Sunshine, crisp wine & BBQ's


The halcyon early season days of partridges, sunshine, crisp whites and BBQs

After another summer of poking around the markets of the med, wining, dining and the odd spot of reclining I can safely say I’m ready to get back into the kitchen and start putting some of these new flavours into practice.

The somewhat untapped and unrefined corners of southern Italy were an eye-opener this year, the historical mix of trade routes, warfare and crusades creating a melting pot of culinary influence, the Ottomans, Moors, Normans, Catalonians, and Greeks all tossing in their own seasoning.

So it is no surprise that at Challacombe this September I am hoping for another Indian Summer, giving us those halcyon early season days of partridges, sunshine, crisp whites and BBQs. Those of you who are joining us will see the some of that Mediterranean influence here mostly, with meats and fish cooked on a smoky wood fire, spiced marinades, delicate dressings and some interesting vegetables and salads sparked up by a supply of truly special local heritage tomatoes.

Some of the delights you can expect will include polenta and rosemary crusted bass with tomato and samphire; salty-sweet steaks of devon red beef served with rich and smoky short ribs; melting Moroccan spiced lamb shoulder and crispy rack chops; rumps of rose veal with tarragon and garlic oil, served with its own marrow; marinated partridge with confit lemon, pork spiked with star anise and fennel, and day boat mackerel hot smoked on the fire. Also look forward to the ultimate Puglian street food at elevenses – bombette – venison rolled up with spiced sausage, ham, herbs and cheese, cooked on the BBQ, along with the old favourites of crackling and apple sauce, partridge burgers, pheasant rillettes and other delights…

Talking of rillettes, it was good to see many of you at both the Westcountry and CLA Game Fairs, where we did our best to ensure as much of the shot game got eaten in the UK as possible, with the pheasant goujons proving a sell out once again. Sadly but understandably we have seen less takers of shot game at the end of the shooting day in recent years. Many guns will be going on to other parts of the country and indeed the globe and stuffing a dead pheasant in one’s hand luggage just isn’t the done thing anymore. So we have come up with a solution, and this year will be offering jars of our Pheasant Rillettes to take home at the end of day also. Its pressure heat sealed which means it can sit in your suitcase/boot/foot-well for months to come without spoiling.

With less than two weeks to go until the first shot rings out over the moor, I am knife in hand testing out dishes. If there is anything of the above that you would like in particular then please email through in good time (at least a week) so we can make sure we have the right stock.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Chef - Tom Godber-Ford Moore