Our Vessel for the evening
What better way to spend a ‘summer evening’ well British summer evening, onboard a yacht to enjoy a sumptuous food and wine matching supper with some of the best artisan products produced in the world. Discover the Origin,a campaign designed to educate consumers and the UK deli trade and supermakets held a spectacular evening on the river hosted by Chef of the moment Head Chef Ben Tish of the Opera Tavern and Salt Yard.
Ben Tish from Salt Yard Group created the menu, incorporating Parma Ham and Parmesan Cheese into the tapas-style dishes from his restaurants, and David Vareille, Sommelier from Bar Boulud at the Mandarin Oriental matched and talked through the accompanying Burgundy wines and Ports throughout the evening.
Parma Ham is one of my favourite cured hams in the world and it had been hand cut on the Itlian meat slicing machine. It really does taste different when it is freshly sliced compared to vacuum packed in the supermarkets, so much so that I’m off to Borough market this weekend to visit the Cheese and Ham company. We were then served a selecyion of tapas style startes with the main star ingredients of the evening including:
Fig and Parma Ham on Parmesan cheese crust .. divine cheesy pastry which worked well with the salt of the Parma Ham and fig.
Fig and Parma Ham tarts
[caption id="attachment_727" align="alignnone" width="300"] Red prawns with Parma Ham
We then have a squash, sage and Parmesan croquette, English asparagus with Parma Ham and a duck egg and Parmesan crisp melted over it, followed by some sumptuous Red prawns, with Parma Ham and grilled watermelon, delicious the Red prawns in particular were amazingly tasty.
We devour these freshly prepared starters by Ben and his team, while quaffing a lovely White Douro Valley wine which is a lovely crisp white with a strong mineral taste. I do love these Douro wines and they are having a real moment in the wine world for the last few years and deservedly so, I say.
The mains are also beautifully prepared also in the tapas style that is associated with Ben Tish we are served – Braised beef cheeks with Parmesan cheese, a root vegeatble gratin with Parmesan cheese and smoked ricotta and deep fried courgette flowers stuffed with goats’ cheese and Parma Ham.. I have two and could easily have another, but try to show a little decorum. Sommelier David Vareille, talked thorugh the next wine with his silky French accent explaining all of the depth, quality, terroir to the wines we were tasting, two beautiful wines from different parts of Burgundy the first was the Santennay 1er cru a Pinot Noir with delicate subtle fruit and depth, great for a summer evening and my personal favourite of the evening the Marsannay, Le Clos 2011 from Domaine Rene Bouvier, not yet acredited with a cru but it won’t be long. My advice get in there quickly and find your self a few special bottles of this nectar.. you can thank me later.
The Faces behind these amazing artisan products
By this point I have eaten rather a lot, and the diet is but a distant memory with my trainer on my shoulder whispering put that down! I ignore my subconscious and press onto dessert, I’m rewarded with a delicately made warm apple cox, Parmesan cheese pasrty with lashings of mascarpone to be enjoyed according to David and the IVDP Port expert with a very special Taylor’s 1985 Vintage Port. Warm, sticky, nutty flavours of Port fill my mouth and I’m having the best time on this little boat, that it’s a shame the evening has to come to an end quite so quickly.
For further receipes and images