Supperclub number 2

Last Saturday a crowd of keen foodies gathered at Macknade for the second supper club. It was lovely to meet so many new people, many of whom didn’t know about the beautiful cafe that has been created within the most characterful part of the ever changing Macknade site. Thanks again to all at Macknade for being so welcoming and accommodating and especially to Stefano who was able to join us this time.

Once again we were blessed with beautiful evening sunshine and we set up a long table almost the length of the cafe and dressed with fresh flowers from the garden.
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The wonderful Ottolenghi inspired salad calls for a lot of quick blanching and cooling of beans and peas so that you end up with a wonderfully bright green, crunchy dish.
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The starter was wild rabbit terrine, with cornichons from Opies in nearby Sitttingbourne and served with my homemade rye sourdough.
Then onto roast quail from Godmersham Game, marinated in lemon juice, olive oil, sumac, garlic and pomegranate molasses, served whole on platters with baba ganoush, which I was particularly proud to be able to make with Kent grown aubergines, sourced from Canterbury’s Goods Shed.
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Pudding was a super rich, flourless chocolate torte with a layer of pralinéed almonds giving great texture and flavour. I served it with cherry compote, grated dark chocolate and the most sublime vanilla ice cream from Simply Ice cream which is made by the very talented Sarah Newall. I have to say the texture of Sarah’s ice cream is amazing, like velvet, and even when it warmed up and the spare (for which read chef’s) portion had sat in the kitchen for a good while it kept its shape, not turning into a puddle as so many others would.
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After the chocolate, which I realised afterwards was in some ways a deconstructed and retrouvé Black Forest gateau, there was a small breather before I sent out the cheeseboards, a selection of four locally made cheeses, homemade oatcakes 20120729-213617.jpg
and homemade fresh gooseberry pickle (for which there were requests to take a jar home, so watch this space….)
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When you have been planning the menu, thinking about the recipes, sourcing ingredients and then cooking on the night, one of the biggest kicks is this  – to see the smiling faces and a line of clean plates!

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Thanks to everyone who came, to all of the suppliers and producers whose raw ingredients inspire me and also a big thank you to my friend Olly who came along and was a fantastic, faultless sous chef!