Firstly, it’s my birthday today! Yay. Happy birthday to me! I’ve had a lovely lazy day at home. The weather’s been a bit rubbish but it’s been lovely to just do… Nothing. Plus last week I had a fun filled week with friends and family. On Friday I enjoyed a night in with a good friend, catching up over a few G&Ts. On Saturday Stew and I headed home to my parents, and we had a Nepalese feast with some of my oldest and bestest friends, plus then a roast dinner yesterday with pretty much my entire family. It’s been busy to say the least!
But also last week I had the fantastic opportunity to meet one of my favourite celebrity chefs, Mr Jimmy Doherty. I was invited along to Food at 52, near Old Street, to enjoy a four course dinner with Jimmy and a handful of lovely bloggers.
The evening was in aid of Jersey Royal potatoes and celebrated all things Jersey related – not only potatoes, but also cheese, fudge, apple juice and more. Jimmy has collaborated with farmers from Jersey to push this fantastic carbohydrate, and educate the nation on purchasing and eating locally sourced food. Having never been to Jersey myself, it was a great opportunity to learn more about this beautiful island, and appreciate the sheer love and attention that goes into every single harvested potato. It’s really quite amazing! Not only are their potatoes still hand sewn and hand picked, they are looked after with so much care, so much so that one farmer has an alarm set so that if the temperature falls too low she can rush out and cover up her crop with a giant fleece, as frost can kill an entire crop in one go.
It’s this level of attention that makes these potatoes such a great food staple, and although they might be of a slightly higher price point in supermarkets, they are worth every penny.
The dinner highlighted how creative you can be with potatoes, and how they are often overlooked as a food type. I have to admit, we don’t tend to eat potatoes very regularly, instead choosing rice or pasta as our carbohydrate. So for me the evening was a great way of understanding how fantastic potatoes can be, and how you can incorporate them into dishes in many different ways.
We began the evening with teeny tiny Jersey Royals on cocktail sticks, as canapés, with a selection of dips. The basil pesto was my favourite!
Once seated around the beautifully adorned, large country farm table, we tucked into our first course – a pea and potato frittata, served with a fresh side salad.
For our main meal we enjoyed a beautifully cooked sausage and potato pastie, served with a skewer of roasted vegetables, a pot of beetroot chutney and a large bowl of buttery Jersey Royal new potatoes. Delicious!
My only regret – I wish I’d not eaten lunch so I could fit more in. The portion sizes were very generous, and everything tasted so great.
To complete our banquet, we got to try a selection of Jersey cheeses. The Jersey Cache was my favourite – it had a wonderfully nutty flavour and went perfectly with the selection of crackers. To go with the cheese we also had the chance to try a Jersey black butter, which can only be described as the taste of Christmas! Made with apples and cinnamon, among other spices, it goes equally as well with ice-cream for a sweet dessert or cheese like this for a savoury choice.
The evening finished with a selection of tea and coffee, plus Jersey fudge! And to top the whole evening off, we were very kindly gifted a goody bag which included many of the ingredients we’d tried throughout the evening. There was even a bag of potatoes included, with a salt and vinegar recipe to follow. So expect to see that featured in one of my recipe posts soon!
I feel so grateful for all of the fantastic events and restaurant reviews I’ve been lucky enough to attend recently. Since incorporating recipes and more lifestyle posts on my blog, I’ve found that opportunities like this one have become more regular and it really blows me away. I mean, who wouldn’t want to enjoy a feast like this one 🙂