It was early Saturday morning when I arrived to The Ledbury in Notting Hill London.
I was fortunate to be able to spend the day experiencing this well known, two Michelin star restaurant from behind the scenes.
When I arrived the chefs were already ‘heads down’ and working hard preparing for the busy lunchtime ahead.
The Ledbury is without a doubt a hard kitchen to work in, apart from the usual long hours, fast pace and noise of such a kitchen the real challenge seems to be the long lunchtime service which leaves little time to prep between lunch and dinner, when you do the whole thing over again.
I had worked with the pastry team and shadowed a confident and young pastry chef for the day. I concentrated on making the fresh apple sorbet, jasmine ice cream and mandarin pate de fruit, which was probably the best version I have ever tasted.
The other guys made fresh violet marshmallows, earl grey macaroons, chestnuts bread rolls and more. In such a small kitchen I have got to say they produce quite an impressive amount of work including two home made bread rolls, seven beautiful desserts for the al a carte and a selection of petit four.
The al a carte dessert menu is based around classic French delights including an amazing vanilla and
prune tart with poached pear and pear ice cream, a honey soufflé (made to order in an extremely busy service- something I always respect) and an assiette of chocolate with crystallized walnut and cocoa grue that looked beautiful, (probably the most popular dish on the menu). A particularly interesting dessert was the Olive Oil Pannacotta with Sauternes jelly served with poached quince and fig leaf ice cream- very refreshing and seasonal.
I had a great day and was truly lucky to have a chance to see one of Britain’s top kitchens. Thanks to Brett the head chef and the pastry team for having me.