Pickering’s Choice… Saturday 19th July

Chef Peter PickeringWe have decided for our first official dinner in our restored home to host a special dinner on Saturday 19th July. (if demand sufficient then we will also do Friday 18th July)

We have invited a guest chef to launch our new venue and we will be joined by Peter Pickering a 27 year old chef who is a young lad to watch. I have known Peter since 2009 when I was appointed his mentor at Oxford Brookes University in his final year of study before he graduated in May 2010.

He has since gone on to work in some prestigious places from the 5 star Milestone Hotel in London to the Broadcasting Centre for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics to the opening of “Dinner by Heston Blumenthal” with Ashley Palmer Watts, The Café Royal relaunch in late 2012  and then more recently the Chiltern Firehouse the new André Balazs Hotel in late 2013 working alongside Chef Nuno Mendes. A truly impressive pedigree.

I have asked Peter to put together a menu to relaunch the new Hari venue and we will be hosting a five course menu that will reflect his experiences in some pretty amazing restaurants. I will be acting as his commis chef and it will be as much a learning experience for me with modern techniques and imaginative flavour combinations! Very exciting!

Peter’s menu will be as follows:

Menu

Grilled little gem salad, Nuns of Caen, marinated button mushrooms, soy and sherry dressing

*****

Seared Cornish mackerel, poached rhubarb, pickled shallots, borage

*****

Cotswold white chicken, confit heart, onion and horseradish, spring greens

*****

Chocolate mousse, passion fruit jelly, milk and lemon thyme

*****

Hari’s Selection of Farmhouse Cheeses with Porridge Oat Biscuits

*****

Coffee with Homemade Shortbread

Menu subject to market purchases and ingredient availability

Arrival 7:30pm – Welcome Drink & Canapés

Dinner 8:00pm – prompt

Suggested Donation £50 person – service not included

If you wish to attend then please complete the following booking form. It will be a single table seating 14 persons in total and we will be allocating places on a first come first served basis.

We look forward to seeing what we hope will be some new and old customers!

Sorry for the Silence…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I cannot believe it has been some two months since my last post.. my apologies…

We are still awaiting to move back to our flood hit home but the end is in sight. We hope the next two weeks of frenzied activity by builders, decorators and such like will result in a fresh exciting new venue. Please watch this space as we will be posting new dates for some exciting dinners over the next few months.

We will also be posting some revues of meals out we have had over the past few months as they provide some great inspiration of what we could also offer.

Some of the pictures show the work in progress and we are lucky to have a great bunch of workman helping to restore our home.

Thank you to you all for your patience and understanding…

Cheers

Hari C

Mmmm… Hari Dinners are back…

Hari Covert LogoWell we have been touched and appreciative of all the generous offers of venues for our Supper Club having been victims of the Christmas Day flooding.

We have had to move out of our home and are likely to be out until at least mid summer as it dries out and gets re-instated.

We currently are busy doing a couple of private dinners over the next month in people’s homes as we get our lives back to some semblance of normality and routine.

Our first public “pop up” will now happen on Friday 28th and Saturday 29th March in a Yalding venue (You will be informed where once your booking is confirmed)

Our next date will then be Saturday 3rd May (if demand is sufficient then also possibly Friday 2nd as well) and we will be using a very nice property at the top of Linton Hill on the outskirts of Maidstone.

Then Friday 30th and Saturday 31st May again back in another secret Yalding venue. We will publish menus etc in due course for the May dinner events but for the March dinner we will be cooking a four course meal that will highlight some good seasonal produce. It will also be pretty much vegetarian friendly as well apart from the first course where will happily also provide a substitute dish for those that so desire. We are also happy to accept booking for any of these events now so please complete the booking form at the end of this post to reserve those places as we are limited to ten persons each night as the venue hosts rightfully get two places for themselves.

So for our March dinners we thought we would start the meal with a classic Jambon Persille… Ham Hocks slow cooked and chopped then added to the stock with an abundance of freshly chopped parsley and garlic and then set. We will serve this with a mustard and caper mayonnaise dressing and salad leaves. If you would prefer a veggie option then please state at the time of booking.

Our next course will be one of my favourites. A freshly made risotto of roasted butter nut squash. The creamy risotto will have the addition of roasted squash and a sprinkling  of Parmesan. We will then serve a freshly poached fillet of Salmon that we will serve with a very light beurre blanc sauce with an abundance of freshly chopped herbs. It will be served with some simple baby new potatoes and then a melange of spring vegetables including some haricot verts … well it has to does it not?

Finally dessert will be a warm Almond Frangipane Tart served with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream and of course a glass of our ubiquitous Muscat de Rivesaltes.

Coffee will be served along with some Petit Fours to complete the meal. If you wish to reserve spaces for either evening then please just complete the booking form below. We normally will contact you within 24/48 hours to take a credit card number to confirm the booking.

If you wish to book the later dates in May then please pick the date required on the booking form and we will contact you to confirm.

Friday 28th & Saturday 29th March – Venue in Yalding

Arrival 7:30pm

Dinner 8:00pm prompt

Suggested donation £40 per person service not included.

Menu

Welcome Drink & Nibbles

****

Jambon Persille with Mustard & Caper Dressing and Salad Leaves

****

Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto

****

Poached fillet of Salmon with a herb beurre blanc

New Potatoes & Vegetable Medley

****

Warm Almond Frangipane Tartlet with Vanilla Ice Cream

****

Coffee & Petit Fours

Menu subject to market purchases and ingredient availability

Raindrops keep falling on my head…

Some of you may not be aware but as of Christmas Eve we were victims of the “Christmas Floods” and our home venue was seriously flooded… Our home was not expected to flood as it was built to withstand water levels akin to those seen in 2000 but on this occasion levels were a foot and half higher so we had some nine inches of flood water in our kitchen and dining area.

rain

This has provided us with some rather daunting challenges – finding temporary accommodation for my wife and daughter that will be close enough to monitor renovations and then also not impact too much on our lives. We would also not be able to continue with our pop up dinners as this would be contravening our tenancy agreement in our temporary home.

So what is the solution?  Well we felt the best way to spread the word about this would be to turn to you, our existing and potential customers, by laying down the gauntlet.

We will bring the world of secret suppers to you.

The idea is this.  As we have previously done two nights together in our own venue we thought we would do Hari in your own place in a similar way – ideally a Friday and Saturday night with 12 diners each night although we can be completely flexible on numbers and days.  In return we would offer you 2 places free of charge each night we cook at yours.

We are happy to do this anywhere in Kent and will happily discuss the arrangements and appraise the feasibility with you directly.  We already have some very kind offers and will be putting together a diary of events in the next week or so.  We will once finalised then open bookings for all dates so it will be a first come first served!

If you should be interested in providing a venue then please complete the following form and we will contact you directly to discuss in more depth.

Hari Covert

PS The title of this post is because this is currently Mrs HC’s mobile ring tone… she is having a laugh!

Jingle Bells – ’tis the season to be jolly…

Well for our Christmas menu we felt we would not go too festive as I am sure you will all have had enough of the “Turkey and Tinsel” by the time the big day comes. We have only the one night this year on Saturday December 14th as the Friday 13th we have a private dinner.

So what can you expect this year…

We will kick the meal off with some seasonal nibbles and a welcome glass and then for the first course we will serve a home-made Pork Terrine studded with Apricots and served with a simple green bean and toasted hazelnut salad garnish. A home-made relish that will incorporate cranberries will complete the starter to this festive meal.

For the main course we have decided to serve a classic beef dish. We will use beef topside and make what are commonly known as Beef Olives. The thin slices of steak are served with a sausage meat stuffing that is laced with wild mushrooms, a smoked sausage, juniper berries and herbs. Slowly cooked in a rich red wine based sauce it means this is a heart warming and filling dish that will go perfectly with some creamy mashed potatoes and then some braised red cabbage as well.

We will then serve up a selection of cheeses with our porridge oat biscuits and our home-made banana  jam. Cheese selection is normally made up of a Hard, soft, blue and goats cheese – we will just have to see what we can find but will ensure it is a good interesting mix!

Finally to complete the meal it will be what we are terming a “Citric choice”… an unctuous lemon posset of double cream laced with Lemon juice, then a lime and Mascarpone Cheesecake that has a fresh zingy taste with a ginger nut biscuit base and finally some brandy soaked marinated oranges that we will serve with a small scoop of chocolate & wasabi sorbet from Taywells.

To complete the meal with coffee some festive stollen and iced schnapps will complete the meal.

So what better way to start your Christmas festivities. We will then be opening again after the Xmas break in January and we hope to publish a programme soon of what we are planning for 2014.

Saturday 14th December

Arrival 7:30pm Welcome Drink & Nibbles

Dinner 8:00pm

Suggest Donation of £35 per person service not included

Menu

Pork Terrine with dried Apricots

Green Bean & Hazelnut Salad Cranberry Relish

****

Braised Beef Olive

Creamed Potatoes

Braised Red Cabbage

****

Hari’s Selection of Cheeses with Porridge Oat Biscuits

****

“Citric Choice”

Lemon Posset, Lime & Mascarpone Cheesecake,

Brandied Oranges with Chocolate & Wasabi Sorbet

****

Coffee, Iced Schnapps & Mini Stollen

Menu subject to Market Purchases and Ingredient Availability

FULLY BOOKED – WAITING LIST ONLY

Nur für eine Nacht…

Well we will be opening for one night only in November as Mrs HC has managed to double book us with us off to see Cabaret at the Assembly Hall in Tunbrdige Wells with the cabaretinfamous Will Young in the Emcee role on the Saturday night!

So in homage to the Berlin set musical I thought a German theme would be fitting to get us into the mood for our Saturday night excursion. We thought also as we are fast approaching the festive season and the expense of it all we would try and do this “one night only” event a little cheaper as we will only serve three courses.

With a welcome Glühwein and simple nibbles we will kick the meal off with a heart warming Goulasch Suppen, a beef based soup of paprika and diced vegetables will be a heart warming start.

We will then do a traditional Sauerkraut as the main course. The pickled preserved cabbage will be served with classic smoked sausage, Smoked ham and Speck simply served with some boiled potatoes and assorted mustards.

To complete the meal we will serve something inspired by those lovely German spiced Christmas biscuits known as “Spekulatius” – a light Tiramisu inspired dessert with Quark, Mascarpone  and raspberries will provide a lighter finish to this meal, our normal glass of Muscat de Rivesaltes will go well with this pudding.

With coffee we will serve some simple petit fours. So Wilkommen one and all… Nur für eine Nacht…

Arrival 7:30pm: Glühwein & Nibbles

Dinner 8:00pm:

Suggested Donation £30 per person – Service not included

Speiskarten

Echte Goulasch Suppe

●●●●

Sauerkraut mit Speck, Schinken und Wurstchen, Salz Kartoffeln 

●●●●

Spekulatius Tiramisu

●●●●

Kaffee und Petit Fours

Menu subject to Market Purchases and Ingredient Availability

Please make sure you book as early as possible to secure the desired number of places. Just complete the form below. We will normally contact you within 48 hours to confirm your booking with a credit card number.

Autumn cometh…

Well as we head into the autumnal season we thought we would make this months menu truly reflect this time of mellow fruitfulness.leaf1

We are now open for bookings for the chance to experience a secret supper club in our secret location on Friday 11th & Saturday 12th October.

We thought we would offer a menu of some of our favourite dishes that also reflect well the Autumn season.

Arrival: 7:30pm for Welcome Drink & Nibbles

Dinner: 8:00pm Prompt

Cost: £35 Suggested donation

 

Menu

Welcome Drink & Nibbles

@MrHariCovert

Wild Mushroom Risotto with roasted Chorizo

@MrHariCovert

Roasted Barbary Duck Breast with a tangy plum sauce

Gratin Dauphinoise

Green Beans

@MrHariCovert

Hari’s Selection of Cheeses

with Porridge Oat Biscuits & Banana Jam

@MrHariCovert

Individual Apple Tart Tatin

Salted Caramel and Walnut Ice Cream

@MrHariCovert

Coffee & Petit Fours

Menu subject to Market Purchases and Ingredient Availability

So to kick the meal off the first course will be an earthy flavoured and creamy wild mushroom risotto but will have the addition of some piquant spicy roasted chorizo sausage as  a garnish to the rice to provide another flavour dimension. I love cooking risotto as there is a skill to get the rice slowly absorbing the stock and ensure the flavours all balance, this will be a warming start to the meal and will be a vibrant beginning.

The main dish will be pink roasted French Barbary Duck Breast that will be served with a tangy plum based sauce that will balance well with the richness of the meat. We will serve with his a creamy and garlicky Potato gratin and of course what would a Hari Covert meal be without some Green Beans!!!

We will then serve our selection of cheeses in the French fashion after our main course and this will be a 3/4 different cheeses subject to our purchases along with our Porridge Oat biscuits that seem to always intrigue our guests. We will also serve a spoonful of our homemade Banana Jam!

Finally what could be better to complete this autumnal meal than a classic Apple Tart Tatin. These will be little individual ones of buttery caramelised apples atop crisp puff pastry bases and then served with a salted caramel sauce and dollop of walnut ice cream. A glass of Muscat de Rivesaltes will be served with the dessert and provide another unctuous sweet flavour to complete the meal.

Coffee will be served with our petit fours. The table configurations will be subject to booking numbers but please indicate if you would be happy to share a table or not!

Please make sure you book as early as possible to secure the desired number of places. Just complete the form below. We will normally contact you within 48 hours to confirm your booking with a credit card number.

Last Chance – The Vicars Picnic Festival…

4597148356_708x731We will be closing the bookings on Wednesday 11th September at 9;00am

Bishops Feast Picnic (Limited Numbers) – £35 per person incl Festival Ticket

These are you own individual (returnable) Tiffin Boxes that will be delivered to you on site at an agreed time.

The top layer of your box will contain assorted nibbles and some of our infamous Beer Bread.

Then the first course level of the box will have a “tea smoked chicken & dried apricot brawn” served with a herb cream and Melba toasts.

The  main course layer will be some freshly poached Salmon and some King Prawns all served with a garlic mayonnaise and then a selection of home-made fresh seasonal salads.

The final layer will be the dessert. Some Home-made chocolate brownie and a Creme Caramel with summer fruits. All cutlery and napkin will be provided. Drinks can be purchased on site from the bar.

Your festival ticket is also included in this price as well so great value!

Vergers Box Picnic - Pre order only – £25 per person incl Festival Ticket

“The Vergers Box”  will comprise of three freshly made salads served in a disposable box with eco friendly cutlery and napkin that will go perfectly with the hog roast that is being offered on site by “Smoking Hot Pig” Hog roast and a portion of the hog roast is also included along with your festival ticket.

Love and Peace… Hari goes retro

Menu

Friday 13th September 2013

Mixed Seafood Gratin

****

Pork Fillet “Cordon Bleu”

Grilled Tomato & Green Beans

Roasted Gnocchi

****

Danish Blue, Camembert

Banana Jam

Porridge Oat Biscuits

****

Crème Caramel

****

Coffee & Homemade Shortbread

NB: Menu subject to market purchases and alteration

Whilst sitting in a lakeside bar on my hols in the south of France with views of the foothills of the Pyrenees and Spain, I perused the menu and specials board in the bar and there were some classic dishes on offer that you will always seem to find on a French menu. I thought “If it ain’t broke why fix it” as the saying goes. So it got me thinking!

On my return I also got wind of an upcoming pop up “Boutique Music Festival” close to “HC HQ” that is helping to support a local charity “The Hospice in the Weald” that I have also in the past helped raise money for. I have been in touch with the festival organisers and felt this next months dinners should be something of a unique nature.

Firstly on the Friday night it will be a normal pop up at “HC HQ” with what I am terming a retro menu and then on the Saturday evening we are offering to provide some luxury picnics for attendees of the inaugural  “The Vicars Picnic” festival.

This new event is being held on the outskirts of the village of Yalding between Tunbridge Wells & Maidstone on private land. Talking to the organisers they have ambitious plans and also secured a stellar line up along with 90′s Brit Pop legend Mark Morriss of the Bluetones. There will be food available on site but they have kindly agreed for me to provide the following picnics to also 4597148356_708x731include a ticket to the festival!

There will be a limited number of what we are calling our “The Bishops Feast”… these will be a three course special menu of cold food served in your own returnable “Tiffin Box” and includes a Festival ticket.

We will also have a number of what we are calling “The Vergers Box” a simple salad box that will have three freshly made salads that will be perfect to eat along with the Hog Roast provided by the Smoking Hot Pig Hog Roast. Again it will include the price of a Festival ticket

So the menu for the Friday night will be what we are terming “1970′s Retro” and will include dishes that we think could be well up for a revival!

We felt a little mixed seafood gratin to kick the meal off would be a good start… we will serve it as individual portions as we have recently purchased some little paella shaped pans that will fit the bill perfectly so a cheese based sauce will be surrounded by some Duchesse potatoes and a mixture of seafood.

The main course will be a classic Pork fillet “Cordon Bleu” – a thin schnitzel piece of pork beaten out and then a slice of raw ham and piece of Emmenthal cheese inside a breadcrumb coating that is then pan fried. It will be served with a grilled tomato, green beans and roasted potato gnocchi.

Our cheese course will also feature some retro cheeses… A classic on the 70′s cheese board for it’s “exotic provenance” would have been a Danish Blue and Camembert… how times have changed! Of course our porridge oat biscuits will be served as well as some of our home-made banana jam, celery and grapes!

Finally we thought what would be a fitting finish is a classic Crème Caramel – a dessert still found on many a European menus and we will serve ours with a little whipped cream as an extra indulgence!

We will then serve coffee with some home-made shortbread as well.

Please note we will not insist on 70′s clothing! But if you want to then…

For the picnics “The Bishops Feast” (Limited Numbers) will start on the top layer of the “Tiffin Box” with some nibbles and our infamous home-made Beer bread.

The first course level will be a home-made tea smoked chicken & dried apricot brawn with herb cream and Melba toasts.

The main course layer will be some freshly Poached Salmon & King Prawns with a Garlic Mayonnaise and then a selection of home-made fresh seasonal salads.

Finally the dessert layer will be a Crème Caramel and a home-made chocolate brownie with fresh summer fruits. All served in your own returnable “Tiffin Box”.

“The Vergers Box” will comprise of three freshly made salads that will come served in its own disposable box with eco friendly cutlery and napkin that will go perfectly with the hog roast being offered on site.

All bookings for the Saturday “Vicars Picnic” will need to be made by 9am Wednesday 11th September in order for us to fulfil the orders.  

Both picnics as I said will also include a festival ticket and can be pre-ordered below. We will call you normally within 48 hours to take a credit card payment. Arrangements for pick up of festival tickets and return of the Tiffin Boxes will also be made on confirmation of purchase.

So all you need to do is choose which night you want to attend and then if coming to the festival which type of picnic you would like.

Friday 13thHari’s 70′s Retro DinnerSuggested Donation £35 per person

Saturday 14th -The Bishops Feast Picnic Suggested Donation incl Vicars Picnic Festival Ticket £35

Saturday 14thThe Vergers Box3 Freshly made salads + Hog Roast incl Vicars Picnic Festival Ticket £25

Please complete our Booking Form below. We will normally contact you within 48 hours to confirm your booking with a credit card number.

Going Underground again… well almost

It was a lovely balmy summers evening when I was driving up Wrotham Hill with the car loaded up with goodies for a return dinner at Winterdale Shaw.

Robin & Carla Betts the hard working and passionate artisan cheese makers were to host a couple of days of a cheese workshop for the “West Country Cheese makers”. This was a milestone for this little select group as I am led to believe this is the first time they will have ever held such a workshop away from the West Country.

Following on from our September 2011 event Robin was keen to provide something a bit different for these cheese gurus so he asked me to cook and serve a similar dinner to what we did back then. It was to be a relaxed affair and I am glad to say it was to be held above ground in a marquee to the side of the barn (erected for a public event a few days later) so the steep cellar steps were not an issue this time and the little kitchen we were to work from had a bit more kit as well.

So the menu we served was pretty similar to the previous one so we could showcase their cheeses. Firstly some nibbles of chilled gazpacho soup shots and deep fried cauliflower cheese beignets were the nibbles and then they all sat down to the first course of double cooked cheese soufflé topped with smoked haddock and some salad leaves. They also rather enthusiastically devoured a loaf of Moodleys Beer Bread which I have to say unsurprisingly garners rave comments every time I serve it!

Robin & Carla were also keen to showcase their nearby neighbours Free Range Pork (Roundwood Orchard Pigs) so a gorgeous four plus kilo joint of rolled Pork Shoulder was slowly roasted for some 5-6 hours and the skin crisped to perfection. Served with a gravy laced with dried apricots it provided a nice citrus kick to the richness of the tender meat and well between 7 hungry souls got just about completely devoured in one fell swoop! A gratin dauphinoise and medley of vegetables accompanied this.

Finally I served up the dessert that on Carla’s request was not the junket we served originally as she felt it was an acquired taste! So some soft squidgy home-made meringues were sandwiched with whipped cream with added lemon curd and then some “Mill Farm” strawberries. This again was polished off with gusto, these cheese gurus can certainly eat!

By this time gone eleven pm I was pooped and needed my beauty sleep as I had an early start the next morning with a breakfast meeting I left them to their final course of cheeses with my porridge oat biscuits. I was mortified I could not stay and sample some of the goodies on offer. There was one rogue but magnificent cheese on offer a rather runny Brie de Meaux that a rogue Frenchman had bought along ( I did not quite establish how he was part of this select group)

It was a fascinating evening as I listened into their conversations on the tribulations and trials of cheese making. The story of West Country floods and how one of them managed to write off his Land Rover Discovery by thinking they could cross a flooded road was hilarious and I believe made BBC news headlines much to his disgust.

The passion they all have for their chosen craft was evident in bucket loads and you should just click the links below for their assorted web sites to get a flavour of how serious they all are to produce a product we can all enjoy and savour. Robin & Carla can also be proud of their achievements of being part of this select group with some incredible history and I know it was also a bit of a double celebration as they had just managed to secure the long awaited planning permission to convert the upper portion of their barn to be living accommodation for them and their young children.

The Cheese Makers Workshop at Winterdal Shaw July 2013

Winterdale Shaw (the hosts|)

Westcombe Dairy

Keens Cheddar

Montgomery Cheddar

Hafod Welsh Organic Cheddar