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Chef Greig Young sings the praises of West Suffolk College and shares a recipe he teaches the students



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Happy new year everyone. I’m loving January so far. Work is still nice and busy; Christmas is completely done with and no more turkey wellingtons for another 11 months! Saying that, Christmas was a great success, Christmas parties were smooth, pre orders in on time, people really enjoyed the food and their company and thankfully we didn’t suffer many cancellations.

I enjoyed my first Christmas fully at home for around 10 years and it was bliss – too many mince pies and one too many pigs in blankets and some much-needed time with my family. I’m not one for new year resolutions, I much prefer to do more of what I enjoyed in the previous year and less of what I didn’t. I love writing this column, so that’s a big tick to 2022, I

like seeing my garden at work coming into its own, another big tick, and I love spending time at West Suffolk College mentoring the next generation of chefs.

Roast beets with goats’ curd mousse, espresso pickles and croutons (54361212)
Roast beets with goats’ curd mousse, espresso pickles and croutons (54361212)

I have massive respect for the team at WSC. Chef Stuart Ascott has been my go-to for the past three years, he’s incredible, I have never met a calmer, more skilled chef who is so committed to each class year on year. Every time I leave that building, I feel like I have learned something, I get as much out of it as the students.

Claire Waterson and Andrew McGowan always keep the front of house in ship shape and are just as passionate as the back of house, organising cocktail sessions at The Northgate bar with our head cocktail maker Lewis and training days at the restaurant. I don’t think they could do any more to get the students industry ready. All local hospitality businesses are lucky to have them putting in the hard groundwork with the future stars.

I did a guest chef tasting menu alongside the level 2 and level 3 class cooking up some Northgate classics – it was fantastic. One of the dishes we prepared was the whole baked beetroot, whipped goats’ curds, espresso pickled beetroot and croutons. This is definitely one you should try at your next dinner party. . . beetroot and goats’ cheese, but a little bit reinvented.

Filling the beetroot with goats' curd mousse (54361227)
Filling the beetroot with goats' curd mousse (54361227)

For this dish you really want some beetroots around the size of a tennis ball, I would go to the market on Wednesday and choose them for yourself.

Edmunds, the restaurant at West Suffolk College, is open for booking, so please give it a go and support the future of hospitality.

See you next month.

Adding finishing touches (54361237)
Adding finishing touches (54361237)

ROAST BEETS WITH GOATS’ CURD MOUSSE, ESPRESSO PICKLES AND CROUTONS

(Serves 4)

Roast beets:

4 large beetroot

2 sprigs thyme

2 tablespoons rapeseed oil

2 cloves garlic

1 shot espresso

50ml water

2 pinches Maldon salt

Method:

Wash any dirt off the beetroot and pat dry. Place all ingredients in a tray and give them a good mix.

Cover in tin foil and bake at 190 degrees for an hour, giving a shake halfway through. Leave to cool while covered in the foil and then carefully peel. I’d suggest gloves for this.

Goats curd mousse:

250g goats’ curd

50g cream cheese

50g cream

Half a leaf gelatine

100g soft whipped cream

Pinch Maldon salt

Method:

In a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and the goats’ curd until super smooth. Soften the gelatine in some cold water. Warm the cream and then dissolve the gelatine in it. Let it cool to room temperature then beat into the goats’ curd mix. Once incorporated, fold in the lightly-whipped cream and season with salt. Place in a piping bag and put in the fridge to set.

Espresso pickled beets:

1 beetroot

120ml white wine or cider vinegar

80g water

40g sugar

1 double shot of espresso (or a teaspoon of instant coffee)

1 tablespoon coffee beans

Method:

Gently scrub the beets then cut off the top. Using a mandolin or meat slicer preferably thinly slice the beets and put in a heat safe container. Bring the remaining ingredients to the boil and pour over the sliced beets. Leave to cool then transfer to the fridge. These are a great condiment and keep well in the fridge, so I’d make a decent-sized batch.

Croutons:

1 slice of sourdough

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1 sprig thyme

1 clove garlic

Method:

I find croutons are best to cut from frozen if you have a good bread knife. Cut into nice small cubes and dress all together. Bake at 160 for 8 minutes or until golden and crispy. These can be done in advance if stored in an airtight container.

Assembly:

Scoop out the centre of the beet as carefully as possible. A melon baller is great for it. Generously fill with your mousse and top with your croutons. Drape your beetroot slices over the whole thing covering up all the mousse to give the impression of a whole beetroot. I love to garnish with young beetroot leaves and bits from the garden.

Thanks all. I hope you gave it a go and I do hope you wore gloves!

Greig Young is head chef at The Northgate, Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds

Call 01284 339604

Visit thenorthgate.com