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

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE - Richard Hughes is chef di­rec­tor at The As­sem­bly House, Nor­wich,

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...

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