One Ingredient – Salivating Over Celeriac

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Upon informing friends that I would be attending this particular One Ingredient event, I was faced with the uncomfortable question of “But what is celeriac exactly?” – uncomfortable because I didn’t have the answer. Trying my best to avoid the obvious assumption that it was in some way related to celery, I resorted to a pitiful confused sort of a shake of my head. I am proud to say that post-dinner I have now been enlightened to the fact that celeriac is in fact very closely related to celery & I can almost eloquently explain the virtues of the dear root vegetable.

 

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We arrived to a Lust-ful glass of bubbles from Cardinal Wines which we salaciously sipped while Matt introduced the menu from the evening. As much attention as we tried to pay, our noses drew our minds to the kitchen on the wonderful whiff of truffle. The truffle, we discovered, made a beautiful coupling with celeriac in a lovely, light veloute which we enjoyed whilst the chef demonstrated the first course of smoked salt and vinegar cured angelfish, celeriac fondant, lemon marmalade, walnuts, fresh apple and charred sour dough. Having only recently discovered angelfish, I was delighted to find yet another use for the friendly fish. I was most especially delighted that this use involved vinegar and produced a ceviche-like dish. So delighted, in fact, that I have already stocked up with more pending my recreation (or destruction) of the dish on my own.

 

The first course was paired with Cardinal’s second sin of Envy – a summery Sauvignon Blanc which we sipped upon as we swept back over to Matt’s bench to learn the pleasure of the petit poussin (read baby chicken) in preparation for our mains of whole roast petit poussin, celeriac cannelloni, wild mushrooms and celeriac fricassee, roasted celeriac puree, haricot beans and mustard and celery sauce to be exact. Those of us who had been led to distraction by these sinful wines paid slightly less attention than normally required for the successful completion of our mains, but one need never fear when the dashing chef is near to lend a hand. A little professional help proved no hindrance in presenting our
dish with Pride.

 

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Greedily, we moved back to the dining room to enjoy our dinner along with a Greed-y dose of charming Chardonnay. I was beginning to clearly understand the reasoning behind the naming of the wines when our decadent dessert of celeriac parfait with honey comb, blueberries and tarragon floated into the room. An interesting contrast for a dessert with the slightly salty celeriac being perfectly offset by the crunchy sweetness of the honeycomb. Sloth, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, paired perfectly with the smooth dessert (I refer not only to the wine with that reference to sloth) and left us all feeling more than suitably sated as we have come to expect from these borderline Gluttonous dinners.

The only sin we were left without for the night was Anger – but where good wine, god food and good intentions live, there is no room for malcontent.

 

Photos credited to Fritz Brand 

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