through Thursdays, for just £12.50, or for £14.50 after 7pm and on Fridays, and for £17.50 on Saturdays. While the table d’hote menu is superb, the current a la carte menu has some extraordinary treats in store for Julian’s patrons. You can start with the carpaccio of fresh salmon, served with wasabi and lemon. Then there’s ostrich fillet with pinenuts and mango, plus smoked black pudding. Or how about local wood pigeon, pan fried and oven baked with a fricassee of garden vegetables? It really is a vibrant and exciting menu, so take your tastebuds on a journey at Julian’s. Julian’s Masterclasses are proving ever popular. Once a week, Julian helps two wouldbe chefs prepare a threecourse meal. Great for building your skills and confidence in the kitchen – just give the restaurant a call for more details. And be sure to book your table now for Julian’s Fish Weekend (Friday and

Julian’s Restaurant, in Hoylake, offers fine dining in a friendly atmosphere Saturday, July 10-11). Offering six courses for £32.50 per diner, this promises to be an unmissable occasion for seafood lovers. In other news, a portrait of Julian in his kitchen, taken by photographer Guy Woodland to celebrate Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year, has been put on display in

Liverpool. View it at the 08 Place in Whitechapel, Liverpool city centre. ■ TO BOOK a table or have a menu sent out by post, contact Julian’s Restaurant, Birkenhead Road, Hoylake, Wirral, telephone them on on 0151 632 6241 or search for Julian’s Restaurant on the website,

One of Wirral’s Finest • Award winning Chef / Patron • Reputation for Mouth-Watering, Innovative Cuisine • Carefully Sourced, Fresh, Local Produce • Friendly, Professional, Attentive Service • Extensive A` La Carte Menu • Table d’hote Menu - 2 Courses Early Bird Tuesday to Thursday Before 7pm-£12.50 After 7pm-£14.50 Friday £14.50 all night Saturday £17.50 all night Add a homemade desert Tuesday - Friday £3.95 - cheese £4.95 • Vegetarians / Allergies Catered • Open Tuesday to Saturday Evenings from 6pm • Please call for a copy menu or reservations

CHOICE OF FRESH HOME MADE SOUPS Fresh home made soup served with Julian’s Home-baked Artisan bread and butter. CUCUMBER SALAD Chilled cucumber, garlic, black pepper and Greek yoghurt combined with iceberg lettuce. SMOKED MACKEREL MOUSSE Delicate blend of hot smoked mackerel, cream, pepper and chives, with lime and chilli flakes. CANTALOUPE MELON AND SCHNAPPS Slices of pink cantaloupe soaked in Peach Schnapps and served in its own syrup with strawberries. HAM, EGG AND OX TONGUE SALAD Boiled egg bound in mayonnaise and home cooked Ox tongue. --------------------------------------------------------------CHICKEN BROCHETTES Skewered pieces of chicken seasoned with garlic and oregano. Served with summer salad. STUFFED FILLET OF TROUT Boneless fillet of Rainbow trout filled with a seafood mousse. Poached in white wine. Served with a wine and shellfish reduction. ROAST BEEF AND YORKSHIRE PUDDING The traditional English roast. Choice piece of topside seasoned with sea salt and English mustard. Served with Yorkshire pudding and beef gravy. SPRING LAMB CUTLETS Seasoned Welsh lamb cutlets, grilled and served with sautéed onions and lamb jus. POTATO RATATOUILLE AND MOZZARELLA Baked potato filled with ratatouille and topped with buffalo mozzarella.

For the third year, back by popular demand, Special Fish Week End– 6 Courses - £32.50 each Fri 10 th and Sat 11 th July 2009 ATLANTIC CLAM AND GURNARD SHERBA Minestrone style soup packed with gurnard fillets and baby clams. Cooked in tomato, thyme, garlic and fish stock. Finished off with small pieces of pasta and chilli. Served with homemade bread rolls. oooOooo INDIVIDUAL FISH PIE A selection of mussels, diced salmon, flaked smoked haddock and prawns bound together in a creamy béchamel sauce and topped with mash potato and baked. Delicious. oooOooo SORBET Refreshing water ice interlude oooOooo FILLET OF WILD SEABASS Seasoned and lightly grilled. Served with lobster risotto and a drizzle of saffron and chive dressing. oooOooo BAKED EGG CUSTARD TART AND ICE CREAM A very light custard tart in nutmeg pastry. Served with homemade vanilla ice cream and redcurrants. oooOooo FRESHLY BREWED COFFEE Served with fresh pouring cream, a mint chocolate and amaretto biscuit


Awarded 92% for Food and 86% for Hospitality

“Want to know more, find us on, or “Google” Julian’s Restaurant”


Menu, Liverpool Daily Post food and drink guide, May 2009  

Menu, an eight-page food and drink guide from the Liverpool Daily Post.

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