Brighton Foodies Festival 2009: Richard Eldon from Blanch House, Beer o’clock with Hepworth Brewery and a cocktail class with fire

by - May 22, 2009

I followed up the Heather Mills demonstration with a master class from Richard Eldon, chef at one of my favorite restaurants, Blanch House. He served some beautiful ostrich with samphire and elderflowers foraged by the man himself. Now we are talking. Beautiful, succulent and real.

Look at this lemon sole! The clever chap wielded a hand blender in a frying pan to blitz a soft-boiled egg and added oil and pumpkin seed puree to effortlessly form a loose mayonnaise. How lovely does that dish look? I manage to sneek a picture in before the stampede behind me demolished it. Pretty, pretty, pretty.

He then magically conjured up a beautiful honeycomb by simply melting sugar, glucose and honey with a little water and heating to exactly 150° then heroically throwing in bicarbonate of soda with no thought for his own safety. The possibility of explosion did not deter him and tah, dah… honeycomb. The cool down was an agonising wait but well worth it.

Dude. You rock.

I ended the day’s festivities with yet more booze classes. I tell you, you could have drunk from 10.30am till 6pm as the drinking classes were back to back and looking at the state of some people (particularly after the 7-shot gin session) I think some did. But who am I to criticize with a breakfast sherry sesh?!

I joined the now largely sozzled room for a beer tasting session with local beer champs Hepworth Brewery, who taught me about the malts and hops (even letting us munch on crystal malt… yum yum), the beer industry in general, their huge tax bills and showcased their wonderful beers from the light to the rich, dark, hoppy head splitters. You can find their beers in the pubs and stores in the southern end of the UK. Also, To make ends meet they do a lot of reseach and experiments for the big boys which I thought was interesting.

After a short break we went for some cocktail classes in the My Hotel bar and learned how to set fire to my kitchen worktop. Marvelous stuff.

I'm looking forward to a bigger (and hopefully better organised) event next year.

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