Last night I was invited to my future Daughter-in-law's 'Budding Chefs' Night at Carlisle college, where she is a training to be a Chef.
What a wonderful meal we had, seven course, and not seven small courses either. LARGE size food.
The table was beautifully set with cutlery that was polished to a high shine. Pristine white tableclothes and not a watermark in sight on any of the glasses.
Table numbers and cute little table decorations were added too.
We started with wine, a good choice on the menu. We had this very reasonable bottle for just under £11.00.
Next came a basket of warm bread. Offering plain white, walnut and olive & sun-dried tomato, which was my choice. Delicious. Not that bread was needed when there was so much food to follow.
Then followed the Canapés....
- Caramelised onion and brie mini quiches
- Mini leek, gruyere & rocket frittatas
- Sweet potato and bacon rosti
- Sticky chilli tiger prawn mousse on salmon fish cake
I had two sweet potato rostis (minus bacon) as I am vegetarian and didn't have the salmon.
All were delightful, but those sweet potato rostis were just heaven on a plate.
Following on from that came the starters.
Mine wasn't written down on the menu, but it was home-made Haloumi cheese on walnut bread with a pesto sauce. It was all just gorgeous, I cannot express just how delicious this food was.
The meat eaters got....
- Confit duck leg served with deep fried risotto balls
It seemed to be served on a bed of vegetables - red cabbage perhaps, so a slight change to the menu there, but there was no complaints :)
The fish course was next, not for me of course, I had beetroot gnocci with an almond pesto sauce.
Another beautiful dish. Now as you can imagine, I am starting to feel full, in fact I could have happily walked away fully satiated at this point.
The carnivores got..
- Baked cod in a vegetable consommé
A refreshing sorbet followed, to cleanse the palate of course. I could have eaten this for pudding! I actually left most of it, although lovely, struggle with the sweet/savoury thing.
Next it was time for the main course, mine was thick buttery slices of swede sandwiched with a wonderful creamed mushroom, accompanied by a beetroot croquette and parnip crisps.
Oh, and this gorgeous little timbale of vegetables. Look at the vibrant colours in that!
The others got.
- Beef cheeks, sausage meat and spinach stuffing with beetroot croquets and parsnip crisps
By this time we were picking, pushing food about on our plates. Wanting desperately to eat it all as it tasted so good, but the space was just not there.
Three puddings to finish. Because obviously we needed three puddings, just in case there was room in our pudding pipes. (all veggie too)
- Honey lemon semifreddo
- Mini chocolate mousse topped with spiced raspberries
- Jelly with Autumn berry compote
Couldn't even manage a full truffle at the end, had a tiny nibble and that was me done. Although Shona seemed to like them :) (stealing one as I take a photo - talk about caught in the act!)
That whole magnificent meal cost just £21.00 per head and I have to say I would definitely go back. You do not need an invite to attend, just check out the events page on the Carlisle College website.
As out evening was made so nice by the fabulous students of the catering department I must mention those who were looking after us. I do apologise that I have missed some people out, but I didn't manage to catch everyone's names.
First of all I would like to thank Helena Gallop and Paul Fell for the most marvellous menu - inspired and one of the best meals I have had for years.
Then Kayleigh Boyd for hosting so nicely.
And last but not least Roza Bystron and Nathan Condy for serving our table so well, putting up with our bad jokes and generally being helpful.
We also had a lovely wine waitress who did an excellent job as keeping us topped up with red stuff, but I missed her name. Thank you to you too, you looked a little nervous but did a great job.