Saturday Kitchen 28.11.09

SK at Maidenhead Majestic

(by peter)

Some brilliant seasonal cooking this week from Angela Hartnett and French chef Stephane Reynaud.

Stephane, author and chef at Paris restaurant Villa9trois, knocked up a delightful little salmon and prawn number, for which I chose Waitrose’s Valençay Le Petit Saint Louis 2008, La Cheteau, which is currently on offer at £6.99 (down from £9.99) – but you’ll have to be quick as that deal runs out tomorrow, on Tuesday 1st December.

It went down really well – not surprising given it’s a delicious wine and a brilliant bargain. Stephane termed it “great wine”, Angela thought it “delicious” and James got a bit excited, enthusing: “it’s a fantastic wine, priced at that, I still can’t believe you can find bargains [like this] out there”.

Studio guest and comedienne Ronni Ancona voiced a slightly more leftfield form of appreciation. “It’s the first time on the BBC I’ve been served a wine this good,” she said. “Normally it’s like wood alcohol or turpentine.”

Always good to see turpentine featured on a cookery show.

Angela, meanwhile, served up carnivore heaven with her dish, whose title in itself takes quite some digestive powers: “Casterbridge côte de boeuf, cavolo nero, gnocchi with wild mushrooms, bone marrow gratin”.

This called for some acidity and tannin – which I found in delightfully silky form in the San Gimignano Sangiovese 2006, Passoni (Majestic from £7.99 when you buy 2 or more).

Angela professed herself to be happy slurping it at 10:30 in the morning, describing it as, “delicious, really nice”. Stephane, in rugged Gallic form, simply polished his off and asked for more (compliments don’t get more glowing than that from a Frenchman). And James thought it was, “great”.

To finish off, Ronni got her food heaven, winter salad leaves with scallops and bacon. I plumped for the Gavi La Luciana 2008 (£5.97, Asda), which James described as “spectacular”.

“We’ve had some great bargain wines on the show today,” was how James neatly summarised it. Which, from a Yorkshireman, is saying something.

You can find the recipes (and wine details) on the BBC website, as well as the entire show on iplayer (wine bits at 16:35 and 55:25).

As a bonus feature, I’m also including two videos below, taken by producer Andy Clarke. We thought it would be fun to give a behind-the-scenes insight to the filming process. Apart from anything else, you can feel free to laugh at my mistakes (I inadvertantly clone Angela), and see the technical wizardry that helps me find the right wines on the shelf while speaking to camera (ie Andy’s frantic pointing). For best results, compare it to the final version on iplayer and see how much the editing process comes into play.