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Step House Hotel

Community Gardens

From basket to gourmet menu

August 31, 2013

We usually share a cuppa and a pack of jammy dodgers when we meet, so sitting together sharing food from a gourmet menu that mentions the Goresbridge community garden was a very special occasion for the gardeners and a new step along their journey.

Goresbridge Community Garden Fresh Produce Basket

A small delivery to The Step House for Chef to create our Lunch

I recently wrote about the new connection we’ve made with The Step House in Borris, County Carlow. If you missed it you can read it here but we’re at the start of quite an adventure.

Head Chef of The Step House Hotel & Restaurant, Borris, Co Carlow - Alan Foley

Head Chef of The Step House Hotel & Restaurant, Borris, Co Carlow – Alan Foley

We’re learning about supplying a local restaurant with fresh seasonal food, from harvesting and packaging skills and techniques to providing a steady flow of raw food (or not) – this is a new experience for us all. Like all good restaurants, Head Chef Alan Foley is creating linkages with local food producers from foragers to community gardeners, meat, game and vegetable suppliers and he’s enthusiastically embracing the fresh, quality ingredients available so close to his kitchen.

Step House Gardeners & Foragers Gourmet Menu

 

Our supply of herbs and vegetables isn’t consistent enough just yet to demand payment. It was therefore suggested that in exchange for our produce, Chef would create a menu for us once a month that would include our herbs and vegetables.

It gives the gardeners the opportunity to taste produce that’s been grown and cared for in the community garden and Chef to come up with different and seasonal recipes that might entice his customers.

We weren’t disappointed.

My first venture into rabbit will not be my last…

Fois Gras Cream, Harvey Jelly, Chive & Brioche

Fois Gras Cream, Harvey Jelly, Chive & Brioche

Even the non beetroot lovers of the party enjoyed the flavours in this dish.

gravalax of salmon with beetroot

Gravalax of salmon with beetroot

We delivered the butternut squash underripe but wouldn’t have known once it was in the hands of a master. It was roasted, seasoned, roasted again before being whisked with milk to keep it as low fat as possible.

Lightly spiced Goresbridge Pumpkin Soup

Lightly spiced Goresbridge Pumpkin Soup

The pork was cooked gently for twelve hours (can’t wait for our own now!!)

Confit of Tom Salter's Pork Belly

Confit of Tom Salter’s Pork Belly with Goresbridge Sage, Crab Apple Jus

and lastly the dessert, well need I say more…

Local Strawberry, Blueberry & Wild Blackberry Salad with Amaretto Cream

Local Strawberry, Blueberry & Wild Blackberry Salad with Amaretto Cream

We finished off with Chamomile Tea served in the beautiful tea pot which reflected my sunflower frock no matter how I tried to photograph it.

Time for Tea

Time for Tea

As you might imagine, we’re looking forward to developing our relationship with the Step House and will be having a planning meeting to discuss the crops we can grow for the restaurant at our next meet up.

Gardeners, Foragers & ChefIf you’re wondering what you can grow over winter in the garden, take a look at the free monthly downloadable printouts available on the monthly Jobs section of the Greenside Up website.

Community Gardens

Chefs & Gardens ~ A Magical Combination

August 7, 2013

The gardeners of Goresbridge were delighted to welcome Alan Foley to the Community Garden this week.

Talking veg with Alan Foley, Head Chef of the Step House Hotel

Deep in menu discussions with Alan Foley, Head Chef of the Step House Hotel, Borris, Co Carlow

Alan is the award-winning Head Chef at the beautiful Step House Hotel in Borris and thanks to a Kilkenny Leader Partnership funded initiative, the community garden have started supplying the restaurant with herbs and vegetables from the small garden.

Goresbridge Community Garden - July 2013

Goresbridge Community Garden – July 2013

I’ve written many posts on Goresbridge community garden, having worked as their garden tutor since the spring of 2010 so it’s an absolute pleasure to see Continue Reading…