Flavours of Autumn
If there’s one hero ingredient to look out for on the à la carte menu, it’s quince. It will make an appearance as a pickled garnish for a main course with a seared foie gras galette and in an array of puddings.
There are many things about the London summer that we’re sad to see the end of: garden parties, Wimbledon, Pimm’s at 2pm, Negronis at 10pm, long balmy nights (and gloriously lazy mornings). But when it comes to food, autumn is gastronomic prime time, signalling to diners and chefs alike a period to retreat indoors and rejoice in the bounty of produce harvested after months ripening in the summer sun.
Tim Mawn, Executive Head Chef of the Birley Clubs is doing exactly that at Annabel’s this season – and, after a complete modernisation - in a brand-spanking new kitchen to boot. “It was Fergus Henderson who said ‘nature writes the menu for you’, and that’s true. I believe in championing not only British seasonal produce, but anything seasonal from around Europe.”
This September and October, Members can look forward to grouse and game - such as roasted woodcock on buttered parsley toast with rowanberry jelly – wild seashore vegetables for example, foraged sea aster and rock samphire threaded through existing favourites on the menu, and of course, wild mushrooms. “A lot of Members ask for porcini, and although it’s been a dry summer in Italy and the crop won’t be as big, we’ll still source the highest quality hoard. Our food now is about delivering decadence and luxury without dishes that are so heavy you can’t go dancing afterwards,” says Mawn.
If there’s one hero ingredient to look out for on both the à la carte and event menus, it’s quince, which Mawn calls “elegant” and “the queen of fruits.” It will make an appearance as a pickled garnish for a main course with a seared foie gras galette and in an array of puddings.
Oh and one more thing: “the Christmas pudding mix is already made and developing as we speak,” teases Mawn. Something to mull on as the autumnal highlights continue apace at Annabel’s.
Article by Amy Grier