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Maverick Encounters foodie event, The Art School Restaurant, Liverpool

PUBLISHED: 00:00 16 January 2018 | UPDATED: 09:24 16 January 2018

Warm Tymsboro goats cheese on brioche croute with black olive tapenade and fig jam (credit: Brian Roberts)

Warm Tymsboro goats cheese on brioche croute with black olive tapenade and fig jam (credit: Brian Roberts)

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Two mavericks of the food and drink world collided with beautiful results at The Art School, Liverpool, writes Rebekka O’grady.

Pan roasted Cornish Turbot with cucumber tagliatelle, poached oyster and sturgeon caviar (credit: Brian Roberts)Pan roasted Cornish Turbot with cucumber tagliatelle, poached oyster and sturgeon caviar (credit: Brian Roberts)

There is no better combination than fine food and champagne. Luckily, a Liverpool restaurant serves both with style and panache on a daily basis. The Art School is the brainchild of Paul Askew, a former Cheshire Life Chef of the Year and star of the Great British Menu. The chef patron has created a destination where diners can escape for a few hours, immersed in a culinary world of genius. It’s no surprise to hear that Paul is chasing after the city’s first Michelin star, and I think it’s only a matter of time before the restaurant secures it.

I say this after experiencing the best of what the restaurant has to offer at a recent Maverick Encounters event. Hosted by the award-winning champagne house, Charles Heidsieck, the evening celebrated modern-day ‘mavericks’ – individuals who push boundaries, go against the grain and thrive in the face of adversity.

‘Our founder, Charles Camille-Heidsieck, was the first champagne merchant to conquer the American market in 1852,’ said Willem Pincon. ‘His ability to create a truly unique champagne of character, to pioneer new territories and challenge conventions made him a maverick of his time. Now we want to discover modern day mavericks that are here for the long term and these encounters celebrate that.’

Guests at the intimate event were treated to a six course menu cooked by Paul, paired with champagne. The evening began with a glass of Charles Heidsieck Brut Reserve N.V, chef’s canapés and charcuterie selection in the venue’s new bespoke champagne and wine cellar. Complete with private tasting room, the sleek surroundings make for an ideal dining drinking destination.

Gressingham duck breast with roast plum and blackberry jus, duck fat potatoes, baby root vegetables and pancetta crisp (credit: Brian Roberts)Gressingham duck breast with roast plum and blackberry jus, duck fat potatoes, baby root vegetables and pancetta crisp (credit: Brian Roberts)

Champagne continued to flow while we were served the amuse bouche; crème fraiche infused with maple syrup butternut squash Velouté. Silky smooth, the dish burst with comforting autumnal flavours. Next was pan roasted Cornish turbot with cucumber tagliatelle, poached oyster and sturgeon caviar, served with Charles Heidsieck Brut Millesime 2005. My favourite dish of the evening, both the turbot and the oyster were a triumph, laced in a decadent yet simple sauce.

Delicious Loch Fyne langoustine with purslane charred onions, liliput capers and langoustine jus followed, along with Charles Heidsieck Rose Reserve N.V, and then the main course of Gressingham duck breast. Served with roast plum and blackberry jus, duck fat potatoes, baby root vegetables and pancetta crisp, it was a fine dining equivalent of a traditional roast dinner.

The flavoursome duck was cooked deliciously pink, making a wonderful pairing with my favourite champagne of the evening, a just as deliciously pink Rosé Millésime 2006. With notes of tea and red berries, the silky champagne with pearly bubbles was an unexpected yet perfect partner to a meat dish.

To finish, we enjoyed warm Tymsboro goats’ cheese on brioche croute with black olive tapenade and fig jam, paired with a 22-year-old vintage Blanc Des Millenaires 1995. As the vintage champagne’s luminous golden robe wrapped itself around me, the declaration on my table was unanimous – it was a very special way to conclude a very special evening.

Charles Heidsieck Rosé Millésime 2006 being poured (credit: Brian Roberts)Charles Heidsieck Rosé Millésime 2006 being poured (credit: Brian Roberts)

The Art School Restaurant, 1 Sugnall Street, Liverpool, L7 7EB

www.theartschoolrestaurant.co.uk

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