Sunday, June 28, 2009

Summer events on IOM

Summer is approaching and with it a whirlwind of food events. Yippee!

I Love ManxChef - Get involved with this fantastic cookery competition and show us what you can do with local produce. I know that lots of you have been to the cookery school and would be perfect for this. So just go to download an application form and I'll see you at the heats.

New timetable - Yes it's that time of year, the new cookery school timetable is here. With loads of dates, brand new classes and a new teacher for our bread-making class (hi Liz). Check it out at

Queenie Festival - We're doing the final date of the Queenie Roadshow @ Tin Bath Championships this Saturday. Then it's all down to Port St Mary for a whole week of queenie activity including Seafood Theatre on Saturday 4th July 11-5pm, I'll be hosting and celebrity chefs Mitch Tonks and Mark Hix, specialists in all things marine will be hands-on and giving us queenie-inspiration. For details of the week-long event go to

Manx Food Fair @ Tynwald Day - 6th July 2-5pm - Get yourself down to the DAFF Forestry Headquarters in St. Johns for food stalls, demonstrations and tastings from local suppliers. I advise coming with an empty stomach.

My dedication to work knows no bounds, so I have been tirelessly testing and consuming kilos of local produce to prepare for the food shows over the summer. Last night's success was Mushroom and Pak Choi Stir-fry. Mushrooms from Greeba Farm via Shoprite, Pak Choi from Dot (Purely Plants Produce) via the Ramsey Farmers Market.

Ingredients - Serves 2
2 large handfuls of mushrooms - thinly sliced
1 head of pak choi - roughly chopped
Splash of sunflower oil, soy sauce, worcester sauce, sweet chilli sauce
Sesame seeds

Heat your oil in a big frying pan. Add the veggies and all of your splashes, keep stirring. Add a splash of water a put a lid on your pan for 3 minutes. Remove lid, sprinkle with sesame seeds and devour.

Apologies for the misty looking photo, steam was causing me issues!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I Love ManxChef - The launch

Last Friday saw the launch of a new cookery competition on the Isle of Man - I Love ManxChef

We're looking for people who can cook local food with flair. A modern look at Manx ingredients is bound to score well with the judges, or knock us out with your grandma's winning cake.
For the launch, with the help of Phil Gawne MHK (that's a Manx politician) and Ray Craine (he's a farmer yessir), we created an array of dishes:
  • Miniature steak sandwiches with homeade mayo and mustard cress
  • Pan-fried plaice with Gujurathi-style beans and a curry foam
  • Quesadillas with black peppercorn cheddar, shredded lamb and crispy lettuce
  • Rhubarb Fool with rose petal garnish

Sounds pretty good hey! It was Manx produce top to bottom, the only exceptions being the sugar/salt/spices.

For more information and to download an application form go to:

Monday, June 8, 2009

I love summer salads... you will be seeing a vast array of them over the coming months. The organic veggie box from Dot is really fantastic and contributing greatly to my salads. I have even cracked out my official summer serving bowls......woohoooo!

Here we have fried mushrooms (from, herbs from Dot, a big pile of leaves from Mill @ the market, quite a few more leaves from my enormous 'garden', chickpeas, feta........all topped with a new oil from Ellerslie Farm, extra virgin cold-pressed rapeseed oil, the colour is fantastic....oh and it tastes pretty good too. It should be on general sale in a month's time. I'll update with details of when + where.

So I thought I'd done pretty well with this, but I was serving to a tough crowd (Stokesy's parents). Kenny didn't like the wait and Helene picked out all of her mushrooms. There's just no pleasing some people.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Inside the Creamery

The first rule of the Creamery Research Panel is: you do not talk about the Research Panel. The second rule is: you DO NOT talk about the Research Panel

Here you can see my cheese hamper, reward for giving my highly respected views (stop sniggering at the back please) about dairy products. Black peppercorn is my favourite at the moment. I had old-school cheese on toast last night, cooked by Basil, thanks Basil! Me and Stokesy had been out on the bike all day and I was too snoozy to make my own food. Basil brought round lasagne and....... Angel Delight!!!!.....My god, I didn't realise that anyone ate that stuff anymore. Tempted though I was I managed to resist and settled for things unable to withstand nuclear holocaust.

Daily Mail visit to Relish

A journalist from the Daily Mail was over on the Island last weekend. As part of her tour of the island she got to spend an evening with me and an assortment of people from the food industry. Lucky her! Here's what we had:

Beer Tasting – The Manx Pure Beer Act of 1874 prohibits the use of anything other than malt, sugar, hops, yeast and water. Local breweries Bushy’s and Okells work within these guidelines to produce a vast array of beers

Hot smoked salmon – Award winning hot smoked salmon from Island Seafare
Horseradish cream – dug out of the ground this morning by Robin of Purely Plants Produce
Green salad – grown in the Relish kitchen garden
Salad dressing – utilising cold pressed extra virgin rapeseed oil grown and processed at Ellerslie Farm in Crosby. A brand new product.

Arabian rack of lamb – A pure and natural habitat combined with excellent animal husbandry, all found on our Island, produces the best quality meat. Provided by Isle of Meats and butchered by Mark at Teare’s Butchers
Carrot, cumin and coriander salad – organic herbs from Staarvey Farm
Spiced potatoes – the first week of new potatoes on the Island

Gooey meringues – local free range eggs from Dot @ Purely Plants Produce
Rhubarb compote – from a green fingered friend
Softly whipped cream – Isle of Man Creameries is a co-operative, operating since 1934. It produces outstanding milk, cream and most recently, an award winning range of cheeses.

Chocolates – newly developed chocolate creations from Cocoa Red
Unfortunately I was too tied up to take loads of photos, but above is a recreation of the rack of lamb (with different side dishes, the eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted). Hopefully her visit to the school will sneak its way into an article somewhere