Our breakfast chef, Ulrika, had a well-deserved holiday recently, so the rest of the kitchen team have been covering her time off. This has of course meant that a few more chefs needed to be trained on breakfast service and has prompted me to cover a few of the products and recipes we use for breakfast in this month’s newsletter.
Although breakfast may seem like a minor part in the day to day running of a reasonable sized kitchen, it is undeniably important as it will be one of the last guest experiences before departing; the final impression of how the kitchen and hotel has performed. We were awarded a Special Breakfast Award by the AA last month too, so we must be going in the right direction as only a handful of properties across the UK were given one.
Having our own chickens is an advantage for fresh tasty eggs, although if you order a boiled egg we use our local egg supplier, Grange Farm. This is because our own eggs come in a variety of sizes and we can’t be sure if the centre of the eggs will be cooked to perfection unless we use a graded egg and a timer. Our black pudding is from Stornoway and is the best. Handmade by Charles Macleod and with its own Protected Geographical Indicator status, just like a fine cheese or wine would have in France. Our sausages are pure Middle White pork, and our Old Spot back or streaky bacon is reared and cured locally. As well as our own Seville marmalade and jam, we offer 2 types of honey, one clear and one set. They are both made by Richard Markwick in Anstye and are very fine examples of an English hedgerow/countryside honey, the clear runny honey having a slightly sweeter and more perfumed flavour, the set honey quite savoury and perfect with hot buttered toast.
This month Gravetye will be celebrating our 40th anniversary of membership with Relais & Chateau and for the whole of those 40 years, in fact since the early 1960’s, chefs past and present have all cured and smoked salmon on site to serve at breakfast and in the restaurant. The chefs have also made our Gravetye yoghurt; a plain thick yoghurt flavoured with a vanilla stock syrup, cover with frosted flaked almonds and drizzled with some local honey. Here’s how to create this simple but effective Gravetye yoghurt at home.
For the yoghurt:
1 vanilla pod, sliced in half lengthways and the seeds scraped out
50g castor sugar
300g thick plain yoghurt (Greek yoghurt is ideal as it has been hung to remove moisture)
Boil the vanilla pod, seeds, sugar and water together for 2 minutes, leave to cool for 5 minutes, then remove and discard the vanilla pod, pour the remaining vanilla syrup onto the yoghurt, whisk until combined then refrigerate. This will keep in the fridge for 5 days.
For the almonds:
Few drops lemon juice
100g egg white
100g castor sugar
300g flaked almonds
Add the lemon juice to the egg white and whisk in a round bottomed bowl to aerate (much easier to do with the help of a machine whisk). When the egg white begins to look solidly stable gradually pour in the sugar. When all the sugar has been added keep on whisking until a soft peak can be formed when the whisk is removed from the mix. Fold roughly half of this mix with the almonds until evenly coated, then fold in the second half. Add to a greaseproof paper lined or non-stick baking tray and bake at 150 degrees C for 30-40 minutes, stirring the almonds so they don’t stick together every 5 minutes. When a light brown colour has been reached, take out of the oven, give a final stir and leave on the side to cool down completely. These almonds can be stored in a glass jar in the dry store cupboard until needed.
To assemble the dish:
Add some vanilla yoghurt to the base of a bowl, sprinkle with the almonds and drizzle with some delicious honey. Or add some seasonal poached or fresh fruits first and serve in a glass for a simple tasty dessert.
George and his team look forward to welcoming you to the restaurant very soon, to book please call 01342 810567.
In the Garden News
Introducing new plant material is an important aspect of Head Gardener Tom's work at Gravetye, find out more about his latest fig discovery and an exciting find from a garden in Brittany...
At the Manor News
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