Well-known local food champion Tim McEntire, who heads up the Dorking Food Float, hosted a triumphant evening at top London restaurant Roast at Borough Market using almost entirely Surrey produce.
Having started his career in the capital over 40 years ago, the talented chef went on to have his own restaurants, Partners 23 in North Cheam and then Partners in West Street, Dorking, before becoming director of the popular Food Float stall on Dorking’s High Street.
Tim also rears Gloucester Old Spot pigs at Hill House Farm, in Beare Green, owned by Gareth and Maureen Jones, and for this special event (Thursday March 30), he made their meat the core of his menu in a ‘pop-up’ pork feast. The six-course tasting menu also included quality food from a number of local producers who take part every week in the Food Float.
“It was a brilliant evening,” said Tim, who is pictured with his actor son, Harry, who joined his dad in the kitchen for the first time. “My family were all there – even my mum and dad came and they’re in their eighties – so that was wonderful. I was working with a great team in the kitchen, including old colleagues from my days in London, and we cooked all this fabulous local food from people I’ve got to know really well since the Foodfloat started. It was like coming full circle with all the people I’ve loved and worked with over the years.”
Among the other local produce featured on the menu, watercress was supplied by Kingfisher in Abinger Hammer, chutney came from Debbie’s Preserves in Newdigate and honey from Paul Cleaver in Abinger. Damsons for the pudding were grown at the Dorking Community Orchard and were served alongside a custard made with free-range eggs from Etherley Farm in Ockley. The finishing touch was fudge from The Grange Centre in Bookham.
About 50 local people travelled to London to enjoy the evening – including some familiar Food Float faces.
“I’ve never eaten a meal like it,” said Jessica Thurtell, a regular Food Float shopper who attended. “I thought Scotch eggs were cold and rubbery in a wodge of sausage meat – but that’s not how Tim does it. The yolks were still warm and soft inside a thin sausage meat coat with a crispy crust – it was a whole new experience!”
Tim’s pork featured in several different guises on the menu – roasted, cured, pulled, rubbed and braised – and there was also bacon, sausage meat, faggots and a terrine served with crispy crackling.
“It was a real tour-de-force from Tim,” added another satisfied diner. “I never realised just how talented he was – I hope he’ll come up with another event like this, perhaps nearer to home, so that more local people can enjoy it. It was fantastic.”
Tags: Food Float
local food surrey