Cheshire Life Luncheon - One Eighty restaurant, Pinewood Hotel, Handforth
- Credit: Archant
Colin Starkey and his team created a memorable lunch at the Pinewood Hotel’s One Eighty restaurant in Handforth
Colin Starkey, Executive Head Chef at the Best Western Plus Pinewood Hotel’s Restaurant One Eighty is a much-praised chef who prefers that his food be the star of the show.
But how could we resist the chance to mark the occasion of his 46th birthday, especially when he had come into the restaurant to cook a gorgeous three courses for guests at our latest Cheshire Life lunch?
Calling him into the dining room on the pretext of talking to him about the menu, he was given a rousing chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’ by the assembled guests who had been primed beforehand.
Colin certainly deserves to be placed in the spotlight for his commitment to cooking modern British dishes using the freshest seasonal ingredients.
He has now been at Restaurant One Eighty for the past five years and has created a loyal clientele who return time and again to the relaxed dining room for his inventive dishes.
We were lucky to have yet another sunny day in the middle of the glorious summer as we enjoyed glasses of Jules Laroche sparkling brut - a fruity fizz from Alsace - in the pretty garden of the Pinewood - just one of the things that makes the hotel a popular spot for weddings.
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The canapés served in the garden gave us a taste of what was to follow. There was blowtorched mackerel cut through with a piquant pickled cucumber and beetroot. Sweet, fruity heritage tomatoes were paired with smoked mozzarella and perked up with a sweet chilli jam and soft confit lamb, paired with shallot bhaji and sweet mango.
Guests who had never had the chance to visit the Pinewood before were impressed by their delightful surroundings and the warm welcome from the staff.
Taking their seats for the main event, guests commenced with a starter of Kidderton Ash Goats’ Cheese accompanied by a panna cotta with a hit of truffle. Salt baked carrot and candied pistachio added crunch, texture and punchy flavour. There was a rennet-free version for vegetarians with deliciously sweet beetroot.
The fruity citrus flavours of a Rioja Blanco, Bodegas Vega from Spain, proved the perfect pairing not only to the starter, but to the Mediterranean temperatures outside and like all wines accompanying the lunch, were supplied by the family-based wine merchants House of Townend.
A slow cooked fillet of beef, meltingly succulent, delighted guests and was matched perfectly with the rich, intense flavour of a Malbec 2016 ‘MA’ Xavier Roger from the Languedoc region of France.
For non meat eaters, Colin had elevated the humble cauliflower into an exciting main course featuring plenty of hot chilli and schezuan.
For dessert there was a superbly creamy caramelised honey and yoghurt parfait that was accompanied by granola and apricots.
To add to the indulgence, a Pacherenc de Vic Bilh was the dessert wine from the Pyranee region of Pacherenc in Gascony. This lush and concentrated sweet white, with flavours of marmalade an caramelised honey worked beautifully with the parfait.
From the menu
Kidderton Ash goats’ cheese, truffle panna cotta, salt baked sand carrot and candied pistachio
Slow cooked fillet of beef, celeriac and baby carrots, pickled walnuts and anchovy
Beurre noisette roasted cauliflower with carrot, chilli and schezuan
Caramelised honey and yoghurt parfait, granola and apricot
Jules Laroche sparkling brut, Alsace, France
Rioja Blanco, Bodegas Vega, Spain
Malbec 2016 ‘MA’ Xavier Roger, Languedoc, France
Pacherenc de Vic Bilh