Story of a Plate: Trout with Guava at Hartford House

On the menu: Wayfarer smoked trout with guava (part of a tasting menu which changes every night)

We were intrigued by the combination of fish and guava – how did that come about?

Chef Constantijn Hahndiek: Yes, it is an unusual dish, and the reason we went for the guava is because that trout is so unique; it’s got both a strong smokey flavour, and also quite a bit of saltiness from the smoking process.

We don’t smoke it in-house, because we can’t beat the quality of Wayfarer (which is extremely well known for their way of smoking; they are artisanal smokers, with an underground tunnel that actually feeds into their smoker, and their curing process is quite special as well). So with that trout – and especially the wine we served with it [the 2010 Jacques Bruére Blanc de Blanc] –  we were relying on all those other elements to make that guava work. Continue reading “Story of a Plate: Trout with Guava at Hartford House”

Plates and places for dining in style

In our latest newsletter we explored the issue of fine dining:

There seem to be an abundance of dining “styles” these days, including some new hybrids, like “fast fine” and “fast casual”, and older movements getting modern attention, like “nose-to”tail” and “farm-to-plate”. But what about good old-fashioned “fine dining”?

The website Fine Dining Lovers recently posed the question of what fine dining is to a group of celebrated chefs across the world, and their varied answers point to the fact that there is certainly nothing “old-fashioned” about it – at least not in the sense that there is a strict formula for how to provide it. One chef summed it up as being about “making people feel good”, while another mentioned providing diners with the “best experience” in a way that doesn’t have to be “formal”, “pretentious”, or “elegant”. Chef Mauro Colagreco (chef-patron of the 2 Michelin-starred restaurant Mirazur on the French Riviera) had perhaps the most poetic answer: “For me it’s a big question. It’s a place where you work with memory, with art. I think it’s a place where you find emotions, luxury – but new luxury. Once, to have a garden was common, something everyday, but today to eat something from the garden is a luxury. Luxury has changed.” Continue reading “Plates and places for dining in style”