The Kimpton Fitzroy Hotel London
The 2019 banquet took place in the stunning ballroom of the Kimpton Fitzroy hotel, which contains many original features. Originally opened as the Hotel Russell in 1900 the hotel reopened in 2018, after a massive renovation, as the Principal in 2018, and was shortly after re-branded as the Kimpton Fitzroy London. The hotel had been designed and build by Charles Fitzroy Doll, who specialised in hotel design, and who also designed the dining room of the RMS Titanic. More information on the hotel can be found at: https://www.kimptonfitzroylondon.com/us/en/
Members and guests were received by the President, Wallace Vincent and Vice-President, Alison Frith. A variety of delicious canapés were offered together with Vaporetto Prosecco
Taking its name from the “Little Steamer” boats that used to run along the canals of Venice, this wine is a splendid style of Prosecco, refreshingly sparkling with citrus, pear and floral aromas and flavours.
Moving to the tables, members and guests were welcomed at banquet by the President, Wallace Vincent. Grace was said by the Réunion Chaplain and fellow Gastronome, The Reverend Roderick Leece.
Velouté of Celeriac with Smoked Bacon
Hearty and warming, and very flavoursome velouté, with most of us wanting more.
Cap Cette Picpoul de Pinet, 2018
Award winning Picpoul from Languedoc-Roussillon. Pale yellow colour dry wine, with a softness and delicate aromas of citrus fruits. This wine was also carried though to accompany the first and fish courses.
Roasted Quail, Parsnip Purée and Picked Blackberry
Delicately flavoured and perfectly cooked quail balanced in harmony with parsnip and blackberry flavours.
Gigi Halibut, Creamed Leeks, Confit Potatoes and Lobster Bisque
Perfectly cooked sustainable Gigha Halibut from the Scottish Isle of Gigha, set on creamed leaks and confit potatoes, in a thick and very tasty lobster bisque.
Goosnargh Duck Breast, Cherry, Fondant Potato, Cavolo Nero and a Red Wine Jus
Roasted pink breast of Goosnargh duck from the Swainson House Farm in Lancashire, where the ducks are reared slowly, with no aid from any growth promoters. Beautifully matched with the roasted parsnip, fondant potation and Cavolo nero (Italian kale) and the flavoursome jus.
Pasarisa Pinot Noir, Patagonia, Argentina 2016
From the Catena family range of Pasarisa wines, this unctuous, strong (14%), pure Pinot Noir, had aromas of strawberry and cherry underpinned by hints of forest floor and exhibiting notes of leather and violets. A perfect match for the duck.
Blackcurrant Crémeux, Shortbread Biscuit, Vanilla Mousse and Chestnut Ice Cream
Deceptively simple, but perfectly balanced, and packed with flavour, combination of blackcurrant, shortbread, vanilla and chestnut.
Muscat de Saint-Jean-de-Minervois, 2015
Exceptional example of vins doux naturels, based on 100% Muscat á Petits Grain. A favourite of Janice Robertson, the wine presented delicious aromas of ripe apricot and quince and a pleasant roundness in the mouth created by the perfect balance of acid and sweetness.
Coffee and Petits Fours
Niepoort, L.B.V. Port, 2014
The Niepoort family produces this dark red Port which shows a fresh, floral aroma and a hint of dark plums and blackberries. It exhibits soft tannins and superb dark fruits and has a fantastic length which, although ready to enjoy now, is likely to become more complex by extending ageing.
The Loyal Toast was proposed by The President Wallace Vincent who also proposed the santé du chef et du service.
Supper of the Year
The President presented Diane Rollinson, Business Development Director CH&CO (caterers to the Law Society) with the Gastronomes’ certificate for the Supper of the Year 2019 which had been held at the Law Society, 113 Chancery Lane.
The guest speaker, Chris Moore Chief Executive of the Clink Charity proposed the toast to the Réunion des Gastronomes. Chris Moore then gave a stimulating insight into the work of The Clink Charity, which trains prisoners to gain City and Guilds NVQs in food service, food preparation and horticulture and supports them to help re-adjusting back into society. The Clink has been able to dramatically reduce the re-offending rate of those who have taken part in the scheme. More information on The Clink Charity can be found at: https://theclinkcharity.org.
The President’s Award 2019
The President invited Chris Moore (on the right) to present the certificates and trophies to the two winners of the President’s Award 2019: Alexandros Kaloudas, Restaurant and Executive Lounge Manager at the Hilton Bankside (centre right) and Gabor Nagyvaradi, Assistant Conference and Banqueting Manager at the Royal Air Force Club (on the left).
Pictures by Pictures by Douglas Southall, Pepper Pictures http://pepperpictures.com and words by Gastronome John Cousins