Finally! I stepped into the REAL kitchen and cooked with a pro! Here it is how it has all happened…
Last month we visited London. Before leaving a hotel for some sightseeing, my husband was taking some photos in the lobby of The Ampersand hotel, when a Chef came to him, asking him if he was doing it for the magazine, blog, or something like that. He immediately explained that in our family his wife is in charge of that so Chef said he’d like to meet me 😉
Apero just opened few months ago, and so became a new name on the culinary scene in South Kensington, London. The Head Chef, Chris Golding, is a young talented chef who is cooking since he was 13. Chris was a chef in some of the London’s best restaurants, such as Nobu, Nahm and The Square.
When I came to meet Chris in his kitchen, he immediately showed me around and introduced me with his six chefs. Then we spent some time in the fridge, looking the beautiful fresh fruits and veggies and some tasty food they prepared to serve today.
Apero serves Mediterranean food, with a lovely twist of exotic ingredients and spices. Chris loves fresh and colorful, and one of his favorite vegetables are beetroot and fennel. After sharing some ideas on recipes, Chris asked me to cook with him tomorrow. Are you serious? YAY! 🙂
The next day I came to the kitchen, got my jacket and apron and was ready to hit the floor 😉 It was fun! We fried some cherry tomatoes with fresh thyme, made a lovely salad with wild sea bass, purple potatoes and candied lemon, cooked a beetroot risotto and baked macarons (Thank you, Ji Sun!). All in just one hour!
In the end, I have to disappoint you because I don’t have any pics from a day2. I just have a scratched finger, the menu from Apero and the apron hanging on my door! But to thank Chris and bring you the flavor from Apero, I made a beautiful beetroot risotto. Enjoy the pics and grab a recipe in the bottom of the page.
– serves 2 as main –
150g rice (arborio)
400-500 ml vegetable stock/or some celery and parsley root if you don’t have stock prepared/
2 garlic cloves
100 ml white wine
3 tablespoons beetroot puree*
1 tablespoon fresh grated Parmigiano regiano + few pieces to serve (omit if you want a vegan meal)
1 tablespoon butter (omit if you want a vegan meal)
1 tablespoon olive oil + to serve
*beetroot puree (makes a 200g jar):
cook 3 medium sized beetroots (it takes around 1,5 hours)
when they cool, peel them and cut into small chunks, add 30ml cider vinegar and puree it. Simple as that.
1. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan. Lightly fry some garlic (and parsley and celery root), add rice, stir a little bit and pour in the wine. Cook the rice while slowly adding the stock. It will take around 20min.
2. When rice is almost done, stir in about 3 tablespoons of beetroot puree, or more, if you like more color. Let it get into the rice, add some more stock if needed and salt.
3. Add butter and Parmesan, don’t over mix. Done!
4. Serve the risotto with some olive oil, few chunks of Parmigiano regiano and freshly ground pepper. You can eat it with a green salad or a piece of toasted bread. Enjoy!