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Cheshire Life Luncheon - Rowton Hall Hotel and Spa, Chester

PUBLISHED: 09:13 23 November 2018

Home Smoked Loch Duart Salmon, Pickled Fennel, Lemongrass Butter Sauce, Puffed Wild Rice, Rowton Hall, Chester, Cheshire Life Lunch

Home Smoked Loch Duart Salmon, Pickled Fennel, Lemongrass Butter Sauce, Puffed Wild Rice, Rowton Hall, Chester, Cheshire Life Lunch

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Rowton Hall Hotel and Spa, set in a leafy Chester village, showcases seasonal flavours at an elegant luncheon

Rowton HallRowton Hall

If Rowton Hall hasn’t been on your radar recently then maybe now is the time to give it a fresh look.

With new chef Chad Hughes at the helm in the kitchen, the hotel is undergoing something of a renaissance, as guests who attended the recent Cheshire Life luncheon discovered.

For those among our guests who had never had the chance to visit before, the impressive entrance, pretty grounds and the elegant ballroom, where lunch was served, made a delightful impression.

Canapés were served in the elegant conservatory, overlooking the hall’s manicured gardens. While guests sipped a prosecco and gin cocktail, they nibbled on Shitake mushroom croustades which consisted of an intensely flavoured mushroom parfait nestled in tiny little pastry cases.

Head Chef, Chad Hughes (seated) with his team; Mike Hoare, Alex McDonnell, Alex Goldsmith and Thasim Hakkim, Rowton Hall, Chester, Cheshire Life LunchHead Chef, Chad Hughes (seated) with his team; Mike Hoare, Alex McDonnell, Alex Goldsmith and Thasim Hakkim, Rowton Hall, Chester, Cheshire Life Lunch

Kidderton Ash gougeres, a savoury profiterole had a mousse made out of Kidderton Ash cheese piped into the choux pastry, and last but not least, were Cheshire reared pork bon bo ns with apple.

‘The pork has a bit of a story,’ says Chad.

‘There’s a couple called Mart and Moya Caruson based on the Cheshire High road and they rear old Tamworth rare breed pigs and Berkshire pigs. When they are eventually ready, I take the bellies, the head and the trotters from them. The belly we slow cooked and flaked down and that is the base of the canapé.’

Seeded white and malted oat bread that had been made by the chefs in the Rowton Hall kitchen gave guests an idea of the care and attention to detail that the kitchen is striving for. ‘We hand-make our own breads,’ says Chad. ‘It’s one of the first things I teach my apprentices when they come into the kitchen - the foundations. Because everything is built on the foundations. We do a lot of sous vide cooking as well but it’s very important that they also learn the basics.

‘My kitchen is staffed with guys who 18 months ago were pretty much apprentices and who I have trained up to chef de partie level. They’re a similar age and very similar stage at their career which means I have got a very strong brigade.’

Their cooking skills were showcased in a home-smoked Loch Duart salmon, with just the right amount of smokiness that was cut through with pickled fennel and a subtly flavoured sauce of lemongrass butter.

For mains, a beautiful fillet of beef accompanied by pickled cabbage, anise carrot and pickled shallot proved impressive and inspired Cheshire Life Food and Drink Awards judge Trevor Stone, recipient of the Palme Culinaire by the Association Culinaire Francais, to stand up at the end of the meal and give a short speech, complimenting the youthful brigade on their exemplary cooking skills.

Orchard panna cotta with sour apple meringue made with apples from the grounds of Rowton Hall brought the lunch to a delightful conclusion.

‘It’s very much a celebration of local produce,’ says Chad, who was previously worked at the award-winning Lawns restaurant, at Thornton Hall Hotel on the Wirral.

‘From our point of view, because we are a new team it is also really a statement of intent, which is to bring fine dining as well as relaxed dining to the Chester area.’

From the menu

To start

Home smoked Loch Duart salmon, pickled fennel, lemongrass butter sauce, puffed wild rice

To continue

Fillet of beef, pickled cabbage, anise carrot, pickled shallots

To finish

Orchard panna cotta, garden apples, sour apple meringue

To drink

Saint-Roch Cotes du Rhone

Vermonte Cabernet Sauvignon

Details

Rowton Hall Hotel and Spa

Rowton Lane, Chester, CH3 6AD

01244 335262 rowtonhallhotel.co,uk

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