Favourite Tables

Author Archives:


We Chat To Josh Overington Chef Patron of Restaurant Le Cochon Aveugle In York

Posted on


Josh Overington has been passionate about food and it’s origins since he was a young boy, when his Grandfather – a gourmand in the truest sense and a huge influence in Joshua’s life – introduced him to the culinary delights in Yorkshire, as well as further afield in France and other parts of Europe. This led to a year in Sydney, where Josh got a taste of what it was like working in a restaurant kitchen. Returning to the UK he worked for the next couple of years in some of the best kitchens in England, Josh then went to Paris to Le Cordon Bleu to hone his skills further.

Returning to York with partner Victoria, Josh opened the doors to Le Cochon Aveugle (and later, his wine bar, Cave du Cochon) where his set menu changes not just with the seasons, but on an almost daily basis, according to the produce available to him from his carefully selected growers, producers and farmers. He believes in cooking with a lightness of touch – using his skills purely to enhance and showcase the inherent quality of the food itself.

LeCochonAveugle_feature LeCochonAveugle_1009



Q: Which Chef/s influenced you in the past? Who continuous to influence you now?

A: David Kinch – Manresa


& Alain Passard – L’Arpege


Both have and continue to inspire me – their use of and focus on vegetables is a constant source of inspiration and helped me to develop in the kitchen.

Q: What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question”

A: I keep changing my mind! But at the moment, I’m craving Sunday dinner, so it would have to be Roast Rib of Beef, roasties and Yorkshire puddings.

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 13.33.34

Q: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)

A: At the moment there are two – The Sportsman in Kent and Crown at Burchett’s Green. The food from both looks right up my street, the kind of food you just want to demolish. Need to get to them!


Q: Which city or country is the most innovative in terms of food?

A: I still think Paris is up there. From the bistro scene to the very fine dining, it is constantly changing and staying fresh. The bistronomy restaurants are responsible  – it’s such a great way to dine.


Q: Who have you cooked for that has given you the most pleasure?

A: I’ve cooked for a lot of people, but I always enjoy going home and cooking for my nan.  She and my late grandfather fed me many times growing up, so it’s nice to return the favour.

Q: What is your favourite dish on the current menu/s in which you use foraged ingredients or produce from your most local supplier?

A: Our menu changes each day, so it’s hard to say exactly. We work with renowned grower Ken Holland, so our produce changes each day according to what is ready to be harvested. Currently, we have a braised baby leeks on with sauce gribiche, oyster emulsion, which is so tasty – especially at this time of year when you’re yearning for some new Spring produce.

Q: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?

A: Fergus Henderson – he’s written my favourite cookbook. I’d like to pick his brains and have a drink or two with him!

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 13.52.01


My Favourite Tables – Restaurants I have visited several times and why?

Restaurant (1):  The Black Swan at Oldstead and Chef Tommy Banks


Restaurant (2):  Skosh, York and Chef Neil Bentinck



Lunch By The Sea – A Favourite Tables Offer

Posted on

The Restaurant at Drakes reflects the same high level of excellence and quality that has made the hotel famous and provides one of the finest dining experiences along the South Coast. Through the evident skills of a devoted Head Chef and his dedicated team, The Restaurant still sets the standard in Brighton for top quality accomplished fine dining with warm yet professional service and innovative menus.

The Restaurant at Drakes has again received the highest score awarded to Brighton restaurants in The Good Food Guide 2018, for the 9th consecutive year.

We are very proud that Favourite Tables has been chosen to make this fabulous 


available to all users of our #BestRestaurants platform.

Three Courses For The Price Of Two

Please let the restaurant know you have seen the Favourite Tables Offer at the time of booking by calling 01273 696934 then Option 2 for The Restaurant

This Exclusive Offer Runs Until 23rd April 2018

March lunch menu copy

choc-trio-2-w5000 raviloi-w5000 Drakes_Lunch lamb-rump-haggis-boudin-blanc-baby-potatos-swedecardamom-puree-w1200h677 Screen Shot 2018-03-23 at 17.50.33




A very Dog Friendly Brunch at Bellanger

Posted on

Set on the quiet pedestrian-only section of Islington Green, Bellanger a French style brasserie was a ideal location for our catch-up brunch with family and of course office dog Alfie.

It was Alfie who was first to receive a very warm welcome from General Manager, Scott Laurie and the front of house team. A simply beautiful restaurant with a warm atmosphere as soon as you walk in. Once we were shown to our table a bowl of water and a bone shaped hand-made biscuit appeared, for Alfie that is…



Some warm bread, water and the Brunch menus followed. We were given a good amount of time to read the menus and make our selections.Very welcoming but discreet staff and a great menu


Steak Tartare, Escargots à la Persillade and Salmon Rillettes with Toasted Sourdough were the Hors D’oeuvres chosen.( The pretty woman quote “slippery little suckers” was uttered)

Bellanger_2005 Bellanger_2002 Bellanger_2003 Bellanger_2004


Mains of T-Bone Pork Chop with Sour Cherry Sauce, Confit Duck with Wild Mushrooms & Red Wine Jus, Grilled Plaice with Capers and Brown Butter Sauce and Choucroute à L’alsacienne (salted & smoked pork belly, ham hock, frankfurter, ham & garlic sausage and montbélier sausage, served on pickled cabbage)


Bellanger_2010 Bellanger_2009 Bellanger_2008 Bellanger_2007

Four adults and a Cockapoo had a very pleasant afternoon brunch with a few glasses of Pommery Brut Royal NV and Fitou ‘Origines’ 2015, Bertrand-Bergé.

We would be delighted to recommend Bellanger and our only fault…they don’t have a Cambridge restaurant



What does Courtesy, Respect and Common Decency have to do with eating out?

Posted on

Does it really matter that you have booked three restaurants for the same time and date. You will then see how you feel on the night as to which one you will actually dine at. The other two… if you feel like it you may call and say “sorry it’s late notice, but we’re not coming” or just not show up.

You don’t really need to show any respect for the restaurants that you “No Show” Your table of 4. Not turning up has no real effect on the staff that have been prepping food, the front of house staff that will be working that night to insure YOU have a great time when you arrive and as for the owners/chefs that take a hit on the turnover, what does that matter to you.

You don’t need to be polite to the “Staff” whilst you have a meal and a few glasses of really nice wine. Their there to be at your beck and call, after all you pay their wages. So you don’t need to show any common decency. So when they don’t jump the second you click your fingers your free to shout at them or belittle them.

And as for any really nice cutlery, plates, bespoke ornaments, napkins, candles or anything else that’s not nailed down, it’s perfectly fine to put these in your pocket or handbag and take.

But wait a minute….. that does not sound like YOU, you would never do any of those things. So why is all of the above on the increase.

Mark Greenaway introduces booking fee after “450 no shows or cancellations in one month”

as reported by BigHospitality.

Kenny Atkinson Chef/Owner of House of Tide had item stolen and his staff abused by the diners seen on CCTV:

Screen Shot 2018-02-26 at 12.59.00

In the Caterer its reported:

Valentine’s Day no-shows ‘crippling’ independent restaurants

With Damian Wawrzyniak, owner of House of Feasts, Peterborough, launching his own campaign to combat no-shows after revealing they cost his business about £3,000 in just one weekend. His #StopNoShow campaign has gained a lot of support from chefs and restaurants. Many now considering installing expensive booking platforms to take Credit Card details, Deposits or advanced Tickets. Online reservations provider OpenTable’s has strengthened it’s policy so that, if a diner doesn’t show up for a reservation four times in 12 months, they will be prohibited from making future reservations.

But all this does not really matter, why because it’s not YOU, is it.

To paraphrase Michael Jackson maybe YOU should “talk to the man in the mirror”

Screen Shot 2018-02-23 at 18.26.43




Shoot The Bull Chef, Chris Harrison Chats to Chef’s Table

Posted on

Shoot The Bull_Chris_Harrison

Chef Chris Harrison has been a Chef for just over ten years. His career started locally to where he grew up working in the kitchens of a Country House restaurant with rooms just outside Hull. From almost the moment he entered this first kitchen he set his sights on having his own business. He now runs two businesses Shoot the Bull which is a catering company that focuses on street food and The Old House a city centre restaurant in Hull. After 10 years as a chef, “slave to the stove” as he calls it, he decided it was time to take the leap into self-employment, starting Shoot The Bull in 2015.

His career has seen him working at restaurants including The Fat Duck, The Hand & Flowers and Gidleigh Park alongside exceptionally well-regarded chefs such as Heston Blumenthal, who taught him to push boundaries with food, but his main motivation comes from seeing his customers enjoying the food he puts so much care and attention into producing.


Old House_001 Old House_002 Old House_003 Old House_004


Q: Before you chose to be a chef did you have another career in mind?

A: As a child, I had a million and one ideas as to what I wanted to do. From a fireman to an architect, or Doctor to Designer. I was 15/16 when I fully decided that being a chef was the career for me. I worked part-time in the industry to start and fell in love with it. The creativity in food caught my imagination.

Q: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)

A: There is a restaurant called Skosh in York. I believe it’s about a year old but all I hear is great things. Many tipping it for a Michelin star. It would be great to go there soon. They focus on small plates which is a way of eating I really enjoy.

1464875518 1468526769 1468526690 1468526785 1464875666


Q: How important is a Michelin star? a chef in France, who has 3 Michelin stars, recently asked that they are removed because of the pressure – your thoughts

A: Michelin commands so much respect in the industry. I think it always will. I strive to achieve great things at our restaurant and if we reach the heights of a Michelin star I would be over the moon! I have worked in a few Michelin places and there is so much pressure. Every customer arriving with an expectancy of sheer brilliance. That’s the pressure, but if that can be coped with there are not many Michelin restaurants that struggle to fill their restaurant diary! I imagine the restaurant in question already has a great reputation and is full but to be given the highest recognition from probably the world’s most famous food guide is incredible, I wouldn’t be turning it down.

Q: What do you think about negative reviews?

A: I have mixed opinions on negative reviews. There’s a lot of chefs in the industry that don’t like things such as TripAdvisor. However, I think a negative review written in the right constructive manner can be useful for improving. Personally, I would much rather deal with a negative issue in person there and then. I think it’s the best way to resolve anything. No restaurant sets out to disappoint a customer and I believe dealing with it in the restaurant at the time is the most appropriate and fairest.

Q: What foods or styles of cooking do you enjoy cooking the most and which do you most like to eat?

A; I have had a lot of experience on pastry sections in kitchens so I really enjoy creating desserts, making bread products and pastries. These are also my favourite to eat! Whenever I eat out I have to squeeze a dessert in.

Q: What is your favourite dish on the current menu/s in which you use ingredients or produce from your most local supplier?

Our Brawn dish is a real favourite. Slow braised pig head, breadcrumbed and deep fried. Served with Yorkshire forced rhubarb and local cider reduction. The Pork coming from only 25 miles outside of the city centre.

BO2A2197 (2)


Q: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?

A: I would love to cook with Massimo Bottura. I think he is so creative. From what I’ve seen of him I imagine he would be great fun to work alongside and a lot to learn from him.




My Favourite Tables – Restaurants I have visited several times and why?


Restaurant (1): The Westwood Restaurant, Beverley. Never had a bad meal. Service is always on point and food great.

westwood3 westwood2 westwood1


https://www.thewestwood.co.uk https://twitter.com/The_Westwood


Restaurant (2): Tapasay, I am a massive fan of Indian food and it’s hard to get a good representation of it in our area. These guys smash it.

25438808_2000217176911430_5107794943639424898_o 27752595_2029360633997084_959953992754337214_n 28059155_2031827707083710_6857187908639711168_n Tapasya_01





Head Chef Karl Martin of Old Downton Lodge speaks to Chef’s Table

Posted on

Screen Shot 2018-01-10 at 15.08.40

Karl has worked in the hospitality industry for 20 years. Starting his career at a small golf club in the heart of England, where at the age of 13 he became KP in the kitchen of the local golf club in Wolverhampton where his father ran the restaurant, followed by catering training at Henley College in Coventry. Since that time he has gained experience working in many different restaurants in the Midlandsworking with the likes of Peter Griffiths MBE, Simon Haigh F&B Director of the Eden Hotel Collection, Adam Bateman Group Executive of the Hotel Collection.

Peter Griffiths2 Simon Haigh Adam Bateman

Karl is now Chef Patron at Old Downton Lodge,  a restaurant with rooms on the Downton Estate near Ludlow.


“Here at Downton Lodge we never force a dish, we class the food style as natural. Everything has a purpose. Its British country dining with a modem twist, with the emphasis on the ingredients and the marriage between them. We focus on the flavour and believe in treating the ingredients with respect.  Using nature and working with and preserving the seasons. We try to tell a story with our food. Where, nature to plate, is very important along with the traceability of the produce we use in the restaurant”.


ODL-Whitechocolate-Medsize-300dpi-0973 copy ODL-Pork-Medsize-0932 ODL-FishDish-Medsize-0870


ODL-Pine&Coconut-Medsize-0944 ODL-Fish-Medsize-1001

Being situated in the heart of a country estate, there is a wide range of produce that Karl has at his fingertips, from wild game to foraged fruits, nuts, herbs and mushrooms.  Giving the guests a unique dining experience where the quality of the ingredients and simplicity of the dish shine through.

The dining room is a small intimate 20 cover restauran, creating a 6 or 9-course seasonal tasting menu that changes every day, using the best of local produce in and around the estate and Herefordshire, Shropshire and the Borders of Wales.


FT: Who influenced you in the past? Who influences you now?


KM: There are a few, to be honest. My dad was a huge influence on me, I started where everyone should start, on the pots. Seeing the structure of a kitchen from the age of 13 has been a massive help and he was hard on me which has made me tougher as a person.

My two biggest cooking influences are Peter Griffiths and Simon Hauge. I learned so much from them. Focus, determination, drive, respecting people, ingredients and doing things the right way. Whether that be at work or in life. Both are huge inspirations.

Present day, it would have to be Claude Bosi and Gareth Ward.

Claude Bosi gareth-ward-770x770


Living in Ludlow I won’t go a day without hearing about Hibiscus or a story about Claude. A true legend of Shropshire cooking scene and his food is inspirational.

I ate at Ynyshir Hall 2 years ago and can’t stop talking about it to this day. As a chef, I try to get as much flavour as possible out of the ingredients, Gareth and his team just blow my mind with the amount of flavour in every course. I left speechless!! He has been great to speak to as well, always offering good advice. A true gent.


FT: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)


KM: Restaurant Frantzen in Stockholm Sweden. I follow them on every social media outlet I can. Their food blows me away! I remember seeing them for the first time on a video on Facebook, I just sat there with my gob open! It’s on my 2018 list. Can’t wait,

Frantzen B3-rbElu Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 13.27.28


FT: If you could change any misconceptions about restaurants/food, what would they be?


KM: Fine dining! What is it! Some people have this misconception that some restaurants are “too posh”. I agree to a certain point but at Old Downton Lodge I couldn’t give a shit if they want to wear shorts and flip-flops. FFS they are paying customers. I want people to come here feel relaxed and have great food, wine and an amazing experience.


FT: How important is a Michelin star? A chef in France, who has 3 Michelin stars, recently asked that they are removed because of the pressure – thoughts?


KM: For some people, it’s not important at all, for some it’s a must (die trying kind of thing).

I remember a tweet from Michelin that said “cook for your customers!” A lot of chefs forget that they’re the most important people. I’ve never had a star, so can’t comment on the pressure, but we just try and enjoy it. It’s food at the end of the day. I’m here to enjoy my cooking, not drive my team into the ground. If it happens for us it will be amazing but if not and the customers are happy we are doing our job right.


FT: What is your favourite dish on the current menu/s in which you use produce from your most local supplier?


KM: Has to be the 3 day cooked Wagyu Feather Blade from Montgomery (supplied By Alternative Meats) it never comes off the menu! Only the garnish changes. We are very lucky to be so close to such an amazing product/producer! Really is world class.

FT: If you could invite any Chef past or present to cook alongside you for one night who would that be and why?


KM: Claude Bosi – it would be great  to cook with him in Ludlow and just a very inspiring chef. Marco in his hey day just would be amazing. An absolute hero of mine.

Marco Unknown


My Favourite Tables – Two restaurants I have visited and why?

Restaurant (1): Ynyshir Hall- I’ve only been once but another trip is planned this year. Just one of the best in the UK and is for me soon to be world class.


Restaurant (2): Simpsons in Birmingham. I’ve been 3 times 1st was 18 years ago and twice last year. Just keeps going and evolving. It’s a great mix of classic and modern working well together.


Matt Waldron, Head Chef at Llys Meddyg Talks to Chef’s Table

Posted on


Matt Waldron, Head Chef at Llys Meddyg

Matt started his career in a small country house hotel named The Glen yr Afon in Usk, completing his apprenticeship in cooking.  His interest in food science lead him to complete a degree in culinary arts and food science in The University of West London.  Staying in London Matt worked his way through some very established restaurants with Helene Darroze at The Connaught Hotel being his most influential.  After two and half years there it was time to come back to Wales.  Working as Sous chef at Restaurant James Sommerin in Penarth from the start taught him a lot about running a restaurant and all that comes with the territory.  After completing his time there he then moved on to work for Gareth Ward at Ynyshir, which holds a Michelin Star and 5 AA Rosettes.

Matt took over the kitchen at Llys Meddyg in the late summer of 2017 and has had a successful start to his time there.

Matt_Waldron_02 Matt_Waldron_01

IMG_4435 IMG_4608 IMG_4577 IMG_4288



The food at Llys Meddyg is simple, concentrating on flavour, based on local produce from the coast, off the mountains and all the forage that is available to him around Newport Pembrokeshire.  Where ever possible he works closely with small local suppliers which gives him the ability to handpick the produce to ensure it’s the best he can get his hands on.



CT: Which Chef/s influenced you in the past? Who continuous to influence you now?

MW: Working for Helene Darroze in The Connaught for 3 years influenced me massively.  Her philosophy of using the very best products and treating them with respect and care.  Seasonality was a massive part of her menu.


Closer to home a big influence is Gareth Ward at Ynyshir.  The way he creates his dishes, works closely with nature, the acidity of dishes, and just the simplicity of his dishes to the eye makes one of the most amazing restaurants in the UK.



CT: What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question”


MW: My mums Sunday dinner.  Roast beef, roasties, and all the vegetables from dads garden.  Cant beat it.


CT: Which restaurant would you like to go to? (that you haven’t had the opportunity to visit yet)


MW: Piazza Duomo in Northen Italy.  The food at Piazza Duomo is inspirational due to the use of local food products from his kitchen garden and around Alba.  They have such amazing produce in that region and Enrico Crippa just showcases it at its best.  It is his take on Italian food with influences of Japan visible in his dishes.

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 13.07.51 Piazza_Duomo_02 Piazza_Duomo_01 pzd-ristorante-perfezione


CT: What do you think about negative reviews?

MW: I think negative reviews can be a good thing.  No one is perfect and sometimes things don’t go to plan, but that’s life.  You have to see in what context the review was written in.  If used properly negativity can be flipped into positivity, ideas to improve something, maybe something that hadn’t been spotted before.  All reviews whether positive or negative are a good thing, but the people that write reviews just to get something for nothing should stop, it can be quite damaging to a business.


CT: If you received a call from Buckingham Palace asking you to create a Dinner Menu using the best of Pembrokeshire what would you feature?

MW: The main event would definitely have to be Preseli lamb, for me, it’s the best lamb around.  The abundance of seafood we have around us I would definitely have to use the crab from Solva and our vegetable guy Nathan who has an organic veg farm just down the road from us.  His vegetables are incredible.

browncrab 16664884_10154196481880841_1297570762556213934_o 8114131625_62d5706ccb_k

CT: What is your favourite dish on the current menu/s in which you use foraged ingredients or produce from your most local supplier?

MW: Preseli lamb, loin, rib and shoulder, Aubergine salad, yoghurt, charred onion, lamb soy

The lamb comes from the mountain opposite us.  The vegetables come from Nathan our organic veg supplier, and the yoghurt we make ourselves from milk from jersey cows about 10 miles away.



CT: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?

MW: Charlie Trotter.  His food is very classic, looks immaculate and focuses on seasons.  He introduced America to food styles not seen before, very bold for the time.  He was ambitious and wanted everything perfect, from the minute you walked in the door.




My Favourite Tables – Two restaurants I have visited and why?

Restaurant (1):  Gareth Ward at Ynyshir.  The food is exceptional.  There is a continuous development there and the place keeps getting better and better.

Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 13.24.30


Restaurant (2): Restaurant Frantzen, Sweden.  It’s a combination of relaxed atmosphere and incredible food.  There is no stone unturned there, the attention to detail is out of this world.  If I could afford it I would eat there once a month.

B3-rbElu Frantzen Screen Shot 2018-01-05 at 13.27.28


Chef’s Tables meet Grant Mulholland Head Chef at The Hand

Posted on


Head Chef Grant Mulholland started his culinary career journey at the age of 15 in a small country house hotel in South West Scotland in a small town called Castle Douglas. He originally went for a waiters job but come out with a chef’s assistant position and has never looked back.



It was after three years at Catering College he moved into a commis chef position in North Wales then onto a position within Thistle Hotels moving up to head chef at a fast pace, finally he moved back to North Wales and was appointed head chef at The Hand at Llanarmon and he has never looked back and has gone from strength to strength achieving 2AA rosette and entry into the Michelin guide.


IMG_4712 IMG_4720 IMG_5644 IMG_5671 The_Hand_009

Question: What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question” 

A: Last dish to eat is my mum’s haggis, tatties(potatoes)and neeps(turnips) washed down with a can of Tennents Lager.



Question: Before you chose to be a chef did you have another career in mind?

A: School wasn’t a particularly good time in my younger life. As soon as I started to work in a small country house hotel I have never dreamt of looking into anything else, this is my dream job and always will be.

Question:  What do you think about negative reviews? 

A: Negative reviews can be good, constructive or they can be a bad thing. I work on the ethic that I put 100% passion into my work and so far has given me some very inspiring reviews of my food, any negativity I look at in a positive way and deem it constructive criticism.

Question: If there were a “Fantasy League” of Chefs who would make up your perfect brigade?  

A: My fantasy brigade I would head up is with all of my old head chefs, showing them what I have achieved in all my years in cooking. With my dad looking on at the hotplate giving me the encouragement he does every day.

Question: What foods or styles of cooking do you enjoy cooking the most and which do you most like to eat?

A: Fish cookery is a real passion as I have a great respect for Rick Stein and his ideas, it’s a precise form of cooking which in my mind takes a lot of skill to get correct.

Grant_M_001 Grant_M_004 Grant_M_002 Grant_M_003


Question: What is your favourite dish on the current menu/s in which you use ingredients or produce from your most local supplier? 

A: Simply Beef, our locally farmed welsh black is only 1 mile from the hotel, it is the best beef I have ever cooked in all my years of cooking

800px-Welsh_Black_Cattle_Aberdare_Blog Grant_M_009 Grant_M_008


Question: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?



A: Rick Stein, for many years his passion and excitement for cooking have inspired me in my cooking and he adds a less serious element to the profession which is a great thing.

My favourite tables

My only Michelin star visit ever was The Waterside Inn in Bray and the taste of the lobster and white port sauce will never leave my lips.



I would also eat in my own restaurant (Hand at Llanarmon) as the other 2 chefs I work with and have taught for many years and have them serve me the best food around.



Here’s our little guide to making Veganuary a thing for you.

Posted on

Over the last year or so you may have noticed veganism gently muscle its way into the mainstream. More and more restaurants offer Vegan options or have positioned themselves as “totally” Vegan. So thats fine if you plan to dine-out all of January. Because like 60,000 thousand others you have pledged that you, will, be supporting Veganuary – won’t you…..

With demand increasing a bunch of major outlets have started offering plant-based options – Pret-a-manger has been leading the way in vegan ‘grab and go’ food, Wagamama recently started trialing a brand new vegan menu, and you’re now able to order a delicious sweet potato, chickpea and spinach curry with your pint of Guinness at many Wetherspoons. Unfortunately though there is nothing that really hits the mark, taste wise, in the To-Go range or Ready-Meals, that is until now.

All that is about to change with the launch by Tesco’s of a brand new plant-based range, Wicked Kitchen. The supermarket has worked with Chefs Derek & Chad Sarno to create the range, to ‘bring the plant-based market from niche to mainstream’. The range features vegan sandwiches, wraps, salads, ready meals and pizza. So if your New Year’s resolution is still intact and you want to give Veganuary a real shot, here’s what you can look forward to.



Tesco_WK-Wrap_01 Tesco_Vegan_Wrap


Ready Meals:

Tesco_Vegan_Thai_Curry Tesco_Vegan_Beans&Mash Tesco_Vegan_Noodles

Tesco_Vegan_Paste_Amazeballs Tesco_vegan_Gunpowder_Masala Tesco_Vegan_macaroni





All images Tesco

More information: www.tesco.com






Chef’s Table talk with Chef James Sommerin

Posted on



James started his culinary career at the age of 12 working on a Saturday morning in an Italian restaurant in Newport, Chez Chiovanni, after leaving school he started his first full time cooking position at the Cwrt Bleddyn Hotel near Usk.




It was from there, at the age of 16, that he decided to move to Scotland and worked at Farleyer House Hotel under the guidance of Head Chef Richard Lyth, it was whilst being taught by Richard that he gained the understanding of seasonality, quality and the essence of flavour. Whilst in Scotland he cooked at the dinner to celebrate the opening of the Scottish Parliament and was also shortlisted as Young Scottish Chef of the Year. after a few years working in Scotland, he met future wife Louise and after marrying and having their first daughter James decided to move his family returning to his home country- Wales.

Back in Wales in August 2000 he started at the Crown at Whitebrook as Sous Chef and became Head Chef in late 2003, four years later obtained his first Michelin Star, an achievement he is rightly hugely proud of. He retained the coveted Michelin star until 2013 when the “Crown” closed its doors. Recently reopened under new ownership as The Whitebrook


Screen Shot 2017-12-18 at 13.00.12


2014 saw James and Louise open Restaurant James Sommerin in Penarth. James and wife Louise were determined to make the restaurant with rooms a success and are rightfully very proud of what they and their team have achieved. A Michelin star in 2016, AA Restaurant of the Year – Wales 2016-2017, 4 AA rosettes, Restaurant of the year 2016 for Wales at the Food Awards Wales and Number 34 in the Good Food Guide for 2017, also achieving 5 stars for rooms with the AA and Visit Wales.


JS_001 JS_003 JS_004 JS_002


” We pride ourselves on being a family run business, with myself heading up the kitchen, Louise front of house and our 3 girls never far away “


Chef’s Table Asked:


Q: What would be your last dish (to eat) “the death row question”

A:  My late grandmother has always been my inspiration, cooking with her on the weekend gave me my love and passion for cooking and I will always be eternally grateful.  So I would have to say my late grans beef brisket, gravy & veg


Q: Have you ever been presented with a dish/ingredient that you just could not eat and where was that?


A: Durian Fruit – tried it in Singapore in 2012. It tasted horrendous, I can’t even put it into words.




Q: If there were a “Fantasy League” of Chefs, who would make up your perfect brigade?


A: Richard Lyth, Michele Roux Snr, Grant Achatz, Alex Stupak, Brett Graham & Eric Frechon


richard_lyth_photo_080411_126 Michel_Roux_01  Alex-Stupack chef-brett-graham chef-eric-frechon


Q: What’re the most overused words on restaurant menus’ today


A: where can I start – Textures of, deconstructed & foraged!


Q: Having worked and trained in Scotland what food preparation or styles of cooking did you learn then that you still utilise today. What was on the menu for the opening of Parliament dinner?


A – oh gosh, butchery.

The menu hmmm, I’m sorry I can’t remember back that far it must be a sign of my age now.




Q: What is your favourite dish on the current menu/s in which you use ingredients or produce from your most local supplier? 

A:  Old Cogan Farm Penarth where we get our Welsh Lamb which we serve with Broad Beans and Turnip.



Q: If for one night you could be invited to cook alongside any Chef past or present who would that be and why?

C – That’s a tough one, I couldn’t narrow it down to 1 person.

My Favourite Tables – Two restaurants I have visited and why?


Restaurant 1 – The Greenhouse in Mayfair – fantastic cooking, every time we go (and we’ve been a few) staff are all very friendly.


24774951_1213504608750300_1625959483661053303_n 24294295_1206616556105772_3915394893228645106_n 23032394_1182818215152273_1455830460385069639_n


Restaurant 2 – Geranium in Copenhagen, cooking on another level


geranium-wood-sorrel geranium-yellow-beets-aromatic-seeds-yoghurt-juice-beach-plant-oil-17062016-12 geraniummad-13 geranium-76