twice

When two chefs of impeccable pedigree join forces, only good things are to be expected -– one of the reasons I jumped at the chance when asked to join Tassili’s head chef Richard Allen and Kinloch Lodge’s Marcello Tully for an evening of magnificent food and fine wines. The combined result -– two unique menus showcasing the best of Jersey and Skye produce

During the exclusive exchange, which took place on Easter Good Friday, both gastronomes created a fabulous feast comprising six passionately prepared courses – each dish telling a tale of two manifestly good cooks.

With dishes winking at you from the moment they arrived at the table, it came as little surprise to learn that every mouthful was stunning in its simple intricacy. The soup of celery, doused with lashings of Strathdon blue cheese, showcased an intense depth of flavour, further complemented by a scattering of salacious raisons and crunchy cashews. The next dish comprised a fragrant honey-infused roast quail, served with a tongue-lingering zesty port and orange jus.

Later to arrive was a mousse of delightedly fluffy, warm west coast crab, accompanied by a delicious combo of seared scallops, langoustine and a rich saffron and chervil sauce, adding a vivid burst of colour to the entire plate.

The Highland cranachan proved to be a shot of flavours that added up to a startlingly vivid whole, whilst the passion fruit, poppy seed tuille, served with yogurt sorbet, and dressed in succulent pieces of mango, delivered a light and refreshing twist.

Accompanying drinks, carefully selected by the Grand Jersey’s Wine expert and Restaurant Manager Shaun Corrigan, were every bit as exhilarating: outstanding champagnes boasting notes of brioche, vanilla and baking spices, an elegantly structured 2008 Jean Stodden, a rich and aromatic Pinot Gris, a rare Tintilia del Molise and a 20 year old Terrantez. The icing on the cake – the orange marmalade flavours of a 2011 Mount Horrocks ‘Cordon Cut’ Riesling. Staff were a delicious blend of clued-up culinary connoisseurs and warmth.

The finishing touch was a perfectly presented plate of petit fours, comprising rich salted caramel chocolates, cubes of melt-in-the-mouth fudge, amaretto soaked rusks and a wonderfully light banana soufflé.

Thrilled right down to the final salted chocolate caramel, the effect was a gradual, snowballing and intensely satisfying sating.