March 2017 - Newsletter
Oh how remiss of me, allow me to introduce Head Chef James Welch
Our English wine series got off to a cracking start last month with our February edition of "This is English". The feedback from the event was terrific with the food being compared to Michelin standard and the wines being devoured by all. We even had a group of discerning french guests that confirmed that the menu was top shelf (they were even impressed by the wines). That's a big win in my book!
However, people's surprise at the quality of the offering made me realise that perhaps I haven't done enough to tell you just how good a chef James really is. He's fantastic and I feel extremely lucky to be working with him and hope that you get the opportunity to taste his amazing dishes soon (if you haven't done so already).
So, here's a bit about James:
James first discovered that cooking was going to be his way of life whilst at University in Sheffield; after a few jobs as a dishwasher he was positively incensed by the food being made and fell madly in love with it! It was then that he chose to learn all there was to this craft; filled with skills, discipline, knowledge and creativity.
He was first trained as a chef at the Italian Restaurant of a childhood friend in Bath; ZaZa. James learned catering fundamentals as well as great dishes like Spaghetti Lobster and how to cook a steak to absolute perfection!
In Sheffield, James worked for two years in some of the city’s best restaurants such as Popolo and the Walnut Club before wanting to take things to the next level and move to London – “The city of cooks”.
Immediately he was working under the patronship of the legendary Albert Roux in Brasserie Roux Heathrow, surrounded by brightly talented chefs James continued to grow as a confident professional chef.
Through a friend’s recommendation, James took a Sous chef position at the vibrant gastropub The Scolt Head in Islington. With their daily changing menus James was now in an environment to really express his creativity and delve deeply into studying regional cuisines dictated by seasonality of the fantastic produce available.
James found a new challenge of refining his style of cooking when he worked in the city in Nomura; cooking for banking executives at the highest standard was where James truly felt his training was reaching new levels of finesse.
After taking the opportunity to travel across America, James returned to England to find his bearings in the 3 rosette awarded Olive Tree restaurant in Bath, and then back to London to help open the brand new Zebrano in the City with some of the team from Nomura.
After a wonderfully busy period and an appearance on Celebrity Masterchef, James left Zebrano to focus on his family and became a freelance Chef in and around London; cooking at a variety of venues including the Leathersellers Company, Bolland and Crust, Black Pot Catering, weddings, hog roasts, private dining and canapé events, and pop-up restaurant events with Cin Cin and the Brewery Kitchen.
Last Chance for Champanois!
At VINtwined, we have so many menus that we want to show you this year which means that each series will only be open for a limited time. Unbelievably, we are coming up to our fourth and final installment of "Champanois" at the Clerkenwell Kitchen. This is an exceptional tasting menu with unique and interesting wines plus a fair amount of wine chat from me.
If you haven't checked out the Champanois menu yet, then get your tickets for next Saturday whilst you can. We have been told that the menu would go for at least £100 in a similar standard restuarant so at £75 its a bargin. What's more, if you can get a group of 4 or more together I'll knock of £10 a ticket contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
They say pictures speak louder than words but this series of moving pictures has a soundtrack ... so clearly louder still. (See below)
Upcoming events – Tickets available through www.vintwined.com
Champanois – 4 Course wine-led dining experience featuring exquisite grower champagnes
14th March – Your last chance to catch this event, book now to avoid missing out
This is English! – 4 course wine-led dining experience championing English wine and local produce hosted at Stepney City Farm (when we say local produce we mean it!).
Dates - 18th March, 15th April, 13th May
Further dates and further events will be released soon, I’ll keep you posted