HOUSE OF WOLF
November and December 2012
For two months before Christmas, we took over the kitchen as chefs-in-residence at House of Wolf, a historic former music hall on Upper Street in Islington, housing an experimental cocktail bar, a live music venue, and restaurant and private dining rooms.
We cooked a set menu of six courses, featuring the best autumn ingredients we could find, sourced from small-scale producers, foragers, farmers and urban vegetable growers that we have been met and been inspired by over the last few years. The menu changed with the availability of the produce, putting less pressure on our suppliers, and demanding of us a degree of improvisation.
In October we picked ten kilos of fruit, including various hawthorns, quinces, rosehips and sloes, which all found their way into dishes over the run. We baked bread for service every night, using old-fashioned wheat varieties and accompanied by a different experimental butter, which changed weekly.
For the first month, The Butchery supplied us with a selection of cuts of 50-day dry aged beef, different with every delivery, according to their system of whole-animal butchery. We were sent wild mallard ducks from which we dry-aged for between 7 and 14 days in a repurposed fridge. We found a supply of a kind of Atlantic Prawn, pink when raw, which we served with cured back fat from Trealy Farm, and had weekly boxes of wild leaves and fruit arrive from The Forager, which included such things as melilot, dandelions, scurvy grass, and three-cornered garlic. As usual, we cooked with a lot of hay.
In December, we cooked beautiful little french partridges and various pieces of the first pig raised and slaughtered by Stepney City Farm. Mike made desserts from popcorn and parsnip, fruit from Brogdale and pickled sea bass to garnish an array of seaweeds and microherbs.
Einkorn wholegrain bread and yoghurt whey butter
Raw prawns with Trealy Farm lardo
hogweed, mallow oil and salad burnet
Wild sea bass in dill-vinegar, Isle of Bute dulse
purple oxalis leaf, chervil root and celery cress
Wild mallard duck with chestnuts, scarlet hawberries
jerusalem artichokes and sweet clover
Various cuts of dry-aged beef with salsify
fermented turnips, dandelions and oyster emulsion
Textures of Brogdale apples, quince, yoghurt curd
sourdough brioche eggy bread and buttered black tea
Einkorn wholegrain bread and sea lettuce butter
Caraway-cured mackerel with rye,
pickled orange peel, brandy crème fraiche and leaves
Wood-roasted beetroot with chicken skin sauce
brown butter and wild watercress
Various cuts of pork with rainbow carrots, romanesco cauliflower, broccoli, fondant potatoes
Roasted, aged partridge with smoked pears, sloes, salad burnet and malt
Meadowsweet pudding, yoghurt sponge,
parsnip and white chocolate ganache, chervil root