Thursday, 11 February 2016

Taste Talks with Cotswold Gold & Jeremy Houghton

Well 'delicious' were the words uttered out of our mouths as we tucked into potatoes that has been roasted on an open fire and scallops cooked to perfection on crispy pigs head.

In fact it was declared we were to make this our buzzword of 2016. Not hard with all the foodie hot spots on our doorstep.

We were at the home of Jeremy Houghton, former Royal artist in residence (which we now know lots about, thank you very much Jeremy) for an evening of taste talks and fine art, celebrating oils used in dishes and on canvas, hosted by Charlie Beldam, creator of the now infamous Cotswold Gold and of course Jeremy himself.

Jeremy's studio had been majestically transformed by the fabulous Oasis Events with Jeremy describing their work in his studio as 'turning ordinary spaces into extraordinary places'. However we don't think Jeremy did himself justice here as his art also speaks for itself. Jeremy has many an accolade to his name being the former artist in residence at both Windsor and Highgrove, the official; artist for the 2012 Olympic Games and most recently becoming the artist in residence for Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing, in time for the 2017 American Cup. We particularly admired a series of "flight" work where we were drawn to the abstract images of birds migrating, before Jeremy reminded us that it was the space in between that was most important. It totally changed our vision of the images, we were fascinated by looking at the paintings in a new way, totally captivated.

The evening really was a celebration of our very own "Taste Awards" winner Charlie Beldam, who after writing a dissertation at University on finding ways to maximise revenue at his fathers farm, discovered the distinctively nutty taste and health benefits of rape oil. A summer later and hey presto, Cotswold Gold was born. We first worked with Charlie back in 2011 at Stratford-Upon-Avon Food and Drink Festival, one of his first food festivals as Mr Cotswold Gold. Just 5 years later Charlie has won many an award and is a staple in many kitchen across the UK, including the likes of Nigella Lawson and James Martin.

Guests were treated to an interesting menu created and implemented by Tobyn Excell and Cirencester based catering company Relish Events. The dishes were inspired by flavours from the ever growing and award winning range of Cotswold Gold rapeseed oils.

 (Photo's courtesy of Taste Talks)

Each dish was a feast for the eyes and introduced us to to new flavours and foodie concepts that we had never tried before.

Dehydrated carrots served on wheatgrass with a mayo created from Cotswold Gold dill oil. Crispy pigs head with scallops, pickled pigs heart and walnut (we considered ourselves brave at this point) braised ox cheek with white truffle oil, treacle and beer, brill and cabbages with smoked Cotswold Gold, blue cheese ice cream with celery and acorn, and wood blewit savoury linseed porridge amongst others.

Alongside each course was a selection of wine and cider from Sixteen Ridges. We can't believe 25,000 bottles of wine can be made from 7 acres of land in Worcestershire! It is lovely to see English producers being used as suppliers of great wine at restaurants and events across the Cotswolds and beyond.
We really hope Taste Talks become as annual event. What a special treat to get to speak to suppliers of fine food and local drink directly within the four walls of such an acclaimed artist. 

We are looking forward to taking a tour of the Cotswold Gold HQ very soon!

For now, you must follow @Taste_Talks on Twitter and now on Instagram too. We think this is going to become something very special.

Millie and Meg x

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