A few months ago myself and @bmcboy attended the Marine Conservation Society‘s fundraising dinner. There was an auction and amongst the prizes some really cool foodie things: a dinner for two at the Duck & Waffle donated by Dan Doherty and a meal for 12 at the winner’s house donated by Roast‘s Marcus Verberne. Tough choice!
Tipsy as I was, I managed to bag Marcus’ prize. I’d have loved it for it to raise more money than I paid for, however I was absolutely chuffed with my win. Marcus and his wife were also guests at the dinner and we’d had a chance to get to know them a bit, so it was quite easy to then plan a meal with him. 3 courses and canapes, cooked in my own home. I couldn’t wait.
We settled on a date in August, which seemed really far back in April but here we are. The time had come! Marcus arrived straight from Roast laden with bags and food… and knives! Immediately he set to work in my relatively small kitchen, while myself and @bmcboy tidied up, cleaned up and laid the table for 10 people… the kitchen soon began to look almost professional and the food started to smell amazing.
A couple of hours later, a couple of hiccups later, our guests arrived and we enjoyed the canapes in the garden with a G&T (Fever Tree and Sipsmith Summer Cup).
Marcus has prepared a great selection of British charcuterie from Cannon & Cannon and pickled beetroot:
And a delicate Gin cured salmon with pickled cucumber, which was of course, perfect with the drink we were having.
Once everyone arrived, we were ready to sit down for the meal proper. The first course was an incredibly fresh and summery Devon crab salad with samphire, watermelon, green chili and mint. It was bursting with flavours and colours and was a great way to start the meal.
The main that followed was also really good: Char grilled fillet of lamb neck, organic spelt, preserved lemon and herb salad with cucumber and yogurt relish. I am really getting to love lamb neck, it’s a great cut and versatile and the fillets Marcus prepared were so tender and full of flavour, while the spelt was the right texture complement to the meat. We also enjoyed a Minted bean salad with it, another very seasonal dish.
And dessert time arrived. Marcus refrained from swearing at my old and slow oven, and cooked the dessert to perfection: Soft-centred chocolate pudding with sea-salted caramel ice cream. Oh my gosh! This was heaven, chocolate and sea-salt caramel heaven. The pudding were super gooey in the middle and really intense and rich, while the ice cream was superb, creamy and so so good, with hints of butterscotch and honeycomb. I was devastated as there was some left over. I had to have some the next day of course.
Cleaning the kitchen the next day was quite a fun task but I take it as a sign we had a great night. The food was fantastic; having a professional chef in my very own home is a fun and really interesting experience. Him and his wife dined with us which was also an opportunity to find out more about ‘life as a chef’ and of course, ask him food related questions. I loved watching how he plated up and dressed the dishes, and I tried to make the most of it for when I host my next supper club (watch and learn!).
Marcus then presented the guests with a signed copy of his book ‘Roast – a very British cookbook‘ which contains some of the recipe of the dishes from our dinner.
I am glad both myself and Marcus have been able to help fundraise for Marine Conservation Society and I am thankful to my guests who also made a donation towards yet another marine charity (bite-back) as a thank you for such a wonderful evening.
For more information on MCS and bite-back campaign see:
Of course the fish used by Marcus was sustainable! For more information on how to choose fish in a sustainable way, please see http://www.fishonline.org/
More photos from the evening from Roadstar Photography on Flickr