From Elena Arzak to Trine Hahnemann – my week in food with some of the top female chefs & more

Week started on a high with a Cava wine dinner tasting some of best Spanish cava in the world paired with dishes created by Elena Arzak at Ametsa with Arzak instruction.   My favourite course was the pigeon prepared with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and grape must – sensational.  Wonderful to taste again the cromlech made with manioc dipped in foie gras.  Favourite cava was Recaredo 2006 Brut Nature Gran Reserva – aged 30 months+ a revelation.   Also intrigued by Cava with Malvesia – subtly sweet and served with a chocolate pancake.

Lunch at Newman Street Tavern as excellent as ever with chef Peter Weedon excelling in thoughtfully produced food using the best producers.  Incredible shrimp fritters with whole  crustacea and sublime Galloway beef tartare were absolute joy.  Fish cakes made with pouting showed Peter’s commitment to using all the catch from his favourite fisherman.

Meeting with lovely publisher Muna Reyal of Headline at suitably foodie Honey & Co over luscious rhubarb cheesecake.

Amused by cheese brand Castello’s invention of smorging as a new way of defining smorgasbord.  Creatively brought to life by my favourite Scandi chef Trine Hahnemann who came up with some great matches enlivened by unusual drink combinations too.

The idea to combine a range of tastes including salty, sweet, sour and umami with balance of soft and crunchy textures.  My favourites were Castello blue cheese & asparagus tart on spelt crust with Glebe Farm Spelt beer,  Castello creamy blue with radishes and chives on crisp bread served with Bloody Bloody Mary beetroot and tomato juice, Castello Tickler with crisp parma ham and green tapenade or salami and green pea puree with an intriguing Earl Grey tea, lime and cucumber cordial.  We finished with profiteroles filled with pineapple cheese with a ginger glaze matched with an intrigued egg coffee with a foam of condensed milk and egg.  A really different treat.