At the Table with Chef Richard Corrigan: Cooking Demonstration and Dinner

Although we’ve come to the end of the road… London Food Month has sadly come to an end.

In celebration of everything food, Fashion Forte were invited to a cooking demo and intimate dinner with Chef Richard Corrigan in Stratford for London Food Month. Richard Corrigan is a Michelin Star award-winning chef and proud owner of Bentley’s Oyster Bar and Grill. In June, Corrigan took centre stage at the launch of Westfield Stratford City’s Food Truck Festival in front of an audience in the ‘Grundig Kitchen’.

At the start of the demo, we were served organic cured and smoked Scottish salmon on freshly baked sweetened wheat bread with speciality herb and capers butter. Dare I say, it was the best smoked salmon I have ever tasted. The salmon had been cured and smoked in an attic at Bentleys. Corrigan expressed his love of bread and highlighted that, unlike most restaurants nowadays, Bentley’s freshly bake their bread daily. The texture of the bread and the velvety salmon combined with the rich butter made an excellent canape and perfectly complimented the Freixenet Prosecco. I could have gone for seconds – even thirds!

For his demonstration, Corrigan prepared a Roast Lamb Nicoise served with an anchovy and mint salsa verde. As he seared a fillet of lamb on high heat, Corrigan explained that the lamb had been sourced from Daphne Tilley, a lamb producer who supplies to top London restaurants and stores. The way Richard spoke of Daphne was endearing, he explained how overtime, their relationship had blossomed because of their love for good quality lamb.

While preparing the salad, Corrigan explained that all the vegetables had been sourced from his garden. He proudly spoke of his pesticide free garden alongside its harmonious ecosystem. He shared an honest account of his experience developing his garden and highlighted the challenges of this project; particularly the weeds! Corrigan drew attention to a homemade condiment that was going to compliment the meal. The condiment consisted of capers, anchovies, parsley, chives and garlic – a strange array of ingredients to pair with lamb but surprisingly worked!

The audience absolutely loved him, he was engaging, charismatic and shared plenty of tips.

After the demo, we  enjoyed a three course dinner cooked by the talented chef. The starter was an oyster and seaweed soup, served with Oyster toast paired with a glass of beautifully dry and apple scented Manzanilla Papirusa (Lustau) sherry. The starter was interesting to say the least; from the plating – it was presented on a mini cup and saucer, to the various textures and flavours; the dish made a real impression among the guests.

The Main was the demonstrated  seared lamb nicoise served with an anchovy and mint salsa verde paired with a glass of Crozes Hermitage 2015 Domaine des Entrefaux. The lamb was soft, moist and light  –– it literally melted in the mouth at every bite. The freshly prepared condiment, nicoise salad and wine complimented the lamb to a whole new gastronomical level. Lamb is typically a winter comfort food – but Corrigan transformed it to be a true taste of summer.

The dessert was a light gooseberry, sorrel and elderflower sorbet, served with a glass of gris blanc rosé IGP Pays d’Oc wine. Words alone cannot give this dish any justice. It was an experience. The gooseberries were ripened and warm, the sorrel was crisp and freshly picked from Corrigan’s Garden and the elderflower sorbet was sweet and perfectly chilled. The combination of hot and cold, tart and sweet was exciting. An excellent way to truly end a perfectly organised intimate dinner.