Fitch in the Kitchen:

EDP Nor­folk Home Chef of the Year, Mark Fitch, joins the team to share his love of Nor­folk cook­ing

EDP Norfolk - - INSIDE - marsh­pig.co.uk bread-source.co.uk lovenor­wich­food.co.uk richard­hugh­escook­eryschool.

New col­umn from our Home Chef of the Year

Ibe­came the in­au­gu­ral EAT Nor­folk Home Chef of the Year at the glitzy awards evening at Open on 10 Septem­ber. Less than a fort­night later, I was booked onto a sour­dough bread mak­ing course, a birth­day present from Mrs F.

So when I made my pitch to his ed­i­tor-in-chief­ness for a few EDP Nor­folk col­umn inches, the ob­vi­ous start­ing point was a nim­ble, but also per­sonal, tour of what lo­cal cook­ery classes are avail­able. The pre­vi­ous course that sticks in my mind was a cou­ple of years ago, as a mere as­pir­ing home chef, at Marsh Pig Char­cu­terie in Clax­ton, just south of Nor­wich.

Then, I made (and im­por­tantly, re­turned home with) sausages, ba­con and bre­saola. Of equal im­por­tance were the easy-to­fol­low notes on cold and hot home smok­ing that I have used ever since. Yes, it’s all on the web, but so is how to change an oil fil­ter or brew gin, and I’ll wa­ger you’re that much more likely to ac­tu­ally try these things if you’ve been hand-held ini­tially through the process by peo­ple who, with­out ex­cep­tion in my ex­pe­ri­ence, are knowl­edge­able and fun and have gen­er­ous stocks of al­co­hol.

So on to our day with chief baker Em­manuel (Man­nie) Han­jian­dreou at Bread Source on Up­per St Giles Street in Nor­wich. Our bakes for the day were a white sour­dough, a dark rye bread and a beet­root loaf.

Each one starts with the prepre­pared magic sour­dough, taken from Man­nie’s var­i­ous ‘mother doughs.’ There is a fair amount of fer­ment­ing wiz­ardry, I’ll ad­mit, but again, the notes we were given are clear and de­tailed.

We lunched as our ef­forts proved. An ex­quis­ite quiche, but­tery and creamy, with crisp salad, fol­lowed by cheese­cake. Wine flowed. After bak­ing, we left for home with our breads, a host of good­ies from Bread Source and two spe­cial lit­tle moth­ers of our own with which to carry on the magic.

I have al­ready met a num­ber of fab­u­lous Nor­folk food­ies since my Septem­ber suc­cess, in­clud­ing Zena Leech-Carl­ton at Lodge Farm in Baw­burgh. A trained chef and food writer of 30 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence, she pro­vides a host of cook­ery classes on food from around the world.

I dropped in re­cently and made Viet­namese spring rolls which we de­voured with a host of dips, in­clud­ing ke­cap ma­nis, a sweet In­done­sian soy sauce

– a rev­e­la­tion for me. Po­ten­tial food stu­dents of Nor­folk – I have men­tioned but three es­tab­lish­ments will­ing and able to ed­u­cate and en­ter­tain.

Of course, it would be re­miss of me not to men­tion one of the judges that found in my favour and is, for the time be­ing at least, one of my fel­low colum­nists, Richard Hughes. Learn and en­joy!

In­sta­gram @nor­folkhome­chef2018

ABOVE:Man­nie and Mark take a lunch break

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