Cheshire Life Ladies Luncheon - The Stanneylands Hotel
PUBLISHED: 09:36 02 September 2011 | UPDATED: 15:24 26 April 2016
Stanneylands' head chef Richard Maun kept things sweet and simple for a Cheshire Life ladies luncheon which had a touch of pink WORDS BY EMMA MAYOH PHOTOGRAPHY BY KIRSTY THOMPSON
Richard Maun has just become a proud parent for the first time but three-week old Jack is not his first ‘baby’. Since the head chef joined Wilmslow’s Stanneylands Hotel a little over a year ago he has spent time nurturing and advancing both his own and his kitchen team’s expertise.
New staff have been brought in, the 33-year-old has worked with apprentices and has fine-tuned and introduced the skills he learned in restaurants around the world.
It is probable he passed on tips gained at Scotland’s prestigious Gleneagles Hotel as well as at The Lowry Hotel in Manchester, The Chester Grosvenor and while working for American chef Todd English at Florida’s Walt Disney World. His time there was spent learning new techniques and cooking for thousands of diners every day rather than flipping burgers.
But it’s also fair to say Richard had a dream situation at Stanneylands, part of the Prima Hotels Group which has extended and improved the hotel during its 12-year stewardship. The food here has always had an excellent reputation – a Cheshire Life Hotel of the Year Award hangs on the wall and there’s the 2 AA rosette status. But Richard and his team have made their own mark by introducing menus that are simple but perfectly executed.
Their professionalism was echoed by their front-of-house colleagues including the ever-genial operations manager Eamonn Phelan, a stalwart figurehead of the hotel as well as the former general manager. His affable nature seems to have rubbed off on Sarah Richmond, who has been at the hotel for just under four years.
Canapés of miniature smoked salmon cornets with crème fraiche and droplets of caviar as well as peanut-crusted king prawns with chilli and sesame and sweetcorn and basil risotto balls started some curious chatter in the Calico Café Bar. The Italian Jeio Rose, one of four wines supplied by Bibendum Wines, perfectly matched the canapés as well as the theme of the day, A Touch of Pink. Although Richard describes his food as simple, the menu he devised for the main event in The Oak Suite showed real expertise.
A starter of lobster salad served with a patty of mango, avocado and red pepper essence provided an ideal starter. An Italian Marotti Campi Lacrime Rosato from Bibendum Wines – another pink drink of course – was a perfect match.
Mains were a succulent medallion of organic Cheshire beef from Whatcroft Farm near Northwich. It was served with a creamy, buttered cabbage, pancetta, on-the-vine tomatoes and broad beans as well as a cut of oxtail made into a delicious bite-sized tortellini. Championing lesser used cuts of meat is something Richard is passionate about and, fortunately for the diners, brave enough to put on his menus. The Spanish Etim Rosat was a worthy companion which intensified the flavour of the tender beef.
Strawberries from Willington Fruit Farm, near Kelsall, were served up three ways in a white chocolate cheesecake, a panna cotta and a refreshing sorbet sitting on top of a crisp, sweet brandy snap. It was matched with an equally fruity Italian Brachetto d’Acqui Rosa Regale Castello Banfi.
As well as showcasing the abilities of the chefs at Stanneylands, the Cheshire Life lunch also provided the opportunity to put a local charity in the spotlight. More than £330 was raised for The Genesis Appeal in Manchester, the only charity in the UK entirely dedicated to breast cancer prevention.
Richard may now be concentrating on his new arrival, but his skills, along with those of his team showed he won’t be letting go of his first baby anytime soon.
Cheshire Life Ladies Lunch Menu
Salad of native lobster with mango, avocado and red paper essence
Medallion of organic Cheshire beef with buttered summer cabbage, oxtail tortellini, pancetta and broad beans
Trio of white chocolate cheesecake, panna cotta and sorbet using strawberries from Willington Fruit Farm
The Stanneylands Hotel, Stanneylands Road, Wilmslow, SK9 4EY, 01625 525225