Yorkshire Life Lunch - Chapters, Stokesley, North Yorkshire

An innovative chef creates a meal with a difference <br/>Photographs by Andy Bulmer

There was more than a hint of fun about the menu at this month’s Yorkshire Life lunch. No one expected sausage roll, chips and beans or even boiled egg and soldiers at an award winning fine dining restaurant such as the one at Chapters Hotel in the market town of Stokesley, North Yorkshire.

The welcome was traditional enough, and was made special with a glass of sparkling wine before guests sat down for what turned out to be a delicious six-course adventure.

Head chef Sean Wilkinson smiled as he explained how he loved innovation in cooking and wanted to create something memorable for the Yorkshire Life event.‘It was exhausting,’ he said as he stepped out of the kitchen to talk to guests who applauded him and his small team for an exceptional meal.

‘It takes time but it is fun, different and exciting which is what cooking and food should be about,’

The meal began with pea, ginger and coconut foam and Thai crab chilli beignet served with a variety of warm bread rolls including black pudding, basil, Parmesan and plain.

Then a miniature sausage roll, thin chips served in a paper cone and a bean veloute had everyone smiling and talking to each other.

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Next was goat’s cheese cheesecake with toasted walnut and Bloody Mary followed by melt-in-the mouth lamb – the meat was supplied by Yorkshire Dales Meat – smoked celeriac, cabbage, potato and carrot.

And then the boiled egg and soldiers arrived but the egg was a deliciously light coconut pancetta topped with mango puree served in an egg shell with a brochette soldier on the side. The dish which was devoured also had everyone speculating about the preparation of the egg shell that looked so perfect.

The final dish arrived – a refreshing ginger bread parfait, with lemon curd jelly, orange lollipops and pistachio crumbs, provided the perfect ending to a very full afternoon.Annie Stirk, Yorkshire Life food and drink consultant, said she was ‘blown away’ by the lunch and the chef’s fabulous innovation.

General manager Christopher Neal and owner Steven Bell both said how excited they were about the Sean’s work in the kitchen and looked forward to more developments in the restaurant and the hotel which will see Chapters become a destination in itself.

Wine notes

Wines supplied by Entoria wine merchants, London.

2008 Les Vignes Retrouv�es, St Mont Blanc PlaimontThis lively and fresh wine is perfect as an aperitif. It is also the ideal companion for fish, seafood, poultry, Italian pasta, warm goat’s cheese salad, and a lot more. The bouquet is intense with fresh aromas of citrus fruit. These then give way to more exotic and mineral notes. On the palate there is roundness and richness from the lees aging and perfect balance. There is good persistence of grapefruit aromas.

2008 C�tes du Ventoux Les Boudalles, BrussetThis is a wine for consuming relatively young, with lighter foods like charcuterie and salads. If possible, drink it outdoors. This wine not only looks like raspberries in the glass, but it shows them on the nose as well. On the palate it is supple, elegant and harmonious, and the aromatics give it a lift which can be very moreish.

2005 Muscat de Rivesaltes, Domaine CazesA wine that is pale gold in colour with aromas of lime, grapefruit, tropical fruit and fennel. The palate is rounded, rich and sweet without being cloying as the honey and apricot fruit is balanced with a limey acidity that keeps it fresh through to the soft finish. Poultry, fish or pork dishes which are spicy, otherwise it traditionally matches cheese dishes such as blue cheese and spiced walnut terrine or desserts including cheesecake mousse with rum-poached plums or poached pears with sweet wine.

Contact Chapters Hotel and Restaurant27 High Street, Stokesley, North Yorkshire, TS9 5AD. 01642 711888.

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