Colette’s Review in Good Food Guide 2014

Category : Chef, News, Reviews, Work

Colettes Restaurant in the Good Food Guide
The Grove, Colette’s
Ingredients-led passion in a Georgian Mansion
Chandler’s Cross, WD3 4TG
Tel no: (01923) 296010
Modern British | £75
Cooking score: 6

A fetching Georgian mansion overlooking a bit of Hertfordshire known as Charlotte’s Vale, the Grange [sic] provides the settings and the amenities (including an organic walled garden) for Russell Bateman’s wide-ranging fixed-price menus of British Cooking.

Batemans’s passion radiates out from both the master classes he gives and his culinary repertoire. It’s the kind of food that’s focused on the quality of its component parts, rather than cheffy fussiness, though there’s no lack of innovation on display. Poached Fowey oysters served with an oyster mushroom and foie gras in mushroom broth, has proved a hit with reporters, as has the relatively simple but sublime main course of Cotswold white chicken with cauliflower, Vacherin and truffle in poultry jus. Fish from the South West or Scotland is top-notch – perhaps brill with seaweed, sea kale, pickled clams and salsify – and desserts such as blood-orange tart with cardamom ice cream end things on a flourish. Intermediate courses, breads and cheeses all add lustre, as does the list of superb if expensive wines. Glasses start at £7.50, bottles £27.

Chef: Russell Bateman.
Open: Tue to Sat D 6.30 to 9.30
Closed: Sun and Mon.
Meals: Set D £65. Tasting Menu £85 (7 Courses)
Service: not inc.
Details: 42 seats. Separate bar.  Wheelchair access. Car parking. Children over 12 yrs only
Taken from Good Food Guide 2014

In everyday life a 6/10 score might seem mediocre, this is certainly not the case with The Good Food Guide. They only include the best restaurants in their guide, and even then will only score the best of those. In this years guide, only 34 restaurants scored above 6 which I hope qualifies why my team and I are so excited by the result.

1 – Capable cooking, with simple food combinations and clear flavours, but some inconsistencies.
2 – Decent cooking, displaying good basic technical skills and interesting combinations and flavours. Occasional inconsistencies.
3 – Good cooking, showing sound technical skills and using quality ingredients.
4 – Dedicated, focused approach to cooking; good classical skills and high-quality ingredients.
5 – Exact cooking techniques and a degree of ambition; showing balance and depth of flavour in dishes, while using quality ingredients.
6 – Exemplary cooking skills, innovative ideas, impeccable ingredients and an element of excitement.
7 – High level of ambition and individuality, attention to the smallest detail, accurate and vibrant dishes.
8 – A kitchen cooking close to or at the top of its game – highly individual, showing faultless technique and impressive artistry in dishes that are perfectly balanced for flavour, combination and texture. There is little room for disappointment here.
9 – This mark is for cooking that has reached a pinnacle of achievement, making it a hugely memorable experience for the diner.
10 – It is extremely rare that a restaurant can achieve perfect dishes on a consistent basis.



Universal Cookery & Food Festival

Category : Chef, Main, News, Work

Don your wellies, bring your passion and get stuck in at the universal cookery & food festival 2013! Designed by chefs, for chefs, the food festival gives everyone from chefs and caterers to farmers and growers, a chance to learn, be inspired and join together. We need you all to bring on the camaraderie, break down the barriers, speak to everyone and become stronger and better for the British culinary future by working together as ‘chefs united’.

We set the standards high last year but we’re raising them higher this year – at the food festival spend a day foraging in the ‘outdoor larder’; try your hand at clay pigeon shooting; join in the live debates; watch the back to basics demos like the skinning and butchering of game; and in between all of that, wander around the rustic style farmers market and meet our eclectic mix of suppliers who are ready to greet you at the food festival! So what are you waiting for? Register Now

Venue: Warbrook House, Hook, Hampshire
Date: 4th September 2013

Master Chefs of Great Britain Award Dinner

Category : Chef, Main, News

I was fortunate to be invited to cook at the awards dinner which was in part, the latest  Dingley Dell flying visit “Running with the Herd – when education meats industry”.

I was privileged to get to work with some wonderfully talented young people from Westminster Kingsway College on the evening. I am pleased to report the future for the industry appears to be in safe hands with them.

My personal congratulations to the winner Ruth Hansom and a big thank you to everybody involved in the event.

I have borrowed a good portion of the following from  the Dingley Dell website:

The evening was as much about education and experience as it was about food an amazing 15 chefs/employers 14 lecturers and 38 students from Passion to inspire came together for the not only the night but leading up to the event many of the students spent time in the chefs restaurants. There are innumerable people to thank for their time, energy, passion and inspiration who made this happen. We are going to take a summer break at Flying Visits but we hope to be bigger badder meaner and leaner bringing you some more great chefs, superb Dingley Dell pork dishes and a whole lot of porky goodness when we return in the autumn.

Mondays terrific menu and roll call of inspirational people.

Russell Bateman – Collette’s at The Grove

John Jackaman – Infusions 4 Chefs

Westminster Kingsway College

Mark Poynton – Alimentum restaurant West Suffolk College Tongue – wild garlic pesto – Sauce Cambridge

Eric Snaith – Titchwell Manor Cambridge Regional College Smoked tenderloin – Norfolk lavender – macadamia – eel – nasturtiums

Paul Boorman – Wivenhoe House Wigan and Leigh College Warm salad of pork cheek – lettuce – peas – truffle – cider

Cyrus Todiwala – Café Spice Namaste Colchester Institute Braised Cafreal of Pork Collar – Coddled Quails Egg – Cumin Flavored Potato

Adam Simmonds – Restaurant Adam Simmonds – Danesfield House Farnborough College Smoked Bacon Ice-cream – textures of apple Murray Chapman MCGB East Kent College Chocolate – cherries – almonds – basil

Roy Thompson – Novotel Hammersmith Eton College Petit Fours

Oink oink till autumn !

Harpers Bazaar Review

Category : Chef, Main, Reviews, Work

Contemporary fine dining in an 18th century location

The buzz

Set in a sophisticated dining room with high ceilings and ornate 18th century mouldings, in the heart of the five-star Grove Hotel, Colette’s offers a luxury fine dining experience. Run under the watchful eye of innovative head chef Russell Bateman, the restaurant is known for its creative style and cosmopolitan approach to mixing flavours and spices.

The lowdown

On arrival our waiter informed us that the chef ‘doesn’t speak much, he speaks through his food.’ It wasn’t until the first dish arrived that we knew what he meant. Attention to detail and a variety of delicious flavours is what makes the menu at Colette’s stand out – each portion is a masterpiece, both on the plate and on the tongue.

Fresh, home-grown produce can be tasted in every dish. If you’re staying at The Grove, a walk around the hotel’s Walled Garden is a must, simply to admire the sprouting vegetable patch where Colette’s grows it’s own ingredients – you may even spot Russell picking the fruit and veg to use that very evening.

Perfect for…

Special occasions. Begin with cocktails and nibbles in the bar before making your way into the elegant restaurant for dinner. You’ll be treated like royalty and every dish is divine – the experience itself is worth toasting.

Menu highlights

Bazaar opted for the Sonnet tasting menu which features six dishes including Scottish Beef Tartare and Warm Manjari Chocolate Mousse. Our reigning dish was the warm Cotswold white chicken with cauliflower and carrots, which can also be enjoyed as an a la carte main. Perigord truffle and expert seasoning brought this plate of simple sounding ingredients to life – if we recommend one dish it has to be this.

For a whole new experience try the Oolong Tea Menu. Whether you have as an alternative to the wine-pairing, served alongside your meal, or as an after-dinner palate-cleanser, this gives new meaning to the traditional cuppa.

Final word

Colette’s are proud hosts to a series of food Master Classes where head chef Russell Bateman shares his top tips and tricks to preparing, cooking and serving a range of dishes. Each hour long class focuses on one seasonal ingredient and includes lunch and wine tasting in the restaurant as well as your own Colette’s apron and recipe folder.

by Rosie Reeves / 12 April 2013 /

Taken from: Harpers Bazaar

Salt Magazine

Category : Chef, Main, News, Reviews, Work

Very privileged to be part of the first issue of Salt Magazine. Here we are looking a bit tidier than usual
Colette's First team
really big version (6.8Mb)

Dingley Dell: Swine, Dine & Snooze!

Category : Chef, Main, News

I was fortunate again to be involved in one the “Flying visits” bought together by Dingley Dell. I have again shamelessly taken the details below from the Dingley Dell Website

A six course delicious porky feast at the fantastic Titchwell Manor Hotel for ‘Swine, Dine & Snooze!’ Not only did we have a fantastic line up of chefs but we were also very lucky to have Murray Chapman and his very talented ‘ A Passion to Inspire’ catering students joining us.

Seventeen young students from seven colleges were given the chance to work alongside distinguished chefs Eric Snaith and Chris Mann of Titchwell Manor, Russell Bateman from Colette’s At The Grove, Roger Hickman of Hickman’s Restaurant, Phil Thompson of Brocket Hall and Sam Bryant of Stratton’s. The students were all exceptional and were a credit to their respective colleges.

Front of House staff worked with Titchwell Manor’s Mark Dobby and Jamie Aram from Hallgarten Wines as well as Franck-Lin Dalle, the owner of Chateau de Campuget to do the wine pairings.

Diners and students were given a presentation on pork by Mark Hayward and a butchery master class by Glyn Feller of Cleveley’s Butchers.

Carmel Asbury, Head of School of Hospitality at West Suffolk College, said: “This is a great opportunity for our students to get involved with some top chefs in the Country. These students have a Great Experience and we are all looking forward to the next event.

‘I am extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to work alongside these highly rated professionals and would like to personally thank you all for allowing me to be part of the event.’ – Emma Hatten.

‘I am so grateful. I chose to participate in this fantastic event and got the opportunity to experience first-hand what it is like to work a long side chefs from a 3 Rosette and Michelin star Backgrounds, it was a phenomenal experience I will never forget. To see chefs from various well established restaurants and Hotels to take good care & cook amazing dishes right in front of my eyes was exactly why I wanted to join this certain event. My most memorable highlight I will always remember is talking to the customers upon the entrance of the dish(the apple tar-tatin) I was working on, it was a fantastic event to be apart of and I would definetly do it again.’ Cameron Davies from Wigan and Leigh College.

‘Titchwell Manor has been one of the best experiences I have had. Learning new skills and developing new ones and I particularly enjoyed the wine tasting session. I had a fantastic time working alongside the other students, learning how their courses at college compared with mine. All the hard work that the students, Eric Snaith and his professional team put into the creation of the food was shown with precise detail and quality. I can’t thank the organisers and my tutors enough for letting be part of this prestigious event.’ – Adam Neary from Wigan and Leigh College.

This was the sixth Dingley Dell Flying Visit this year and Dingley Dell hopes to organise more on the same format, with Hospitality students involved, through their links with Murray Chapman, All the support and help from Freedom Food and ‘A Passion to Inspire.’

Over £2,000 was also raised for Hospitality Action.

College students Front of House

Adam Neary – Wigan and Leigh College

Jessica Read – West Suffolk College

Joel Bennett – Cambridge Regional College

Emma Seaman – City College Norwich

Christian Shields – Westminster Kingsway College

College students in the kitchens

Simon Slack – Cambridge Regional College

Joe Brackenbury – City College Norwich

Jack Hazel – Colchester Institute

Freya Taperell -Suffolk New College

Teagan Erichsen -Westminster Kingsway College

Bethany Brame (Advanced Professional Cookery VRQ3)West Suffolk College

Cameron Davies – Wigan and Leigh College

The event has been organised by Master Chef’s Murray Chapman, Eric Snaith and Dingley Dell’s Mark Hayward in collaboration with RSPCA’s Freedom Food, Hospitality Action, A Passion to Inspire and Dingley Dell Pork.

A truly fantastic evening!