Welcome to the first edition of our weekly foodie column by Bryn Evans from Michael Caines Café Bar & Grill.
Bryn Evans began his career at the Michelin starred Chester Grosvenor, with further placements at fellow Michelin starred eatery The Devonshire Arms Hotel, Bodysgallen Hall before moving to the Manchester dining scene and Harvey Nichols, then heading up the kitchen at the infamous Obsidian.
Bryn remains the only city centre chef to have two consecutive 5 out of 5 cooking scores from CityLife.. and can now be found cooking up a storm at Michael Caines Café Bar & Grill at the award-winning Abode Hotel on Piccadilly…
Put simply, apart from my wife to be [we get married in a few weeks!], food is my everything. It is so much more than something that just keeps us going, it drives and dictates our everyday moods and every emotion and more importantly, it’s sheer damn fun.
As we move into Spring such exciting ingredients and colours will come into our kitchens. Often overlooked, and often thought of as only good for crumbles is rhubarb. In actual fact rhubarb is extremely versatile, useful in both savoury and sweet dishes.
The majority of forced rhubarb in the UK comes from the ‘Yorkshire Rhubarb Triangle’, formed by the three towns of Wakefield, Morley and Rothwell. Originally a native of Siberia, rhubarb thrives in the wet cold winters of West Yorkshire, and at one stage in the 20th century this triangle once produced 90% of the world’s forced winter rhubarb crop.
One idea that you can cook for Spring is one you can try easily at home. Yorkshire rhubarb and duck liver salad is quick and simple but the flavours are amazing and it works really well with lemongrass.
The ingredients you will need:
4 x 50g duck liver slices
1 x 15cm stick of rhubarb, diced into small cubes
Half a lemongrass stick, bashed
1 x watercress bunch
75ml chicken stock
Pinch of sea salt
- Take a smoking hot pan and roast the liver
- Colour the liver on one side and add the rhubarb and lemongrass
- Turn over the liver and add the butter and the chicken stock
- Reduce until the sauce is creamy then remove the lemongrass
- Season and serve with watercress.
Simple, quick and delicious.
BEEF SHOULD BE BEEF
Here at the Michael Caines Café Bar & Grill we are passionate about locally sourced produce, no more so than in the wake of this current beef scandal playing out across the front pages.
We use Jack Wood butchers from Failsworth, specialist butcher to the catering trade.
I have always used Jack when I can, including when I was Head Chef at Obsidian. He supplies some of the finest beef around. One of the best examples is the Hanger steak we have on the menu.
Hanger steak is often referred to as ‘the butcher’s cut’ as butchers are well known for keeping it back for themselves to enjoy as it is full of flavour but without any fat on it. We have just started stocking a fantastic ale that matches the steak perfectly – Brewdog Punk IPA has flavours that blend well with the steak and don’t overpower it.
Next week I will give a few hints on how to cook some dishes from our new menu. In the meantime, if you have any burning questions you want answered, send them in and I will do my best to answer them!
Until next week,
Head Chef at Michael Caines Cafe Bar & Grill
All views expressed are those of the author.