The end of August and the beginning September means 1 thing around these parts, Chatsworth Country Fair. It’s a great day out with lots of activities to watch and take part in and of particular interest to me, lots of lovely food! We at the cookery school were exhibiting in the fine food village and I was doing demonstrations every day in the Demonstration marquee as well as the VPDD and Chatsworth Media and Press area.
As you can imagine there was lots of goings on and people coming and going in the media and press area and quite a few ‘celebs’ popping in. Lord Sebastian Coe was the Patron of the show this year, Alan Titchmarsh is another regular attendee to the show.. so I’m told.
On the Friday of the show Mary Berry was demonstrating and she popped in to the area for lots of interviews with various Newspapers and radio shows. I was fortunate to meet her and say hello and get a quick snap, We spoke briefly about the Taste Tideswell Project and how we are encouraging people to use their local shops and amenities and to cook good fresh food from scratch.
Mary Berry With David James, Chief Exec of Visit Peak District and Derbyshire and Joe Hunt, Head Tutor at Tideswell School of Food
Over the Course of the weekend I did 4 cookery demonstrations a day, 3 in the media area and 1 in the main food demonstration marquee. I wanted to showcase some wonderful Peak District and Derbyshire produce.
For the first demo I went for Hartington Creamery Stilton Beignets with Derbyshire oatcakes and roasted peppers (from the greenhouse), The creamy stilton with it’s distinctive tang and saltiness when coated in bread crums and deep fried untill crisp and golden complements to earthiness of the oatcakes and the sweetness of the roast peppers, this dish is great with a dressed rocket salad as a light lunch. If you’ve never tried Derbyshire oatcakes I recommend you do, they have been described to me as ‘like flat crumpets but with more taste’. they look a little bit like wraps but are much tastier.
The second demo was Derbyshire Pork loin chop with cider and grain mustard sauce and a leek puree. There are lots of suppliers of top quality pork around us and marrying the meat with cider and grain mustrad is a classic. By adding a leek puree, basically cooked leeks blitzed down with a little olive oil, thyme and seasoning it makes a delicious alternative to mashed potatoes. The leeks were from our community kitchen garden. The main point on this demo was that pork really doesn’t need to be cooked for as long as people think, I give a 4-5oz pork loin chop about 8-10 minutes in a hot pan with butter and olive oil, depending on thickness of course, more if there is a bone. The pork should succulent and tender with plenty of juices, not dry and chewy. This dish works really well together and is a favourite in my house.
David James with Jim Harrison of Thornbridge Brewery, Lord Coe and the Duke of Devonshire, centre back
The last demo was a classic Tarte Tatin with Chantilly cream and spun sugar. Tarter Tatin seems to have an air of mystery about it when it’s actually quite a simple dish I wanted to show people that you shouldn’t be scared to make caramels and try some basic sugar work at home, follow the basic principles and it’s really quite simple.
Tarte Tatin with caramel apple sauce, chantilly cream and spun sugar
To go with the tatin I made a simple caramel sauce, melt sugar until it turns the colour of straw, carefully add butter and cream, it will spit and boil so watch out. The sugar will crystallize but keep it on the heat, stir it regularly and you can flavour it accordingly with alcohol or extracts, for tarte tatin calvados works well. To this sauce, I diced some Braeburn apple and stirred it in and cooked it for 4-5 minutes until the apple softened.
The tatin sits on a pool of the apple caramel sauce with a little peak of chantilly cream melting into the sweet apple and crispy pastry. To decorate, a little nest of spun sugar sits on top.
All the recipes are on the Tideswell School of Food website if you’re interested. Take a look at our course list while you’re there.