Chef’s fare: Is it the recipes?

Technique is tops no matter your level.

We are so dependant on recipes regardless of ability. I have been training chefs for a few years now and it is the most interactive and intimate thing I would feel comfortable doing with a colleague (staff parties excluded).

The most basic of tasks is only that way if you have been trained to understand the hows and whys, the nuances and subtleties. This takes magnificent concentration from the student, so you better love the sound of my voice as much as I do.

Every question must be asked at every stage, all though we do not know what they are. A bulk of historic or geographical knowledge beforehand would be preferred. An aptitude for mimicry and a mighty strong palette to boot. We would love everyone to possess these traits, however, I will settle for eagerness.

If you are keen and curious then please understand you can learn any technique, and this is what allows you to learn any recipe.

I would implore people to come out and ask questions, maybe we run a cooking course and we can learn something exciting. Any event or any topic should be broached, I do not know anywhere near enough so we must work collectively and try together.

The recipes I give in this section are necessarily vague and ambiguous because it is a small column and I mustn’t bore you or myself. I wish to treat you with a degree of prior knowledge that exceeds everyone I have ever met. This is not too much to ask as all we have to do is ask.

This week I have been working with my colleagues on a beautiful aromatic savoury corn and cheddar muffin. Collaboration and misfortune is what created the final piece that we are so wildly passionate about.

Misfortune started with orange and habanero jam using the entire orange, this takes knowledge not only to blanch oranges multiple times but to also then not burn them when cooking into an unctuous wonderful jelly (you know who you are and what you did).

We need to control this situation so we evolve into what to pair with a burnt jam. The corn muffin is the perfect partner for smoky chilli citrus flavours, this is not commonly known but it should be, truly wonderful.

The muffins, first too salty, second too blah, third needed an edge, fourth needed more fat, fifth worked.

We settled on the simplest of methods that sounds mightily complex. Corn puree and polenta muffin bases with rich cheddar, lots of thyme and extra fresh corn throughout. Top it all with burnt orange and habanero that we folded through cream cheese to ice it all and topped with a simple lacto-fermented chilli.

That is complicated, but it also kinda really isn’t. When you take the time to learn how simple this is you open up a world of exciting new flavours. I won’t give the recipe for jam, or fermenting as I need to hold a lil something back for those curious enough to email askthechefjosh@gmail.com

Cheddar and Corn Muffins

50g butter (melted)

250g polenta

175g corn

250g buttermilk

5 eggs

1 tbsp sugar

100g flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate soda

A good pinch of chopped thyme

Blend all of the above however you wish

200g cheese

150g corn

Fold through and bake in greased muffin cases at around 350f to 375f for 25 to 40 minutes depending on the generosity of your portions.

Josh White has been in many an entertaining kitchen whilst feeding some fabulous people with the finest foods. A life spent in the basement of wondrous locations provokes enchanting episodes. Head chef at Dose using the best techniques from ancient history to today, bringing you something new on a very familiar plate. If you need any recipes or advice let him know and he will be happy to help.

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