“Journeyed” Port of Lancaster Eel; Smoked, With Lancashire Waldorf Salad and Foie Gras

North West Young Chef of the Year

North West Young Chef of the Year

Standard Supplier 13th June 2012
North West Young Chef of the Year

“Journeyed” Port of Lancaster Eel; Smoked, With Lancashire Waldorf Salad and Foie Gras

Main course cooked by 2012 North West Young Chef of the Year Lewis Gallagher.

Ingredients

  • Eel
  • Oak Wood Chippings
  • Horseradish
  • Celeriac
  • Hens Eggs
  • Olive Oil
  • English Mustard
  • Red Apple
  • Foie Gras
  • Celery Cress
  • Walnut
  • Chicory
  • Frisee
  • New Potatoes

Method

Lewis' thoughts on sourcing his ingredients:
The first query when looking at this menu would be “journeyed?” As well as wanting to be able to use the best possible produce at all times it’s our duty in catering to also look at sustainable sources. In recent years, eels have seen a decline in number. The number of “glass” eels in our rivers in the North-West have to go on somewhat of a journey to help the population increase.
Caught in local rivers and ports, glass (baby) eels, are then taken to eel farms in the Netherlands, where they grow for around 9 months before being brought back to British waters and continue to flourish in the Rivers Severn and Wye.
The rest of the components make up the Waldorf salad, which was created in 1892 made its first appearance at the Waldorf Hotel in New York before merging with neighbouring Astoria Hotel. I have decided to recreate the Waldorf salad with as many ingredients as I can from within the North-West Region. The main components of the Waldorf are apple, celery and walnut.
The leaf, which is obviously the one of the main components of the salad is sourced from Lancashire. Chicory which is traditionally known as “witloof” in Belgium where it originates doesn’t usually begin to be harvested in Britain until. Working with our local suppliers we have managed to find crops which are being harvested slightly earlier.
Frisee, or curly endive, is also part of the chicory family and is harvested at the same time. Frisee is much sought after for the sweeter yellow leaves which grow from the centre, the British weather however doesn’t produce as much of a yield of yellow leaves as a warmer climate would.
The hen’s eggs are supplied by Reg Johnsons of Goosnargh and have been chosen for their consistent quality and vibrant colour of the yolk.
Foie Gras is also an important ingredient to the dish, although it is not part of a Waldorf salad I chose it for this dish as the buttery texture and flavour of the Foie Gras will eat well with smokiness of the Eel. Producing Foie Gras in the UK is prohibited and due to this fact the Foie Gras I use will be imported from France.
The new potatoes I have decided to use to accompany the salad are locally grown at Mere Brow by Thompsons, averaging a size of ¾ inch to a maximum 1 ½ inches would be perfect to accompany the dish. It is a floury potato and with a good helping of seasoning and local butter has a real earthy flavour that will add another element to the dish.

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