Totally getting into the spirit of Chocolate Week, Winchester’s Chesil Rectory held a rather weird and wonderful event: a chocolate-inspired tasting menu. Fine single-origin couvertures were supplied by Chococo (Dorset-based artisan chocolatiers with a shop and café in Winchester) for Chef Gavin Austin to conjure up an adventure for the taste buds.
Gavin was standing in for Executive Chef Damian Brown as his wife, Katie, had given birth to the latest addition to the Chesil family the day before. Gavin met Damian back when they were working at L’Escargot in London and has since worked for a number of the UK’s top restaurants including Michelin-starred Danesfield House.
His menu featured rich pumpkin tortellini with caramelised chocolate, subtle hake with white chocolate (it really worked), venison with chocolate sauce (which is a signature dish for Chesil Rectory) and the most amazing ‘Textures of Chocolate’ dessert which included dense mousses, popping candy and frothy foams for an extraordinary taste sensation.
The evening was also a celebration of Chococo’s latest chocolate creation using Winchester’s own Twisted Nose watercress-infused gin. Winchester’s very own chocolates are a stunning combination of watercress, gin and chocolate and have already received attention from the national press.
Claire of Chococo explained how this chocolate matures, becoming stronger each day. Eat fresh for the subtlest tang of gin or keep for a week or more for a more heady hit!