I have been to heaven. Now back, sadly. Heaven is a place called Skosh, in the city of York (that’s Old World York, a relatively tiny and impossibly ancient place in the middle of Britain; for those who thought I was talking Manhattan).
Skosh is like tapas only Japanese; it’s like dim sum only they serve venison and mackerel; its like a tasting menu only it gives you more than half a bite of each dish and you get away with change from a hundred quid for two. Jay Rayner loved it. Marina O’Loughlin loved it. I loved it.
So this week I’m off to bake celeriac in salt crust and try to reproduce the lime cloud that wrapped my sea trout at Skosh. Yeah, keep on dreaming. For now, I’ll feed me and The Weather Man on small perfectly executed plates of venison steak for instance. Served with sautéed courgettes and garlic mushrooms, but as separate courses.
I’ll make my own tomato butter, since everyone now makes their own butter; not from scratch but from my last ripening tomatoes. Give it a try; it can be spread on toast, stirred into pasta or dolloped on roast chicken fillet.
I’ll fry lots of crispy tobacco onions because everything tastes wonderfully better garnished with them; and perhaps steam a sea bass oriental style. I’ll make Thai fishcakes to keep up the Asian flavours and if I’m really determined I might make some prawn gyoza. I know, it’s more Wagamama than fine dining but at least it’s easier than you think if you have the skins in the freezer. I – and you - could also make some flash pickles to serve with gyoza. They can be made from literally any veg you have at hand, beet, cucumber, carrot, cauliflower or broccoli. That’s also something that will enliven the most boring meat or sandwich. Skosh's Neil Bentinck makes them from girolles – if you’re lucky to get such heaps of girolles you need to pickle some.
There wasn’t a whiff of pumpkin at Skosh (which is a good thing) but York was swarming with spooky freaky creepy and demonic so as a halfway house between occult and sophisticated here’s my Halloween offering: black hearted cookies. For more Halloween things just visit the special collection. And don’t miss new recipes – subscribe to the newsletter!