The second instalment of Beachside Grill’s series of tasting extravaganzas saw diners championing the South West’s finest beef and lamb cooked by some of the UK’s leading chefs, says Selena Young
The Winter Gastronomy Evening at Saunton Beach’s casual-dining spot welcomed a wealth of culinary talent to do their very best with West Country Beef and Lamb PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status produce. This is beef and lamb which has been recognised by the European Commission and meets specific criteria, such as being from the region and at least 70 per cent forage fed.
The result is sumptuous, top-notch produce which is not only fabulous to eat, it’s also fabulous to cook with. Chefs Jake Bawn of Beachside Grill; Donna Berry of The Swan; Chris Wheeler of Stoke Park; Adam Lestrelle of The Roehampton Club; freelance chef Rob Kennedy and chef consultant Peter Gorton joined the Beachside Grill’s kitchen and wowed diners with a feast fit for any discerning farmer.
The evening kicked off with an umami-rich 35-day dry-aged Japanese beef ribeye, cooked by seasoned chef Peter Gorton. Smoky slivers of beef, marinated in miso with ginger, rice wine and a pinch of sugar, were paired with an elegant swirl of avocado studded with toasted sesame seeds and dressed with a drizzle of mango chilli salsa.
To follow, Donna Berry served lamb shoulder lasagne in individual pots encrusted with Godminster rarebit. The slow braised lamb was cooked overnight in red wine, and celeriac made a delicious alternative to the standard pasta, resulting in euphoric mouthfuls of sumptuous lamb that oozed with velvety cheese.
The third dish by Rob Kennedy was equally gratifying. 45-day-aged Exmoor sirloin – roasted in a heady mix of thyme, garlic and lemon – was served room temperature and topped with a pickled and crispy onion beef dressing.
Next up on the indulgent line-up was a spiced Cornish lamb curry cooked by Adam Lestrelle. Envisioned by Brend Hotels’ PR and marketing development chef Dez Turland (who organised the event), the flavour-popping dish brought together several elements including 12-hour chilli marinated lamb loin, sag aloo, bombay potatoes and cauliflower samosa.
A wintry beef en croute by Chris Wheeler had guests loosening their belts in the fifth foodie round. A perfectly pink fillet of beef was wrapped in golden pastry and served with eight-hour braised oxtail ragu and a lusciously smooth truffle mash.
The evening of glorious gluttony finished on a high with a glass of Prosecco and Jake Bawn’s show-stopping pud. An impeccably presented 70 per cent bitter chocolate sphere, coated in orange dusting, concealed an unctuous chocolate filling and was paired with a syrupy orange sponge – delish.
Keep ’em peeled for Beachside Grill’s next Gastronomy Evening.
What we ate (dinner)
Dry aged Japanese ribeye, miso, avocado, mango
Lamb shoulder lasagne, Godminster rarebit
45-day aged Exmoor sirloin, Colston Basset, maple, endive, cheek ‘n’ onions, beef dressing
Cornish lamb loin curry, pressed neck sag aloo, cauliflower samosa, yogurt, almonds, coconut
Winter beef en croute, oxtail ragu, truffle mash, green beans
70 per cent bitter chocolate sphere, orange, rum, ginger
6 courses £60
A cracking night out is guaranteed at this north Devon spot where crowd-pleasing plates and carefully crafted cocktails bring on the good times, discovers Selena Young