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Gizzi Erskine’s Chefs’ Club at OnBlackheath Festival

We finished festival season in style last weekend, escaping the city for a world-class celebration of food and music at OnBlackheath.

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There were no greasy burgers and soggy chips at this festival! Instead partygoers enjoyed food demos, delicious Farmers Market produce and some of the hottest street food in town. Or visitors could head to Gizzi Erskine’s Chefs’ Club to enjoy a selection of two course menus designed by London’s best regarded chefs, all prepared with the help of the London Kitchen! 

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Featured chefs included TV Presenter and food writer Gizzi Erskine, Richard Bainbridge of Morston Hall, Neil Rankin of Islington’s Smokehouse Restaurant, Jack Stein of Stein Restaurants, TV Chef Valentine Warner, Michelin-starred chef Adam Simmonds, The Elephant Restaurant’s Simon Hulstone, Carl Clarke of Rock Lobsta, Bone Daddies and Flesh & Buns’ Head Chef Ross Shonhan and the Meringue Girls. 

Each chef was given a different time slot during the day, with the London Kitchen team managing some exceptionally quick turnaround times between each chef’s session. At each session guests were welcomed by Gizzi Erskine before drinks and cocktails were served, each specially selected to complement the chef’s chosen menu.

Guests of the Meringue Girls enjoyed a tiered cake stand of Prosecco and Popping Candy Truffles, Mini Peanut butter Cups, Cardamom Meringue with Orange Cream and Fresh Fig, Edible flower Lollipop with Homemade Sherbet to dip, Mini Lemon Meringue Cake and Honeycomb and Salted Caramel Peanut Meringue with Cream and Fresh Banana, all served alongside a Rhubarb and Elderflower Fizz Cocktail. 

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Valentine Warner’s menu included a starter of Chilled Cucumber, Lettuce, Watercress and Lovage Soup with Prawns and Tomatoes, followed by a main course of Peter Hannan Beef with Pink Fir and Celeriac Salad. Valentine’s drinks of choice included Severn Perry and Dunkerton’s Black Fox Cider. Gizzi Erskine’s choices took inspiration from Asian flavours. Visitors enjoyed Hot Splash Sashimi before tucking into Korean Buttermilk Fried Chicken and Pork Belly Bo Ssan. The dishes were accompanied by Asahi Beer with a Shot of Japanese Spirit Shochu. 

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Neil Rankin’s guests enjoyed an Orange Blossom Old Fashioned (Orange Blossom Syrup, bitters and Jura Whisky) before his tasting menu, which included Duck Bulgogi with Kimchi Slaw and Duck Egg followed by a dessert of DD’ Tart with Pistachio Ice Cream and Crushed Pistachios. Jack Stein’s menu was full of the flavours of the sea. Guests enjoyed Txangurro of Shore Crab, served in Crab Shell and Mackerel Rechardo, Kachumber Salad and Raita, accompanied by Cornish Orchards Cider, served with the crab, and Pilsner, served with the Mackerel.

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Wine lovers would have loved Adam Simmonds’ menu: Scallop with Palm Hearts, Gem Lettuce, Tapioca and Camomile Tea, followed by Lamb rump, Lamb Belly, Smoked Aubergine Puree and Goats’ Curd, accompanied by white and red wines. Carl Clarke gave guests a taste of Mahiki restaurant Rock Lobsta, serving up Crispy Cornish Squid, Ssamjang, Pickled watermelon and Marigold before a main course of ‘Quack Fiend’ – Toasted Sourdough with Chicken Liver Parfait, Shredded BBQ Duck, Pickled Beetroot and Duck Crackling. His dishes were complemented by a ‘Rose Hip Sour’ Cocktail. 

Simon Hulstone’s first course was not what it seemed – the ‘faux risotto’ included Celeriac, Horseradish and Cep with Pig’s Cheek and Crispy Onions. This was followed by Roasted Fillet of Halibut Glazed with Lardo, Parsnip Puree and a Verjus and Spring Onion Butter Sauce, served with wine. Ross Shonhan’s menu was one for Bone Daddies lovers. Guests enjoyed Salmon Sashimi with Shiso and Lime Soy Dressing and Spicy Miso Briased Beef Shin with Pickled Daikon in Steamed Buns. A watermelon cocktail was the perfect accompaniment. 

And last but not least, Richard Bainbridge’s menu was full of Great British classics. Guests tucked into a Sunday Roast, Slowly Braised Ox Cheek, Sage roasted Celeriac, coffee roasted Carrots, Spinach, Dirty Beetroot Puree and Watercress, before a pudding of Late Summer Trifle with Strawberry Ice Cream and Popping Candy. 

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