**I am no longer at the Hollingshead in Melton Mowbray, see update at bottom of post.
So tomorrow I start work as head chef for evenings at the Hollingshead in Melton Mowbray. Keeping the menu simple (it’s just little *ahem* old me in the kitchen) and using plenty of local produce. If you are local and have an allotment or garden full of lovely veg or edible flowers please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you are a producer, local or not, and have something that you think I may like then drop me an email.
We are open for dinner Thursday, Friday, Saturday nights 6pm – 9pm service and only 20 covers.
This week’s menu:
Grilled peach and goat’s cheese salad with edible flowers
- Seasonal soup of the day served with local bread and homemade butter
- Grilled peach and goat’s cheese salad with blackberry dressing, watercress, red onion, balsamic glaze, violet flowers.
- Whole Camembert baked with wine, garlic and fresh herbs, served with homemade red onion and thyme chutney,thyme flowers and local bread
- Chicken liver parfait, toasted brioche, homemade chutney crispy fried sage leaf
- Smoked mackerel pate, watercress salad, toasted local bread
Slow roast pork belly on celeriac mash& cheesy leeks with apple, elderflower and lemon thyme jellies, crackling, crispy sage leaf and cider gravy
- Ballotine of free range chicken breast stuffed with wild mushrooms and garlic served with buttery mash and porcini sherry sauce
- Local sausages and buttery mash with red wine and onion gravy and crispy fried sage leaf
- 28 day dry aged Sirloin steak, handcut fat chips, watercress, confit tomato (served with choice of garlic or tarragon butter, peppercorn or stilton sauce).
- Wild mushroom pasta drizzled with truffle oil and aged parmesan
- Rutland trout baked in white wine with new potatoes, watercress and tarragon butter sauce
- Slow roast pork belly with celeriac mash, cheesy leeks, apple elderflower and lemon thyme jelly, cider gravy, crackling
A BIT ON THE SIDE:
- Fat chips
- Seasonal salad
- baby leaf spinach and peas
Seriously sexy freshly made scratchings and fresh salsas: fennel and zingy chilli
** An update. So having had nothing but great feedback from everyone who ate my food and the owners telling me that they were so excited that they now wanted to turn the upstairs of the bar into a separate dining space with lovely white linen sheets because they loved the menu so much I went in the following day to be told “Melton people don’t want real food, they want frozen crap and thats how we make our money. Sorry we have changed our mind and we have no money.”
Well to say I was shocked is a bit of an understatement, particularly as I had only just emailed that morning to let them know I had bought some bits so not to worry about picking them up and was told that’s all fine. 4 hours later I was told they now had no money (despite upon interview being told they were financially in a great position and had a big budget and they wanted to really go to town).
Just a couple of days previously they had told me to quit my other cooking job and come and do more hours with them, thank god I felt they were a bit dodgy so didn’t! The fact that they point blank refused to pay me for the 30mins after the kitchen closed to clean down the grills, label and put away food, do all the fridge checks, sweep and mop the floor etc rang huge alarm bells, well that and the fact they thought it fine to pay a head chef £6.08/hour! “Oh don’t worry”, they said, “tips will make it up a bit” Yes tips paid at the end of the month once the boss has taken £150 out of it to pay for accidental breakages the previous month! Well employers that use tips to pay wages really can’t be trusted. The customer tips because they have had good service and want the tips to go to those that made that happen. The fact that the staff don’t even receive them is appalling.
So yes, I picked up my things from the kitchen and left (although I was given the option to stay on to cook crap frozen rubbish…mm microwave ribs I wouldn’t even feed my dog, tasty!). I wouldn’t even trust that though as when I bought local cider for the “local cider gravy” on my menu I was told to just use the Somerset cider they had. Fine I said, you just need to take the word “local” off the menu. To which I was told “no, Somerset is kind of local”. Yes if that local is a 4 hour drive away, sure! Integrity is important in whatever it is that you do. People will lie to you so they can charge you more for words like : local, organic and free range, but trust me, not all of these places will actually be using that, particularly not the Hollingshead in Melton Mowbray.