Step-by-step: Richard Hughes goes old-school with a 70s classic
Its roots may be in the 70s, but this dish has stood the test of time, says Richard
This month’s dish is a real restaurant classic, the sort of food I love to cook and eat, containing few ingredients but producing a beautiful dish that can be replicated during the busiest of restaurant services or for a sophisticated supper at home.
The technique of frying the meat in a pan with lots of butter, then popping it an oven while you make the sauce in the same pan, is repeated night after night in frenetic kitchens across the world, and, by varying the herb, the alcohol or the vegetable you can adapt it for a delicate piece of fish or a succulent piece of steak.
Back in the 70s this dish, using tarragon and Harvey’s Bristol Cream, was a top seller. Great food never goes out of fashion!
Pre-theatre supper is one of our busiest services and we often have the task of serving 80 people in an hour, all rising together and leaving en masse to walk next door before curtain up! I was head chef at the Theatre Royal from 1983 to 1986, so you can see my career progression is about 100 yards!
September sees us taking part in an exciting production at Stage Two, Gastronomic, created by innovative Norwich theatre company Curious Directive.
At each performance about 40 audience members will ‘board’ a long-haul flight and be treated to a five-course tasting menu as they ‘fly’ over oceans, deserts and rainforests. The food, created by Richard Bainbridge from Benedicts, Shun Tomii from Shiki, Dalsukh Jetani from Namaste Village, Keith Cottrell from Norwich Theatre Royal’s Kemp’s and yours truly, will accompany stories about why and how the chefs in the show came to be there.
It’s certainly a new experience for the chefs, but as the saying goes, variety is the spice of life...