During March the Gastronomes gathered for their Annual General Meeting with this year’s AGM and Dinner hosted by Reunion member Miles Pooley, Chief Executive at The Royal Air Force Club.

The Committee Meeting took place before members gathered together for the AGM. Order was called by President, Bill Brogan, and included at the main table were:

President: W.A. Brogan (Bill)
Vice President: Paul Evans
Secretary: Vic Laws MBE
Assistant Secretary: Mark Emmerson
Treasurer: Martin Dibden

After the AGM, members gathered in the bar for a sparkling reception serving Émilie Laurance, Crémant de Loire, Brut, followed by a fantastic menu and wine pairing created by Miles and his team for the dinner. The front-of-house team was ably supported by six students from Westminster Kingsway and we were also delighted to have in attendance a selection of guests.

The Amuse Bouche was an outstanding Jerusalem artichoke Velouté with truffle mascarpone – it left us all wanting more! Paired with a 2022 Riesling from Reichsrat Von Buhl , Trocken, Pfalz.

Next was a starter of Rabbit & Foie gras ballotine, pickled girolles, rhubarb, brioche paired with a 2022 La Borie Viognier, Pays d’Oc, Languedoc-Roussillon.

Our main course was an exceptionally delicious and well-put-together dish of Fillet of beef, braised short rib pithivier, potato terrine, smoked celeriac purée, Club honey roasted baby parsnips this time paired with a 2020 Château Belvue, Côtes de Bordeaux.

Following mains was a perfectly executed Vanilla & passion fruit souffle, raspberry sorbet, and macerated raspberry, with balsamic & mint for dessert served with a 2019 Château Haut-Fonrousse, Monbazillac.

Last but not least were the ridiculously good petit fours. We wish we had left enough room to devour all of them!

During the evening a raffle was held to raise money for both the PM Trust and Hospitality Action. Prizes included a magnum of Champagne kindly donated by Searcy’s and Champagne afternoon tea at The Beaumont donated by Gastronome Duncan Palmer.

After dinner, Robbie Laidlaw and Chris Mitchell shared tales of their incredible row across the Atlantic which has supported them raising £250,000 for Hospitality Action. An uplifting and awe-inspiring feat and we felt very proud to support them ourselves on the evening raising £1,000 from members and guests.

Gastronome Janet Wigley

March 2024