La Fourchette Brasserie, Totnes, Devon

La Fourchette is a little French brasserie in Totnes, Devon.
It’s a wine bar, cafe and brasserie all rolled into one with offerings throughout the day and into the night.

I had heard mixed reviews about this place so thought I would give it a go.

Being a chef and all that , I’m gonna just cut to the chase…the food!

The menu had typical French style to it with a good mix of brasserie classics, seafood and steak and frites.

2015/01/img_8138.jpg

2015/01/img_8133.jpg

2015/01/img_8140.jpg

2015/01/img_8134.jpg

I skipped the starters and went straight to the mains, ordering the lamb rump served pink with a herb crust haricot vert and Provençal tomato.

The dish arrived, it smelt fantastic, the lamb was lovely and pink and the portion size was just right. The presentation was very simple and lacked any sort of finesse but the flavours made up for that. The lamb was incredibly tender and succulent with an intensely flavoured crust . The dish came with crushed potatoes which were ok and the Provençal tomato tasted similar to the crust on the lamb. It was a good hearty dish that just about left space for dessert!

2015/01/img_8136.jpg

I finished the meal with a chocolate fondant and orange sorbet. There was a 15 minute wait for this dessert as stated on the menu. It took quite a bit longer than that to arrive. Again the presentation was very simple and could be improved but the fondant was pretty good. It a had a good crust going into a gooey chocolate centre and was rich and warming. The sorbet was refreshing but not homemade and worked well with the fondant .

2015/01/img_8142.jpg

2015/01/img_8141.jpg

So all in all not a bad meal but the price is quite steep for what you actually receive. The bill came to £67 for myself and my wife. We both had two courses and shared a bottle of wine!

Charcuterie Masterclass with Marc Frederic

Back in December the Ashburton Chefs Academy students were treated to an interactive charcuterie masterclass with the great Marc Frederic.

Marc’s expertise and passion for his trade were second to none. He has trained in the UK, Germany, France and is currently teaching his expertise and training in Asia! it was clear to see that Marc was willing to pass his knowledge and experience onto the next generation of chefs.

Firstly students IMG_7731were taught how to break down and butcher a whole pig, utilising every part. The legs were dry cured and left to salt for a month, belly cured into streaky bacon and the rest went through the mincer to make sausages and the great Spanish sausage, chorizo!

The students left with a fair amount of sausages, bacon to cure and a head full of knowledge and enthusiasm. The surface of the curing/charcuterie world was barely even scraped but Marc did his best to fill in. There is only so much you can squeeze into one day.

Marc was also extremely passionate about his pigs. He highly recommended rare breeds for charcuterie as they naturally have a good fat content. He spoke particularly highly of a Devon breed called the Lop, originating in Tavistock.

All in all a fantastic day was had and i look forward to the next one.

IMG_7750

The master at work linking sausages

IMG_7730

Students butchering the pig, ready for curing

IMG_7745IMG_7751 IMG_7736 IMG_7747

Oven Baked Turbot with a Walnut Crust

Having recently taught the dinner parties course at the cookery school i was left a with a little bit of walnut crust, in which i utilised for my dinner!

Its a bit extravagant but i had some turbot fillets to use up in the freezer, those combined with the crust and simply baked were delicious.

You can use any meaty white fish and is a great way to make some space in the freezer. i served mine with a good squeeze of lemon and some wilted greens. Anyway, here is the recipe.

Walnut Crust

Ingredients

  • 2 x 180-200g portion’s of white fish, skinned and deboned
  • 90g panko breadcrumbs
  • 60g Fresh brown breadcrumbs
  • 2 Cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 90g Walnuts (chopped)
  • Walnut oil or olive oil can be used
  • Sea salt
  • Cracked black pepper
  • A good squeeze of lemon juice

Method

  1. Lay the fish onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper.Season the fish on both sides.
  2. Mix the breadcrumbs, crushed garlic, walnuts, walnut oil and seasoning together.
  3. You will need enough walnut oil to moisten the breadcrumbs so they stick together when pressed between your thumb and forefinger.
  4. Add a drizzle of olive oil on top of the fish ,press down a liberal amount of breadcrumbs over the the fish.
  5. Place in a hot oven at 190°C for approximately 6-8 minutes or until the fish is just cooked. Finish with a good squeeze of lemon juice.

Top Tips:

if using fish from the freezer, make sure it is defrosted fully.

Any leftover crust can be frozen for up to 3 months.

Try adding fresh herbs to the crust such as dill, thyme, parsley, and rosemary.

The crust is also delicious with pork, chicken and oily fish.

Can be used as a binding agent in stuffings, sausage meat and burgers/meatballs

IMG_8004 IMG_8007 IMG_8008 IMG_8009