Dinner at Yotam Ottolenghi’s Soho restaurant NOPI is viewed by many food lovers as one of London’s most exciting food experiences. Later this month, for one night only, you can taste Ottolenghi’s inimitable flavours in Bristol – in the relaxed setting of a village hall and at a fraction of the price.
On Saturday 22nd March, Ramael Scully, Ottolenghi’s head chef at NOPI, will cook a Taste of the East Feast in Long Ashton village hall on the outskirts of Bristol. The menu is a secret until the night, but all four courses offer a fabulous fusion of Middle Eastern and Asian. Scully is Malaysian-Australian so puts his own unique twist on the Middle Eastern flavours that Ottolenghi is known for. Prepare for an exciting culinary journey!
Scully is bringing a high-powered team with him, including Chris Lyon, executive sous-chef at Jason Atherton’s Little Social; Tim Yates, executive sous-chef at 100Hoxton; and NOPI’s very own pastry chef Elad, who will be producing a stunning range of handmade petits fours to round off the Feast.
Tickets, priced at just £40, include a four-course dinner plus coffee/tea and petits fours, and are bookable in advance through the website www.feastwithachef.co.uk.
The event is organized by Feast with a Chef, which runs regular pop-up feasts by top chefs in village halls in Bristol and Bath. Bristol-based food writer Clare Hargreaves, who set up Feast with a Chef, calls it ‘Fine dining without the starch’ or ‘Fine food without the fuss.’ ‘High-end restaurants can often be rather formal and intimidating, so it’s nice to be able to bring top chefs and their amazing cooking to the more relaxed setting of a village hall,” she says. “Many people get to taste food that they might never otherwise experience.”
Other Feasts lined up for spring 2014 include a Chocolate Feast cooked by Hrishikesh Desai, head chef at the cookery school at Lucknam Park, near Bath, with demos and tastings by master chocolatier Marc Demarquette; a Foraged Feast prepared by David Everitt-Matthias, 2-Michelin-starred chef-patron of Le Champignon Sauvage in Cheltenham; and an Endangered Foods Feast cooked by Michelin-starred Richard Davies from The Manor House, Castle Combe, featuring foods that if we don’t eat we might lose. More feasts with exciting big-name chefs are being planned for the autumn. The Foraged Feast is already sold out and tickets are selling fast for the others, so early booking is recommended to avoid disappointment.
If the reception of 2-Michelin-starred Michael Wignall’s Gourmet Halloween Feast in 2013 is anything to go by, what diners love about Feast with a Chef is the blend of fabulous food and the relaxed environment of a village hall. Guests sit at long tables, getting the chance to meet others in their neighbourhood and feel part of a community. One diner said the Feast was exactly what the village of Long Ashton had been waiting for.
Here’s what another said after the Halloween Feast: “Thank you for a delightful feast in Long Ashton village hall. We still talk about it now. What a brilliant idea to be able to enjoy delicious food in an affordable way and at a relaxed, community village hall shared with our friends. We met some lovely people and the atmosphere was amazing – there was a real buzz around the hall. The food was a delight for the senses, and to have a top chef brought to our neighbourhood was a real treat. We can’t wait for the next Feast with a Chef.” Sarah, Bristol.