Day Fifty Nine - The Michelin Man!


This morning was that of a typical Wednesday (9.a.m. start) at Ballymaloe (the afternoon was anything but typical! 😋) ... we started with a cheese lecture (focused on Cheddar) and some biscuits ... 


... after that there was a speciality demo ... on canapés, this time it was a double team and given by both Darina and Rory!

There seemed to be endless amounts of them ... canapés that is ... and I can just imagine the work put in by the backroom team to get them all made and cooked for the demo! (good effort guys) ... The items cooked (and I'm not sure if I am actually missing any ...)

  • Macroom Bocconcini or Mozzarella with a Tomato and a Basil Leaf Anchovy,
  • Sesame Seed Straws
  • Smoked Salmon Spirals
  • Warm Oysters, Horseradish Cream and Chervil
  • Thai Chicken, Coriander and Chilli
  • Chinese Crispy Wontons
  • Mini Cottage Pie with Garlic Butter;
  • Tiny Shepherd’s Pie with GarlicButter
  • Teeny Yorkshire Puddings with Rare Roast Beef and Horseradish Sauce and Rocket Leaves
  • Spicy Indian Meatballs, Pomegranate and Coriander Raita
  • Sweet Pea Guacamole served on Warm Tortillas, Crème Fraîche
  • Lamb, Pork or Chicken Satay
  • Rory’s Quail Eggs, Cumin and Salt
  • Rory’ Quail Eggs, Shrimps and Mayonnaise; Quail Eggs,
  • Rory’ Scrambled Eggs, Smoked Eel, Melba Toast and Chives
  • Rory’s Fish Kebabs on Cocktail Sticks
  • Raggedy Filos
  • Salsify or Asparagus in Filo
  • Radish, Honey and Toasted Sesame Seeds
  • Medjool Dates, Crozier Blue Cheese Radishes with Chervil Butter
  • Chocolate Crisps

The afternoon demo today was an exceptional treat ... we had a visiting chef cook in front of us ... please forgive the next few paragraphs as I appear to have turned into a bit of a fan boy 🤪

The chef in question was Merlin Labron-Johnson, who was not only awarded a Michelin star just nine months after having opened his first restaurant, Portland, London ... but he managed to do so at twenty four years of age!!!

He is still the youngest holder of a Michelin star in the U.K. at twenty seven!

He was a very unassuming, humble guy with a nice easy casual style and comes across infinitely more mature than his tender years 🤔

He cooked six dishes for us ...

  • Smoked cods roe with grelot onions and chervil
  • Crudo of turbot, smoked cream & heritage radishes
  • Lightly cured wild trout with elder flowers, unripe nectarine & watercress
  • Raw mushrooms with fermented buckwheat, parmesan & hazelnut oil
  • Ricotta gnudi with courgettes, walnuts & nasturtium 
  • Buttermilk ice-cream, with lavender meringue, raw honey & wild flowers

Merlin is also part of the Chef’s Manifesto, that is a global initiative from the UN to help chefs use their positions at the very heart of the food community to champion a more sustainable food system.

He also is a big advocate for reducing food waste and actively tries to minimise it at his restaurants.

To be honest I was buzzing after the demo ... not sure why but I think it is because I find it amazing seeing someone so young at the top of the craft ... I'll think about that one and come back to you 😱🤔😴

After demo we had our final meeting for the pop up restaurant that is happening at Ballymaloe this weekend ... and I believe the Ward family (my mothers clan) will be represented ... in numbers ... Mam, three aunts, Phil, Kathy, Breegeen ... two cousins, Libby and Aoife ! I will join them for the dinner as I will have finished my part by the beginning of the meal! Bound to be a quiet night so ... 😝💥🤣🙈🙉🙊

This evening I skipped wine tasting to try catch up on some stuff ... let's hope I feel better for it in the morning! 🤪

P.s. I did a double feed on my sourdough starter today so I will shape a loaf tomorrow ... getting there !!! 👍