Once again, the post-AGM Dinner was an occasion for us all to remember exactly why we became members of such a worthy and respected organisation.
Kindly hosted by the current Club Secretary, Past President Simon Roberts FIH, the member’s-only dinner followed the tradition for this event, with the menu and wines only being revealed on the night. And what a wonderful evening it turned out to be.
It seems that the AGM was completed with the minimum of delay, giving us even longer to enjoy the pre-dinner champagne served in the Club’s magnificent Smoking Room.
Having caught up with our many fellow Gastronomes, we moved to the superbly tiled David Lloyd George Room where all 40+ diners were seated around one long table – ideal to promote and encourage stimulating and witty conversation .
The meal opened with the most intensely flavoured Celeriac Espuma amuse bouche. Palates and appetites were thus amply primed for what was to follow. The opening fish course of Poached Halibut Fillet with Nantua Sauce was a classic dish, superbly prepared and presented. It was served with Pouilly Vinzelles, “Les Paradis” Louis Latour 2010 which proved to be the ideal accompaniment for the fish – being crisp, fruity and steely dry on the palate.
Poached Halibut Fillet with Nantua Sauce
This was followed by a main course of Cannon of Herdwick Lamb served with a Crispy Sweetbread Boudin, Artichoke Purée, Spring Greens and Fondant Potatoes. This was a very clever dish, combining the most tender loin of lamb and rich sweetbreads with a smooth artichoke purée. Once again, the red wine was an excellent choice. Châteaux Forcas Dupré, Cru Bourgeois Supérieur, Listrac-Médoc 2006 was smooth and spicy with rounded tannins, and very quaffable!
Cannon of Herdwick Lamb
To cleanse the palate, we were served a delightful dessert course of Blood Orange Posset with a Blood Orange Granita.
As a final and hitherto unexpected treat, we enjoyed a traditional savoury of a Harlech Cheese and Broccoli Soufflé. This was really appreciated by all the assembled Gastronomes as a fitting end to a truly magnificent dinner.
Harlech Cheese and Broccoli Soufflé
Coffee and Chocolate Truffles were served with Taylor’s LBV 2008 and Broadbent 10 Year Old Malmsey.
Philippe Rossiter FIH, President Réunion des Gastronomes closed the evening by formally thanking Simon Roberts FIH and his team for their hospitality, leading us with a rousing “Santé du Chef et Service” for making this such an enjoyable and amicable evening.
The President’s charity draw – for Westminster Kingsway College to assist any hospitality students as they felt appropriate during the course of their studies – benefited from a generous donation of £300 The prize of a champagne afternoon tea for two at the Royal Garden Hotel, kindly donated by Past President Graham Bamford FIH MI, was won by the Hon Treasurer Cyril Freeman FIH.