A FOOD and wine evening at West Suffolk College is one of two occasions featured this week where food and wine were matched with particular care. The details are worth passing on as they demonstrate a thoughtful approach to such pairings. Each course was matched to its own wine, with an explanation of the choices.
Savoury anchovy straws, lightly flavoured with anchovy were accompanied by Bourgogne Aligote de Bouzeron (de Villaine). An Aligote with rich fruit and roundness, it retained the refreshing dry character and acidity of this wine.
The savoury egg custards, with flakes of smoked haddock, were served warm. Partnered by Hillebrand Chardonnay; a buttery wine with attractive ripeness, it was barrel-aged to match the smoked haddock. Bramley and apple brandy crystals are a refreshing granite made using Bramley apples and a pomme au cognac from Maison Lheraud.
The seam-butchered haunch of venison was cooked pink and served on a celeriac rosti, with a rich game sauce using a reduction of red wine vinegar and Cumberland sauce. This was matched with Chƒteau de Lamarque, which had a spicy, new-oak nose, rich fruit and some tannin. It was a young wine to serve, but worked well with the main course - it was opened two hours before service.
The mature cheddar soufflé was accompanied by Gewrtztraminer Bollenberg. The walnut and almond pastries, a variation of the Turkish dish, baklava, were made with filo pastry and nuts, soaked with an orange flower water syrup. Cossart Gordon Madeira; rich and honeyed, was a good partner for the nuts and syrup in the dish.
Earl Grey tea was served to refresh the palate, after a dinner served with five wines.
The second menu featured here, sent from Royal Lytham St Annes GolfClub set out to offer distinctive flavours in each course with local wine expert John Dunkerley giving a commentary. For the first course, crisply-fried chicken livers were served on a salad of radicchio and diced beetroot, with diced potatoes, spring onions, blanched French beans and chopped chives. The dressing included raspberry purée, raspberry and tarragon vinegar and Dijon mustard.
The main course was loin of lamb with a crust of breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley and rosemary, placed on a bed of lentils and served with jus infused with rosemary. Parmentier potatoes, turned carrots and swedes, glazed shallots and batons of courgettes accompanied. Tasty Lancashire, a mature version of this excellent crumbly, buttery cheese, is one of the best varieties for partnering good red wines. o
lThe winner of February's Premier Brands Foodservice menu of the month is Number Twenty-four, Wymondham, Norfolk. The restaurant receives £100-worth of Premier Brands products, and is entered for the Menu of the Year Award.
WEST SUFFOLK COLLEGE
Bury St. Edmunds
Savoury anchovy straws. Bourgogne Aligote de Bouzeron (de Villaine) 1992
Smoked haddock creams with lemon dressed leaves. Hillebrand Chardonnay Canada 1990
Bramley and apple brandy crystals
Roasted cushion of venison with a rich game sauce, set on a celeriac rosti. Chƒteau de Lamarque, Haut-Médoc, 1990
Gould's Somerset mature Cheddar soufflé Gewrtztraminer Bollenber (Theo Cattin) 1991
Walnut and almond pastries soaked in orange-scented syrup. Cossart Gordon, five-year-old Malmsley madeira
Earl Grey tea
OCCASION: Food and wine evening, 10 February 1994
WINES: Corney and Barrow
COST: £17.50 including wines
CHEF/LECTURER: Paul Harding with Year 2 Professional Catering Students (NVQ Level 2)
FOOD AND WINE SERVICE LECTURER: Neil Courtier with Year 2 Professional Catering Students (NVQ Level 2) and Year 2 BTEC National Diploma students
ROYAL LYTHAM ST ANNES GOLF CLUB
Lytham St Annes
Aperitif: Bouvet Brut nv, with a dash of Framboise
Warm salad of chicken livers with raspberry vinaigrette. Inglenook Sauvignon Blanc, 1991
Carrot and caraway soup with leek and onion savoury scones. Valdespino Tio Diego, Fine Old Dry Amontillado Sherry
Salmon and sole terrine with a watercress sauce. Tokay Pinot Gris Alsace, 1992
Spring lamb on a bed of Puys lentils with a persillage crust and a rosemary jus. Chƒteau de Grezan Faugers, 1990
Farmhouse Lancashire tasty with celery and biscuits Chƒteau de listours, 1990
Whole pear poached in syrup with a chocolate mousse-filled brandy snap. Muscat De St Jean De Minervois
Coffee and chocolates
OCCASION: Gourmet evening, 19 February 1994
CATERERS: Gardner Merchant
COST: £15 for the meal, £7.50 for the wines and aperitif
HEAD CHEF: Andrew Gregson
CHEFS: David Whittam and Jim Lyons
MAITRE D' HOTEL: Melanie Hudson with Mark Donnelly, Stephen Fryer and Doreen Hill
BAR MANAGER: Stuart Wright
HOUSE MANAGER: Andrew Stansfield