PAVILION ON A PLATE - COOK BOOK
Pavilion on a Plate contains over 100 delicious recipes straight from the Pavilion’s kitchen with a foreward by Brian Turner C.B.E and a special focus on the celebration of Guernsey produce. In June 2012 Pavilion on a plate received an Honourable Mention at the New York Book Festival. It would make an ideal gift or a wonderful addition to any kitchen collection.
The book is available in hard back for £20 directly from The Pavilion (£5.50 postage and packaging to mainland U.K) as well as from several retail outlets across the island or can be ordered directly from Amazon.com.
Originally from Cumbria, Tony Leck made his home in Guernsey in 1987, having moved there as a young pastry chef. Very quickly, inspired by the slow pace of life and the bountiful local produce, he worked hard at extending his culinary knowledge working through a variety of establishments. From the moment he established the Pavilion, set within an eight acre garden a few miles outside St. Peter Port, the restaurant became a hit. Within its first year in 2000, it won the Guernsey Restaurant of the Year title and has since gone on to become the island’s most highly rated restaurant, holding a Michelin Bib Gourmand annually since 2004. The philosophy behind the Pavilion is fresh, locally sourced ingredients – and also very much the focus of this 224 page book. Leck intends for readers to be able to cook all the recipes at home, with the resulting flavours inspiring everyone to come back for more. There is no doubt that the reader will be quickly drawn into each recipe – almost every one is accompanied by clear and enticing photography by Ally Clark. While each dish is straightforward in its preparation, this does not detract from the finished results. Inspired by Guernsey produce, this is food that is achievable and exactly what most of us want to eat, most of the time. Who cannot be enticed by chilled Guernsey tomato consommé, summer vegetables and fresh herbs; freshly picked Guernsey crab salad with red bell pepper mayonnaise, scorched cherry tomato and parmesan crisps; mussels with Rocquette cider, Guernsey cream and coriander; and slow-braised shanks of Sark lamb with red wine sauce. Unsurprisingly, given Leck’s training under renowned pátisserie professor John Huber at Thames Valley University, the sweet section includes a wide selection of dishes which would provide a popular addition to any dessert menu. Gáche melée (a traditional Guernsey apple cake) with marmalade ice-cream and raspberry arctic roll with summer berries are just two of the most impressive offerings. The combination of Leck’s user-friendly recipes and Clark’s stunning images – which provide a real insight into the variety of fresh produce found on Guernsey – make for a book which is both a useful and visual treat.
CATERER AND HOTELKEEPER
Tony Leck’s ‘Pavilion on a Plate’ could equally be entitled ‘Guernsey on a Plate’ as it encapsulates all that is Guernsey – from the traditional dishes we grew up with, to recipes using the finest, hand-picked local ingredients. From Tony’s extensive repertoire, he has created a collection of recipes that are a delight to taste and that the reader will be able to cook at home easily, again and again. Who wouldn’t want to delight their dinner guests with ‘Guernsey Crab Chowder’ or ‘Traditional Guernsey Gáche Melée with Marmalade Ice Cream’? ‘Keep it simple’ is the philosophy behind The Pavilion’s award-winning menu and the emphasis on fresh, local produce is evident throughout the cookery book. The book has devoted whole pages to championing local suppliers and ingredients such as ‘hedge veg’, Rocquette Cider, Fort Grey Cheese, Guernsey Herbs and Porky’s meat, to name a few. The recipes have been brought to life by Ally Clark’s wonderful photography, which makes your mouth water at each turn of a page.
I do not know Guernsey well, and before last year I had never ventured beyond the occasional visit to the streets of St Peter Port en route from Jersey to Sark. Never in my life have I spent the night there – who knows what might have happened? But over the past 12 months work took me there on several occasions – and well I never! The natives are friendly and I slept safely in my bed. One of my stops has been at the Pavilion Brasserie, set in an old barn dated 1520, not very far from the airport. The chef proprietor, Tony Leck, specialises, in his own words, in ‘rustic and comfort food dishes, in keeping with the old fashioned ambience of the building, that lend themselves to the cheaper cuts of meat and local produce’.
Thus there is Guernsey Bean Jar, slow roasted Guernsey beef joints, belly pork, seasonal fruits and vegetables and local cheeses – among much else. There is homemade bread, local conserves to take away….a jolly nice place, in short, and an excellent shop window for Guernsey’s local produce.
Recently Tony produced his own book of recipes, which is not an unknown thing for a chef to do, of course. However, what makes this book so interesting is that it is as much about his suppliers as it is about the recipes. There is very little about himself – a nice change in this over-populated genre of books advertising celebrity chefs.
Interspersed among the recipes for such things as Guernsey traditional Ormer casserole, braised Sark lamb shanks, traditional Guernsey Gáche ‘n’ butter pudding with cider custard, Alderney milk punch, and all the rest, are informative articles on local producers. Thus we meet Fenella Maddison of Torteval Cheese Company, Jason Hamon and Matthew Bateman of ‘Porkys’ rare breed pig farm among others, and articles about Guernsey ‘hedgeveg’, Rocquette cider and other delights.
His book is well presented and informative – very educational for anyone interested in the local produce and culinary traditions of Guernsey. It encourages me to return there, the book as a guide, and learn more about the interesting local produce available there.
Tony Leck has produced a delicious book lavishly illustrated with food and farm photography. The book encapsulates Guernsey’s food culture and lovely vignettes of island life. Guernsey is a mere twelve miles long and yet this small island is up there with the big names when it comes to producing and cooking the best food. The book highlights recipes from the kitchens of Tony’s award winning Pavilion and delicious Guernsey farm food. Tony blends the natural bounty of the island with 30 years experience as a chef to create more than 100 illustrated recipes, some of them unique to Guernsey. There is the meaty and satisfying Guernsey Bean Jar, the heart warming Ormer Casserole made from a molluscan shellfish, the abalone, which is found in the British Isles only in Guernsey and Jersey, and a modern twist on a dish, Potato Peel Pie, dating from lean times during the World War II German occupation of the island. The cookbook has numerous dishes familiar to home cooks that are simple to prepare and bursting with natural flavours. ‘Pavilion on a Plate’ tells of Tony’s journey from his boyhood home in Cumbria to Guernsey, which is the second-largest of the beautiful Channel Islands. Tony places great emphasis on the quality of his ingredients, the vast majority of which come from Guernsey farms and specialist producers. The book introduces us to James Mellor who runs the island’s cider company. Tony tells us the story of Fenella Maddison whose unique variety of cheese rivals France’s best. He takes us to visit Siegi Moherndl who produces, in his view, “the finest herbs in the world”. “There was a genuine thrill in discovering the delights of fresh produce of such a remarkable standard. We take these raw ingredients and turn them into something that satisfies all the senses. We aim to create something that is pleasant to look at and also makes the most of the natural flavours”, he said. Although small by mainland standards, the Pavilion, tucked away in the countryside, has won widespread acclaim. Tony’s skills in the kitchen have been praised by celebrity chef Brian Turner CBE, who personally writes the foreword to the book.
The Pavilion in the Park, St Pierre Park Hotel, St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands Tel: 01481 736676 Email: email@example.com