Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Master Canapes

I follow quite a lot of foodies on Twitter, I enjoy reading about where they've been, what they've experienced eating out and cooking in.  Inevitably we retweet each others general comments and blogs, which is a great way of discovering new people with similar interests.  I started following @JustCookIt this way before realising it was MasterChef UK 2010 finalist, Alex Rushmer.  It wasn't long before I saw him tweeting with Dhruv Baker, the winner that year...  about coming to Canary Wharf to distribute canapes.  Well, that was just not something I could pass up!

So come lunch time I trundled out of the office to find out what these guys were up to.  There was a portable road-side cafe, but a posh one, with a basic, but working kitchen.  People were casually walking up and trying the canapes, getting the promotional material from the finance initiative that was sponsoring the day.  The guys had made a LOT of canapes... more than they'd made for their City sojourn the day before... but they were going quick - more than half had gone in the first hour of a five hour stint!  Yes, they were popular.

But most people missed out on the best bit - the guys were absolute sweethearts, happy to have a quick chat and patiently pose for photos while keeping the canapes flowing.  They really seem to appreciate their fan base, while still having their feet firmly on the ground.

But back to the food!  This is the important bit, because it was this experience that encouraged me back to blogging after my Three-Star Disappointment.  Dhruv had created a 3-course menu of canapes utilising simple yet powerful ingredients, and then gave them a twist... Yes, they looked absolutely beautiful, but more than that, they were delicious!  I loved them.  

The "starter" was a sea trout with beetroot jelly and a hint of horseradish on a crisp wafer.  Surprisingly fresh and the jelly and horseradish united and lifted it.

The "main" was my absolute favourite though (I managed to sneak a second one... hmm, perhaps that could have been why they had to make so many more?!).  The chicken parfait and vanilla foam tartlets had a sauterne & cognac soaked raisin in the bottom of each and were beautifully garnished with a teeny spring leaf, which was so pretty.  I watched while a new batch was whipped up, and the speed of filling the tartlets was impressive.  

The "dessert" was great too - which just goes to show how good the chicken parfait was, that this didn't win the top place.  Not only was it absolutely yummy, but it was so much fun.  Champagne Jelly with fruit caviar was served with "Space Dust" popping candy to put the bubbles back in! Love it, love it, love it!  If only all canapes were this good..

I have to thank Dhruv and Alex, not only for a lovely diversion from my working day; for making my boss very jealous when I told him what I'd been up to... but mostly for helping me get my groove back!

Cheers, KangaRue


  1. Aaw, fab, they look utterly delicious and how nice to meet the guys!

  2. Not convinced by chicken and vanilla - will have to take your word for it :)

    The pud sounds amazing though!

    Glad you were able to get out there and represent - Canary Wharf is farrrr for me

  3. Huzzah - Success! Thank you for lovely words x


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