Every job has its perks and as a foodie, being invited to an exclusive dinner hosted by Tom Aikens (headlining act of the London restaurant scene and the youngest chef ever to be awarded two Michelin stars don’t you know), was not only the highlight of my week…but my month!
On behalf of Beachcomber Hotels and Tom Aikens, I was fortunate enough to experience some of Tom’s innovative, creative dishes at one of his stunning restaurants in Chelsea, London. The event was to launch the series of one-off Master Classes Tom will be presenting at the prestigious Beachcomber Royal Palm in Mauritius. For three days only, in March 2013 guests will be able to partake in these classes but also enjoy sit down, private four-course dinners cooked by the celebrity chef over these three nights.
To Start: The night began with Jasmine cured salmon with viola flowers, pickled apple & jasmine oil. The combination of the salmon and viola flowers was something completely new to me. It was light, fresh and the salmon… simply ‘melt in your mouth’ delicious. The other guests and I agreed this dish presented to you in Mauritius, on a warm tropical evening with the waves gently crashing ashore would be magical. However, as it was drizzling outside we had to come back to reality. Our main course sounded perfect for the cold British weather.
Main: After reading the main on the menu, Piglet belly, braised & then roasted with squid & pineapple, I was slightly dubious. I have had both pork belly and squid however never together. As I now know, the two complement each other hugely and it was absolutely delicious, the best piglet belly I had experienced. The small cubes of pork meant it wasn’t too overwhelming and I took my time to enjoy the flavours.
I wasn’t prepared though for the pudding…
Pudding: The diners at the table quietly told their neighbour that beetroot ‘wasn’t really their thing’. I agreed…to me it tastes a little too earthy… but Tom created something that can only be described as utterly unusual and utterly….flamboyant, ‘Candied Beetroot, yoghurt parfait, sweetened beets and port syrup’.
From beetroot meringue to beetroot sorbet each little beetroot delight was so different from the next… how can you make one vegetable into a desert and create quite so many things from it? (Read this fantastic analysis on Tom’s well known beetroot dessert…http://www.foodrepublic.com/2012/09/27/plate-deconstruction-tom-aikens-restaurants-candie
The Tom Aikens Master Classes will take place at Royal Palm, Mauritius between 25th-27th March 2013 and will include:
• Two morning master classes with Tom Aikens
• Champagne on the beach with a joint demonstration of Mauritian cuisine hosted by Tom Aikens and Michel de Matteis
• Three Four-Course Dinners cooked by Tom Aikens each evening
Dedicated to serving ethically sourced, seasonal ingredients of the highest quality, Tom will be working with the Royal Palm and the island’s local suppliers to re-craft his acclaimed signature dishes and give them a Mauritian-inspired twist.
All for just £150 per participant. Non-cooking partners are welcome at the evening dinners for no additional charge.
For more information on Beachcomber Hotels visit www.beachcombertours.co.uk visit and for Royal Palm see www.royalpalm-hotel.com.