The Best of British Seasonal Food...
...with celebrated Chef Adam Byatt
...with celebrated Chef Adam Byatt
The seasonal food of the British Isles takes on special magic in winter. From succulent wild game, venison from the rolling estates of Scotland and Yorkshire grouse, to freshly-foraged mushrooms and flavoursome quince, chef Adam Byatt takes diners at Brown’s Hotel restaurant, Charlie’s, on a glorious slow-journey of native tastes. With a love for cold-weather bounty, sourced from all corners of the country and bursting with tastes, Chef Adam’s creations are layered with time-honoured traditions and an instinctive appreciation of the nurturing goodness of local produce. With his grandfather having been a bell boy at Brown’s in the sixties, the Michelin-star chef is very much one of the family and shares some of his passions with us here.
What would you say is exciting about British produce, especially in the cooler months of winter
Winter offers some wonderful ingredients for us Chefs, often thought of as brown and dull but roots vegetables are to be celebrated and explored – especially chervil and parsley roots, sweet and unctuous. Don’t miss out on bitter leaves from the continent such as Castelfranco and tardive and look forward to blood oranges and bergamot but most of all indulge in the wild game that we have in the British Isles. Winter is for slow methodical cooking to be savoured and shared.
How have the challenges of the last months influenced changes in your menus?
The lockdowns gave a change for reflection for us all, I certainly cooked and embraced vegetables far more than I ever have and these now feature more predominantly at Browns. It was also wonderful to see my family and cook with them for a prolonged time – what became very apparent was their desire for really well cooked but simple comfort food which taught me a great deal. I don’t know if this is as a result but the menu at Charlie’s is a little simpler now and all the better for it.
What are your favourite winter ingredients / local produce of the season?
I love squashes that carry through from autumn to winter, try the excellent Delicia squash and trombone courgette. Kale has a bad name but cavolo nero braised in some wine with chili and anchovy is superb, as are quince, which is an apple / pear hybrid fruit with lots of natural pectins and an abundance of flavour.
Where have you/ will you source the seasonal ingredients for the winter menu at Charlie’s?
Our menus across Brown’s are hyper-seasonal and Charlie’s our restaurant is able to adapt and manoeuvre through the seasons with its weekly changing menu. At this time, we are using lots of incredible wild mushrooms and pumpkins which will soon be replaced by chestnuts and quinces – the circle of seasons may never end but it never tires
Do you have a personal favourite winter dish at Charlie’s?
I love the menu as a whole, it offers dishes for all occasions; delicious seasonal salads and our amazing smoked salmon from Moxons is very unique, we celebrate this by serving it very simply. I think the dish at the moment has to be the Beef Wellington on the dinner trolley – a true celebration dish.
What will you be cooking at home this Christmas?
Christmas is a chance to be with family and celebrate over long lunches - I always start with a wonderful prawn cocktail which I love with a little avocado, followed by that excellent smoked salmon from Moxons then a celebratory roast goose has to be the main event. There will be plenty of cheese and I will always roast a small turkey for sandwiches and boxing day leftovers!
What do you love the most about Christmas?
Time off… family time, crisp-aired dog walks, delicious and abundant food and wine with friends and log fires – what’s not to like!
Could you provide a short quote to provide an idea of how you see the future developing from an F&B perspective at Rocco Forte Hotels (generally for the group and for yourself)
“We are at a truly exciting junction with food both in the UK and across Europe with our guests showing an ever-increasing love and general inquisitiveness towards great cookery, chefs and prime local ingredients. I feel that Rocco Forte Hotels as a brand is well placed to deliver on an exciting and broader food offering that compliments its already extraordinary hospitality”
Take a memorable journey through the seasonal and regional produce of our beloved islands with loved ones this winter season while dining at Charlie’s at Brown’s Hotel.