Well, last week was cray over here at Peaches and Greens HQ (that’s not a thing, I just made that up). But seriously, a pop-up dinner, a blog nom (nom nom), and a special delivery from CANADA!!! (for those of you who don’t know, I have a weird obsession with our Commonwealth compadres).
So, last week I trekked up to Aberdeen for the first ever Peaches and Greens pop-up dinner at the Courtyard Restaurant. I spent the day in the kitchen with team of chefs there helping them prep the menu we’d designed and it was basically the best time ever. I did get a pretty harsh reality check from those guys though. I guess I always knew that chefs work long hours with little thanks (one of my best friends is a chef) but seeing it first hand, and well, actually doing it, made me realise just how hard they hustle. Every. Single. Day. That said, they also seem to have ALL the fun. Can you imagine getting to play with food all day?? Yeah, that’s pretty special. They have incredible banter too. Here are some truths I learned from the guys at the Courtyard.
1) Chefs are super not into plant-based stuff (but I’m hoping I’ve started to change their mind a little on that front).
2) “Don’t be scared of salt.” Direct quote. Everything can be improved by adding shittons of salt.
3) Cashew cheese is not real cheese, don’t even suggest that it’s remotely anything like cheese or you will be mocked relentlessly. Suffice to say, there was much piss-taking on this front.
At the end of the day though, the Courtyard’s chef dudes did an absolutely incredible job: they really rose to the challenge of producing a 100% plant-based, gluten-free meal that proved their creativity, imagination, and talent is off the hook.
So what was on the menu?
Just a little disclaimer. Our photographer for the night fell through at the last minute and I didn’t have my camera with me. Disaster, I know. So, please forgive me because these pics are a little on the janky side, but you get the idea. The ‘rents took this lot and, as you’ll soon discover, they partied pretty hard that night. Gotta love them! If you search #peachesandgreens on Insta, you’ll see a bunch more pics that slightly less sozzled people took.
Socca Flatbread with Cashew Cheese and Pear and Onion Chutney.
This was such a tease! But alas, such is the nature of an amuse-bouche (lololol amuse-bouche). And what’s that red and green splodge there you ask? Oh, that’s just a beetroot and pear puree, NBD… The only complaint here was that people wanted about ten of these. Fret not litte pigeons, I’m going to post the recipe next week so you can eat your weight in them.
Courgette Rollmops with Chickpea filling, Sweet potato samosa, and avocado salsa.
Ummmm, gluten free samosas?? Eff yeah! The curried sweet potato filling was probably my favourite flavour combo for the whole night, and that’s before you take into account the AVOCADO SALSA. Unbelievable! The rollmops were also pretty sensational. Thinly sliced courgette (that’s zucchini in US and A) was lightly grilled to give it those pretty markings, then strips were lined up and topped with a roasted garlic chickpea puree (not hummus, important distinction). The courgette was then rolled around the filling and the whole thing was chilled for a few hours before being sliced up. This was also exceptionally tasty. I’ll try and get recipes for both of these eventually too! I forget what the splodges on this one were, but I do know that they were delish!
Orange Buckwheat Risotto, Garden Vegetables, Textures of Beetroot, Heirloom tomatoes.
(Pictures are starting to get a bit wonky). Anyway, I really loved this course. Because beetroot! Pickled, roasted… PAINTED across the freaking plate!! Didn’t even know you could do that! And turns out, beetroot goes beautifully with orange! This course was really fresh, light, and healthy. This nutritionist approves!
Banana, Coconut, and Chocolate
So yeah, melty chocolate-coconut ice cream, but oh so delicious. On the left we have an individual coconut-banana cream pie. As it happens, chefs are pretty stubborn, and didn’t listen when I told them NOT to put the bananas in the filling. As a result, we have this lovely putrid gray colour. What can you do? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Still tasted yummy. That macadamia nut base is SO GOOD. And blueberry compote? YES!
In conclusion, brilliant food, lovely people, fantastic times had by all. I was ready for bed by the end of it all though!
Thanks to everyone who came and showed their support, to all the new friends I made, and to all the the chef dudes at the Courtyard! Thanks for letting me hang in your kitchen for the day, it was so much fun and I hope you learned as much as I did! Maybe you’ll even put something plant-based on your menus every now and then
Blog North Nom!
In other news, I got nominated by the lovely Amy Liz for a Blog North award and have been shortlisted (from over 500 blogs) in the food and drink category! I didn’t even realise she had nominated me so it came as lovely surprise. Thanks Amy! I owe you a drink! If you like my blog (or even if you don’t really like the blog but you like me all the same), or if you like perving over my food pics, then please take a second to vote —-> http://www.blognorthawards.com/ And while you’re there, take a look around at some of the other awesome blogs! You have until Monday 29th September to cast your vote! And like, seriously, thank you
From Canada With Love!
Some of you long-term blog followers may remember back in March when the lovely Alessandra Savoia of My Vegan Superpowers did a Just my Cup of Tea and shared an amazing recipe for Coconut-vanilla energy balls! (Seriously so, so good! Go make them if you haven’t already!). Well, Alessandra is basically the best because 1) she’s Canadian, 2) she’s incredibly sweet, talented, and a fierce little entrepreneur, 3) she sent me samples of her new My Vegan Superpowers energy bar all the way to England! and 4) She’s CANADIAN! Obviously, I’m in England now so it’s hard for me to get my paws on these, as well as everyone else outside of Canada, so A didn’t have much to gain from sending me these, other than good karma points! That said, if you are anywhere even remotely close to Canada (lucky you) PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, do me a solid and order some of these bars and support my girl!! Not because A is my blog friend, or because I get commission or anything like that (there’s sweet FA in this for me!), but because I really believe in this product! These are perfect. Vanilly and fudgey! And packed full of planty goodness! There are some really shitty products out there masquerading as health foods, but this one is legit! GET YOU SOME here. Or if your life is a perfect movie and you live in Toronto, get them here. And all the best to A with
Also, the packaging is pretty great, which doesn’t hurt
Ok so, recap. Pop-up = super fun, let’s do it again soon. Blog North award = vote your little hearts out. MVSP bar = Treat yo’self! Cool.
I’ll post that flatbread and cashew ‘cheese’ recipe soon.
Until then, be cool!