Tag Archives: Taywell

Covert on the Mountain…

STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS STOP PRESS We have extended the deadline for booking reservations to our March event….

Please note last few places remaining need to be booked by 9am Monday 13th March… Just click the image below to go to our ticketing site for more information and to book your places.

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Why a Vegetarian dinner…

When I set up Hari Covert nearly six years ago my plan was to do a new theme every month that I hosted an event. We have pretty well done this and also not had to repeat a menu in that time – we have however repeated or tweaked a dish or two over the years…

We will always try and cater for a vegetarian or those with allergies with our menus when requested. We have also served a complete Vegetarian menu successfully in the past. Our dinners in association with Moodleys Beers where we matched the menu with the range of beers Yudhistra was producing a case in example.

PPSprig is the brainchild of chef Peter Pickering who is keen to put his somewhat stellar CV of quality establishments to use in a new and innovative way where he is also in control of the hours he works.

This time we were approached by his new Vegetarian Supper Club “Sprig of London” who wanted to trial their concept whilst they still look for possible London venues to host their supper club dinners.

We have together put a joint menu that reflects both of our culinary styles and influences. I myself will be doing some of our favourite combinations from our beer bread to porridge oat biscuits that we serve with cheese.

Sprig of London
Sprig of London

The dishes Peter will prepare will be everything from a Brik – the crispy north African pastry with wild mushroom lemon and rosemary through to a combination titled intriguingly Turnip, Radish and Orange. Finally the Sprig of London dessert offer will be Porridge, White Chocolate & Almond Milk. They all sound different and I look forward to seeing the finished dishes and taste them as well.

white logo (500)We are doing these dinners over four nights from Wednesday 18th November and we still have spaces on most nights so please do go and take a look at the full menu and booking form with this link

It will be a fun few nights with some interesting foods and we hope you will realise the absence of meat and in many cases gluten whilst a challenge for chefs is not one that is not to be missed as the food will be tasty and imaginative.

We do hope you can make one of these nights!

Memories of China… a report

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Well it was the third time we had invited Chef But to “Covert Towers” to prepare a sumptuous Chinese Banquet … It was well subscribed with two nights fully booked with new and returning guests.

I duly collected Mr B and his wife Sue from South Croydon after he had travelled down from his home in Wembley London and we headed off to nearby Wing Yip Chinese supermarket to purchase the more specialist ingredients we required for the dinners.

We sat down in the adjacent restaurant for a quick Dim Sum lunch before we went round the Supermarket picking out what we required… everything from a pile of Spring Green leaves and Chinese Bak Choy to tins of Yellow Bean Paste and jars of chilli sauces were piled high into the trolley.IMG_6593

As we paid up we headed back round the M25 to Kent and got stuck into the job of preparing food for the impending dinners… Legs of Lamb were butchered and prepared for poaching as they were to be used as the Mongolian Crispy Lamb, Beef Shin was chopped and poached off ready to be slowly cooked with a piquant sauce and water chestnuts. Dried Bean Curd was deep fried and then placed in a bucket of hot water to soften and then cut into bite sized pieces.

B then seemed to magic a pork and chicken minced meat mixture ready for stuffing into the dumplings and then within about one hour and twenty minutes he had made over one hundred dumplings. Blocks of Prawns were left to defrost… it was a late finish and then the next morning it was an early start as we prepared so much food for that evenings dinner. Prawns were made ready for the stir fry and then others were minced to be made into prawn toasts.

IMG_6592It was a long day as we prepared for the full house… we had a big menu. It was a full on service as we served everything from the Red Lotus Cocktail to the finale of some Taywell Sorbet and Ice Cream… and some rather yummy Silver Tipped Jasmine Tea supplied by Blends for Friends. Popular dishes seemed to be Sesame Prawn Toasts and then Slow Cooked Beef Shin with water chestnuts and dried bean curd. All dishes were quickly consumed and as last guests departed it was a quick clear up and off to our slumbers for another busy day the next day.

The Saturday night always seems a great deal easier… something to do with lessons learnt from the Friday I suspect. We still spent most the morning prepping and then after a quick visit to  a local cafe for some lunch we were back in the kitchen to finish off and get ready for another full house.

IMG_6651Mr But and his wife Sue had with the rest of the team worked so very hard to make it a very special couple of nights… Guests seemed to enjoy themselves and it was a lively couple of days … we hope you all enjoy the videos we have posted on our You Tube channel

We will have some photos to share with you all in due course and will create a gallery when we have.

Cheers

Hari C

Chef But to cook again at Hari Covert’s…

Noodles But

Well we are excited to report Chef Kam Po But formerly Executive Chef at Ken Lo’s Memories of China, Belgravia London has agreed to come back and present another two nights of his culinary prowess.

Chef But had been the Executive Chef of Ken Lo’s for some thirty years plus until his retirement a few years ago. He has been a friend for the same period and is god father to my daughter and we have done Chinese dinners in some truly amazing locations from the depths of the Hampshire countryside to the remoteness of the Isles of Scilly.

Chef But is a true master at blending dishes to be balanced in flavour, texture and colour. He has constructed a menu once again that will demonstrate all of this and to top it all off at the end of the dinner he will once again demonstrate the art of Hand Drawn Noodles. His skill in this is legendary as he has made countless appearances  on TV from The Generation Game to BBC Food & Drink and ITV This Morning.

This is a unique chance to sample some truly great Chinese food in a relaxed and sharing manner and will as always be totally oversubscribed!

We will kick the evening off with a welcome drink and simple nibbles before getting guests to sit down to a mammoth banquet. The meal will begin with a range of starters, Crispy Smoked Chicken served with Crispy Seaweed (not actually Seaweed), Sesame Prawn Toasts, Kuo-Tieh Dumplings – a little steamed pork dumpling that are then fried to give a crispy bottom served with a simple soy and ginger dipping sauce. Finally a baked fresh Scallop served in its shell with a piquant black bean sauce.

We will then serve a soup to guests – normally served at the end of a meal here though as a bit of a palate cleanser it will be a delicate Cantonese Hot & Sour Soup.

Next we will then serve what has become something of a signature dish for Chef But. Mongolian Crispy Lamb is a marinated braised leg of lamb that once cold is deep fried until crispy and served with a yellow bean sauce and lettuce leaves like the crispy duck and pancakes. It is a clever dish of textures and flavours and for many lighter than the Duck & pancake variety.

Moving onto the main course dishes we will then serve the following. Chef But will cook them and dish up as quickly as he can but they will generally come as and when they are ready. We will serve a Slow Cooked Beef Shin with water chestnuts. This is a real winter warmer dish and not found on your average Chinese restaurant menu, the beef shin is slowly cooked in a rich soy and spiced broth and then served with crunchy water chestnuts. Stir Fried Chicken Breast in a yellow bean sauce with crispy Almonds. Stir Fried King Prawns with Snow Peas (Mange Tout). Then depending on what we can purchase a fillet of fish done “Peking Style” in a light egg batter that is first fried then steamed with a sauce made from spring onions, garlic and ginger – the “Holy trinity” in Chinese cuisine.

We will serve a fresh vegetable either Pak Choy or Choi Sum (depending on our market purchases) topped with Oyster Sauce and some plain boiled rice.

To complete the meal Hari will be doing the pudding and he will showcase some exotic Asian flavour ice creams and sorbets from local producer Taywell Ice Creams. We will serve Jasmine Tea or if some want a coffee to complete the banquet.

Finally after all of this you will be treated to the hand drawn noodle demonstration by Mr But… this magical process is thousands of years old and we recommend you bring your cameras or phone cameras to capture it all as if you blink you will miss it.

Since we announced these dates spaces filled very quickly and we are now fully booked for both nights.

If you want spaces or be on our waiting list please complete the booking form at the end of this post.

Arrival  7:30pm – Welcome Drinks and assorted Chinese Nibbles

Dinner Served 8:00pm – prompt

Suggested Donation £55.00 per person service not included (Guests to bring their own wines/drinks – Glasses, Water and Ice Buckets provided.)

Menu

Sesame Prawn Toasts

Crispy Seaweed

Kuo-Tieh Dumplings (Pot Stickers)

Crispy Smoked Chicken

Baked Scallop with Black Bean Sauce

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Cantonese Hot & Sour Soup

吃 嘛

Crispy Mongolian Lamb with Lettuce Puffs

吃 嘛

Slow braised Beef Shin with water chestnuts

Stir Fried Chicken with Yellow Bean Sauce and Almonds

King Prawns with Snow Peas (Mange Tout)

Fish Fillet “Peking” Style with Ginger & Garlic

Chinese Vegetables with Oyster Sauce

Steamed Rice

吃 嘛

Assorted “Taywell” Asian Sorbet & Ice Creams

吃 嘛

Jasmine Tea or Coffee

Please complete the following form to reserve your spaces. Please note we are already fully booked for both Friday and Saturday and now only have a waiting list for cancellations or potentially a 3rd night.

“Carne Argentina Unica” or CAU to you and me…

Well it was with some excitement I had a booking in the newly opened restaurant CAU in central Tunbridge Wells. I had known the property for quite a few years and had been instrumental in possibly it’s first incarnation as an eatery when it was a travel agents & restaurant as “Travel 101” before then becoming a Burger King. Then hence a variety of eating and drinking establishments.

I think now as CAU there has obviously been some “Blue Sky” thinking and the makeover of the premises has undergone is major – Blue Sky with clouds murals on the walls and modern cloud shaped lamps over the bar counter along with some pretty funky contemporary decor and lighting. Black tables with black and white leather swivel chairs all add to the funky and modernistic decor.

The open plan kitchen provides a sense of theatre but at times a bit of a “blue fug” as opposed to “Blue Sky” appeared as the grilling caused the room to smoke up!

So how was my visit… well having booked a table (very easy and efficient on line with Top Table) we arrived possibly about ten minutes late to find our allotted table was by the entrance door. Not particularly conducive or welcomed – they however changed it quickly to a table in the centre of the room with a good view of the kitchen.

Down to the menu and our choices… Our waiter explained the concept of the Argentinean inspired food with small tapas style starters and then a range of steak dishes as mains. (there are other dishes such as Chicken and Fish for the non carnivores)   We remarked the weight sizes for the steaks seemed huge – the Lomito cut at a whopping 440g and the Asado de Chorizo at 500g and inquired were they designed to be for two people? He remarked normally one person would order and consume! Tunbridge Wells obviously has gargantuan appetites!

We kicked off with a selection of small plates to share… The Belly of Pork Tempura, Empanadas – we chose the spicy ground beef & onion and the Spanish Chorizo & Cream Cheese. Then finally Anticuchos Skewer of Marinated Chicken with Guacamole. Presentation was simple and stylish the tempura was a generous portion of five hunks of tender pork in a crisp batter. The BBQ style CAUchup with it was much needed as we both felt the pork lacked something in terms of flavour. The Empanadas were well made and we preferred the beef one as it packed more of a flavour punch and whilst the chicken skewer was also well executed it was just a touch under seasoned.

Our main course choices were the same with the Tapa de Cuadril – a top rump steak cut into thin steaks just flash grilled. We chose triple cooked chunky chips and a house special of “Causlaw” plus a small side salad to share as the additions. There was also some assorted sauces to choose from as well but with an additional charge. In fact the whole menu might seem initially quite good value but it is all the add-ons that could quite easily bump up the cost per person.

The steak we consumed was OK, not outstanding or that memorable. The seasoning was a little light and whilst the steak was cut thin it was for me very slightly overcooked and some pieces were even tough to eat. Triple cooked chips were OK – again not memorable – the highlight for me was the Causlaw that was made from finely shredded red cabbage.

Overall I have to say it was not a meal that excited us in every way, service was friendly and attentive, check backs were regular and possibly too many requests as to everything all OK. The room is noisy with loud music when quiet and when full of diners the conversation noise drowns out the music.

I however will be going back as it would be unfair to judge totally from this sole visit and when you compare it to their competitor down the road from them in the form of “Côte” this place will be a welcome addition to the town and fulfils a need.

The Argentinean theme is interesting and different but I am not sure whether importing the “Ice Creams” from this said country will go down well with the “food miles conscious” residents of Tunbridge Wells when they have a local supplier of quality ice creams on their door step that could make to their specification.

I will certainly go back “en famille” next time, but for me the jury is still out a bit and whilst I have read good reviews from others I will reserve my final judgement.

It is welcoming to see something else open in the town and I am sure it will flourish especially when you see how busy it was on the night we were there.

www.caurestaurants.com

Danes Yard Kitchen, Stratford East London… a review

Well I better declare an interest here before I review this new restaurant Danes Yard Kitchen located on the Stratford High Street in East London.

I have been responsible for putting the developer and operator of said establishment together and overall am pleased to say I think it has been a good match.

It has been my fourth visit to said establishment since they opened on Friday August 10th just before the Olympics closing ceremony. I felt not a good idea to judge them on that first visit on their first day so I have since been back a few times once for a lunch once on my way back out of London (a bit of a detour I know) but just for a quick beer.

My last visit was with the owner of Taywell Ice Creams, Alastair Jessel. I am a big fan of Taywell and I know he is keen to get his ices into more London eateries and thought this would be a great venue for his wares. So we duly rendezvoused and were shown to a table in what was basically an empty restaurant. I guess they are suffering the post Olympic blues located just across the road from the Olympic Park and there were certainly not the bodies about as there had been on the previous visits.

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Let me say firstly on each of my visits I have been overall very happy with the food but if I have had one area of criticism it has been with the erratic service and lack of customer interaction I have observed. I know it has been a tough task to open during the Olympics with all the challenges of finding the right people and in fairness one thing they have strived to do is give local residents a chance with employment in a location devoid of many good employment opportunities.

Any way what can you expect if you pay them a visit… well the decor can best described as funky urban, open to view ducting and high ceiling warehouse feel with an open plan finishing kitchen. Big plate glass windows look out onto a piazza that is dominated by a hyperbolic styled tower reminiscent of the Olympic Torch that acts as a beacon to all that surrounds it.

More on the tower later. The tables and chairs are a mix and match of wood & metal design along with leather clad booth seating and a sizeable terrace provides an added area for alfresco drinking and dining.

Well turning to the food there is a limited choice menu that I am sure will evolve as time progresses but it features both some imaginative cooking alongside classic staples like fish & chips and a burger. For me some of the highlights of my visits have been the spiced chick peas and ground cumin as a nibble and the parmesan & black pepper shortbreads with creamed goats cheese. Both are awesome little nibbles to go with a round of drinks or an aperitif.

My most recent visit saw me starting with the crispy Cornish squid that was dredged in semolina flour and deep fried till crispy but still tender and served with a little dish of aioli. I have previously really enjoyed a queen scallop ceviche that had a zingy freshness with lime.

Main courses have ranged from as I have said classic fish and chips with mushy peas and a very good short rib beef burger, juicy, tender and in a good fresh bun. Chips served in their own little frying basket makes presentation all a bit twee. I have also tried the Braised Pork Belly with Granny Smith apple puree, caramelised shallots and red cabbage salad to the version on this last visit it was a slice of stuffed crispy pork belly with braised fennel & pine nuts. Both very tasty but both in desperate need of more liquid to go with them as they needed more jus /gravy. Accomplished cooking but perhaps some attention to the detail required to make it even more memorable.

For dessert the Scottish raspberry bread & butter pudding was good and the Apple crumble tart also well executed but perhaps needed a slightly thinner biscuit base, the salted caramel ice cream missing on one visit was present on another was OK. The bitter chocolate tart with the milk sorbet on another occasion came served with an orange sorbet that was rather average and the tart was very dense.  All in all the food is good and interesting enough to keep even foodies and gourmets happy.

For me though the one area that lets them down at the moment is the lack of interaction with their service staff. They are perhaps too concerned about whether they are doing things by the book than just being themselves and interacting with their customers. One young Italian waiter joked and laughed and was much more the natural self when we told him their pistachio ice cream was a travesty to ice cream (With Mr Taywell present he was bereft) to which as an Italian he agreed totally!

It is the little things like check backs on the table, even just some conversation with customers and attempts to up-sell extra drinks or extras from the menu that would be welcomed. The late night visit just as the kitchen just closed and a request for a simple couple of their nibbles lacked the attempt to flog us some nuts (we had to ask!!!) The place was not rammed or busy on both occasions and it is at times like this service can be lapse and erratic.

I know it is early days but other customers might be less forgiving and the need to get it as  right as possible, as quickly as possible is vital to establish this place in not only it’s local market but to a wider audience.

The site is part of a big plan and the investment going into to it is eye watering and things like the tower rumoured to have cost them nearly a million pounds means this is a serious investment in a community devoid of quality! The tower is such an attraction and they are keen to secure planning permission to enable the public access up to the top to admire the views, the night time light show is fascinating and I am told when there are five people surrounding the tower the pressure plates around it when stepped upon interact with you.

There is also an outdoor table tennis table with bats and balls for public use. It seems like the developers are thinking of everything…

Now surely that must be a reason to book a party of five for dinner and plan some post dinner exercise afterwards. I will be back and hope the local community embrace it wholeheartedly.

A weekend of Chinese Memories…

When we decided to open for two nights in August we knew we had to do something a bit special as it was going to be hard to entice guests as many would be away on holidays…

Well it seemed only right and proper we introduced you to Mr Kam Po But a master Chinese chef who has just recently retired from over 30 years cooking at Ken Lo’s Memories of China in London. He has been a friend for a great number of years and is godfather to my daughter and we have often done special events together.

I also helped teach many years ago when the Belgravia restaurant also had a cookery school and so have witnessed many times B’s prowess with a wok. Many years ago we also use to meet for a game of tennis on a Sunday morning and then decamp to Soho for a late lunch of Dim Sum and even followed that by a late afternoon tea at a swanky London five star hotel.

Having also taken many friends to the restaurant on numerous occasions and also introduced many foreign friends to the art of fine Chinese cuisine we thought it would be fun to host a couple of banquet  meals showcasing his talents and more importantly hopefully introduce him to the world of underground dining.

We composed a menu together as I know my kitchen and it’s limitations and we thought it would be good to balance the dishes to reflect some of B’s signature dishes.  The dishes I insisted upon were his Mongolian Lamb made with Leg of Lamb and then slow cooked shin of beef – a dish not often found on a restaurant menu but although slightly heavy perhaps for a warm summers evening is an example of Chinese comfort food at its best!!!

Well we had a full house on both nights with a good mix of new and returning guests. One guest on the Saturday evening was a former work colleague from my days as a hotel and restaurant inspector and he travelled a sixty mile round trip to savour once again Mr But’s cooking as he had fond memories of a meal and cookery demo we all had once at the restaurant where some dishes then became the benchmarks at other Chinese restaurants should they wish to gain a guide book entry.

Mr But has cooked for many a celebrity, Princess Diana was a regular as was Princess Margaret, Sir Paul McCartney held a celebratory Birthday vegetarian lunch when he purchased the rights to the Michael Jackson songbook. There was the episode when he refused a table to Elizabeth Taylor as she wanted to eat late one night after closing time and then there was the King of Tonga who stationed a food taster in the kitchen to sample the dishes before he did!

B has also often been the media face for the restaurant on numerous occasions as he is a master of the art of hand drawn noodles. A magical process of taking simple plain flour adding water and then transforming them in to thin noodles all by hand with absolutely no machines !!! It took him many years to master the art and he has now appeared many times on TV demonstrating this skill. Twice on the Generation Game, BBC Food & Drink show, the kids programme Motormouth and on assorted European TV networks as well. He was the first Chinese chef to demonstrate on TV how to make Crispy Seaweed and he was scorned by fellow chefs as it forced the price down in restaurants as the secret was out it was just fried spring green leaves!

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Well following the welcome glass of Cremant D’Alsace that guests partook of out on our decked terrace we sat them on two tables and served them the assorted dishes as Mr But plated them up. There was an unusual starter of Peking smoked fish. Fresh Plaice fillets that were marinated first then fried and marinated again and once cold cut into bite sized pieces. It took him a total of some three hours to prepare this dish alone!!! A smoky flavour achieved from the marinade was something to savour and appreciated greatly by one fellow chef who had never sampled it before!  Next came a Classic Prawn Toasts made with minced prawn and then topped by sesame seeds and deep fried, another guest remarked he had never had such a generous prawn topping and was the best he had ever tasted!

A favourite of Mrs HC’s is the crispy smoked chicken that was tossed in a dry wok with spring onion garlic and ginger and served on a bed of crispy seaweed. We also had some fresh scallops that were very quickly steamed in his wok and then topped with a piquant black bean sauce that complemented well with the delicate sweet scallop.

Next came the Mongolian Crispy Lamb, B had poached the lamb in a scented stock of spring onions, garlic, ginger and assorted spices, Star Anise, Cinammon, and Szechaun Peppercorns till tender and then the meat is left to cool and firm. To serve we deep fried the meat and served it with washed Iceberg Lettuce leaves that are used to wrap the meat with spring onions and cucumber and a spoonful of his special Yellow Bean Sauce. This is very much a signature dish and as he uses the leg cut as it is not as fatty as belly or shoulder.

The main course dishes then meant he was solidly cooking and plating up as soon as they were ready, some King Prawns quickly stir fried were mixed with sugar snap peas and the sauce of ginger spring onion and garlic commonly known as the “Trinity” meant this was a light and colourful way to kick off.

Next came his stir fried chicken breast with cashew nuts in a yellow bean sauce. Here he just coated the chicken with the sauce unlike others who serve it swimming in a gravy… it was positively divine and soon got knocked back.

The Shin of Beef quickly followed, the beef was firstly plunged into boiling water and then removed once bought to the boil, refreshed and then added back to the pan that had then been prepared with the cooking stock. Then gently simmered for two to three hours and water chestnuts were separately simmered in the cooking stock and then placed in the bottom of the little mini woks we then served the finish dish in, he thickened the the cooking liquor last minute and garnished with some shredded red chilli and coriander – it was his favourite dish of the night and mine too as I explained to guests this is what is termed true rustic chinese cooking and not a dish you would normally see on a menu very often and suited our banquet perfectly!

Then came the fish dish… he had lightly pre fried some Panga Fillets… a fish we had purchased at Wing Yip on our shopping trip… in a light flour and beaten egg so it was like a light batter, placed onto the serving plates it was then warmed in the oven just before serving he made a piquant Szechaun sauce that was spooned over the top and served… the fish was delicate and light and I was very impressed as I admitted to guests it was in fact a frozen fish and Mr But  was also pleased with the end result!

Finally he quickly poached some Pak Choy a crisp cabbage like Chinese vegetable in boiling water and then stir fried with garlic and ginger and arranged on the serving plate and topped with some stir fried Chinese Shittake Mushrooms to complete the dish, a light finish to complete the meal meant we had pulled it all off out of our domestic kitchen!!!

Yours truly then quickly knocked up the dessert I had planned, some grilled fresh pineapple that had been marinated in a stock sugar syrup infused with green cardamom and some slices of fresh banana and then a ball of Taywells finest Coconut Ice Cream and a sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds… a simple finish to what had been a big feast…

The guests on both nights were then treated to a noodle demonstration that was a fascinating insight into a skillful culinary display. One guest remarked how impressed they were but more impressive was how the whole process was conceived in the first instance and it was a breathtaking demo that was over in as another guest remarked was a “blink of the eye” and there was a board covered in noodles.

It had been a real pleasure to host such an evening and I do hope all the guests who came were impressed… Mr But and his wife Sue worked hard and B talked about a future return visit… I’m sure there will be a clammer for the places when we do!

B also had copies of his Memories Of China cookery book and managed to sell all the copies he had bought with him. If others wish to purchase a copy I am able to get more copies of the book at the greatly discounted price of £6.00 and will also get him to sign them… just email me your order via our Book Now page and we will organise!

I was delighted to see how complete strangers gelled under one common bond of “good food” and there was a true buzz around the tables and I believe some new friendships were formed… any thoughts and comments would be welcomed and we now look forward to our next event in early September! For details take a look here

Cheers

Hari

Taywell’s Special Tasting…

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It was a chilly night as we arrived at Taywell’s Ice Cream HQ on the outskirts of Paddock Wood. However, it was a warm welcome from the owner Alastair Jessell who had kindly agreed to host a special “Twuddle” night to taste some new flavours his company had created to enter into the Great British Taste Awards taking place later in the year.

Well it had been well supported with a full house – two tastings took place at 6:30pm and 7:30pm respectively. Alastair explained to us how the ice cream they make is produced in twenty litre batches with their state of the art “Swiss Made” machines that cost a cool 65 grand each (they have two!) The mix is poured into the top of the machine and it is then heated and pasteurised to the required temperature before dropping through to the chamber that churns and freezes the mix to make the ice cream in just twenty minutes. The machines are that clever that if the consistency is not quite right they can programme the machine to remember what it needs to do the next time and it will automatically do that. As one taster remarked I should think so for 65 grand!!!

The ice creams we were to taste had been duly removed from the freezer about 10 minutes before the tasters had arrived as to scoop it meant it would be easier and tasting plates were in place with labels strategically placed along with a plethora of spoons. The new flavours had a tasting sheet to score and comment upon and there were some extra new flavours and style to try as well. (Some special edition Frozen Yoghurts)

Well we got down to the serious business and started to taste first the sorbets as these have the cleanest flavours and they melt the quickest. Then came the Ice Creams and finally the yoghurts.

There was much mirth and merriment as we jostled down the line, a concern from some that the alcohol laced ices meant they would not be in a fit state to drive – Alastair explained whilst he was generous with the booze it was about 1 bottle of the booze to the 20 litre batch so nothing to be concerned about. One question from a certain taster about food colour additives was rightly met with a swift rebuke from Alastair that Taywells only use natural products and no additives… that told him!

After we had gorged ourselves and made the desired notes on our tasting sheets we were then given the chance to sample a reject that had not made the grade, for simply whilst it tasted good it was no more different than a same flavour using less expensive ingredients and would be less likely to be commercially viable.

A trip round the walk in freezer whilst a we bit chilly was like being in an Aladdin’s cave of Ice Cream with a staggering range of flavours and the chance to purchase what we had tasted at a special rate tempted many to depart with their arms loaded and some free samples of the reject!!!

It was a great night and the results of the tasting will be revealed soon and an outright winner that will be given the “Twuddle” seal of approval announced as soon as we have fully scrutinised the ballot sheets and checked them and even snuck back just to check we hadn’t missed something… all in the interests of fairness I am sure you will understand!

And the winner is…?

 

 

Well now, we are pleased to announce there is an upcoming event that is designed to tickle and chill your palate.

The owner of Taywell Ice Creams – Alastair Jessel based at Paddock Wood is opening his doors for a very special taste off.

Taywell Ices are creating some new flavours to enter in the 2011 Great Taste Awards. This is your chance to pass judgement & give your opinion at an organised taste off. You will also have a tour of their production facility and learn more about the making of bespoke ice creams.

The date is Wednesday March 2nd  and spaces are limited to the two time slots of 6:30pm and 7:30pm and your places can only be reserved via the Twuddle/Twuttle web site… please book your spaces here and make sure you state which time you require.