Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Alyn Williams at The Westbury with Simon Rogan

CHEFstock 2013 with Simon Rogan


My third visit to one of the best loved chefs in London, Alyn Williams. I had the tasting menu for my first two visits and I enjoyed them a lot which was partly the reason for me to sign up for this special event hosted by Alyn Williams, Chefstock 2013. For each Tuesday in September, Alyn Williams teamed up with world renowned chefs in Sat Bains, Bart De Pooter, Simon Rogan and Akmal Anuar. I picked Simon Rogan's evening out of the lot as I was in love with his pop up London restaurant Roganic which sadly closed in June this year. To experience his supreme cooking again without the need to travel all the way to the Lake District, Chefstock 2013 was the perfect opportunity.
The legends: Simon Rogan and Alyn Williams


We were welcomed with champagne and canapes to kick start the evening, the Pol Roger 2004 vintage champagne was a very pleasant surprise as I am not much of a champagne drinker, not overly bitter with a great balance of sweetness and softness. The frogs legs cooked in confit lemon with spiced onion dip were the best canapes on the night, a nice hint of South Asian spices with good depth of citrus notes. Alteroses Monsant 2011 from Spain was the best beverage of the evening, soft, full bodied and creamy, one of the nicest wines I've encountered this year and it worked beautifully with the meat course.
Alteroses Monsant 2011

The highlight dish of the evening has to be the raw venison in coal oil, I had a similar dish in Roganic but it was done with mackerel and it was stunning. The raw venison in coal oil added a nice depth of smokiness and peaty notes like an Islay Scotch Whisky, and it worked extremely well with the rich venison with the mustard and fennel which added a nice hint of spiciness, what an amazing dish. The charred rabbit by Alyn was also a real winner, lovely tender rabbit meat with great layers of texture from the turnips and other vegetables. Cox's apple on the other hand delivered both in presentation and taste with fun elements in the mix, lovely fruity flavours with a fine balance of sweetness and sourness.
Raw venison in coal oil / mustard / fennel
Smoked egg /celeriac/ apple/ truffle soldiers
Aynsomes Autumn offerings / herbs / flowers / lovage / salt
Oyster/ belle de fontaney/ gutweed/ onion
Charred rabbit/ fermented turnip/
Keveral vegetables/ horseradish
Peach/ chamomile/ honey duds/ caramelised brioche
Cox’s apple / cobnuts / beetroot / marigold

For £180 per person, it seemed like a lot of money but considering the fact it was eight courses with all the drinks plus canapes and service fee included, I actually found the dinner pretty good value! Many thanks to both Alyn , Simon and their teams in creating such a wonderful evening, top class chefs, amazing food and lovely pairing beverages, it was indeed a very special night.

My Chefstock experience in full:

Frog legs/ confit lemon/spiced onion dip
Tempura cauliflower/ acorn mayo
Hispi cabbage wrap/ crab vinaigrette
Raw venison in coal oil / mustard / fennel
Smoked egg /celeriac/ apple/ truffle soldiers
Aynsomes Autumn offerings / herbs / flowers / lovage / salt
Oyster/ belle de fontaney/ gutweed/ onion
Charred rabbit/ fermented turnip/ Keveral vegetables/ horseradish 
Reg’s Guinea Hen / leeks / offal / artichoke / mulled cider
Peach/ chamomile/ honey duds/ caramelised brioche
Cox’s apple / cobnuts / beetroot / marigold

The Westbury Hotel  37 Conduit St, London W1S 2YF

www.alynwilliams.co.uk

Alyn Williams at The Westbury on Urbanspoon

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