We're 2 months away from our season kicking off, and my team and I are in full preparation mode. The first drafts of menus have been written, tastings have been booked in, and I'm am X Factor style, we'll see the winners of all the dishes put forward feature across our menus this season, with the stars showcasing themselves at the Derby.
This week we've focused on cheese, as the French say “Un repas sans fromage est comme une journée sans soleil!”. Translated, “A meal without cheese is like a day without sun”. As it's always sunny at an Epsom Race day; we need to ensure the cheese matches the quality of racing that the downs attract.
In previous years we've had a strong focus on Best of British, and whilst Britain boast some of the best cheeses in the world - this year I'm looking across the channel at French cheeses.
There aren't many things in life that beat a good French brie. With the abundance of cheese makers across France, various cheese making styles and ageing techniques, we're spoiled for choice with a variety of aromas and varying levels of creaminess. France is always a firm favourite for the soft cheese option on any cheese board.
Teaming a good French Brie with something a bit closer to home; and I truly believe a cheese board is not complete with a good mature cheddar (though a Gruyère or Comté is also a good option).
As an accompaniment, I always include grapes – these are used as a platter cleanser as you move between cheeses.
To find out what makes the cut for our awesome cheese boards, book yourself into one of our restaurants on a race day.