August 17, 2015
Kamil Oseka, Head Chef at THE PIG-near Bath shares his kitchen essentials with Clare Hargreaves from Fine Food Digest.
Heavenly Hedgerows Seville orange marmalade
Chris Westgate, who makes this, lives just minutes away so we do lots of things together and she supplies us with a range of produce from jams and honeys to freshly foraged stuff such as wild garlic and flowers. We've offered her hand-cut Seville marmalade at the hotel breakfast table since we opened. I love it beacause it's less sweet than other marmalades. I also cook with it, I add a dash to the oil, vinegar and mustard dressing that I use to finish our smoked duck salad - it gives it a sweetness and a slight taste of orange. I also make it into a dessert jelly that I serve with thyme ice cream.
Wild Beer Co's Madness IPA
This strong IPA - 6.8%! - is made by another local producer, Wild Beer Co, and it's great after a long day in the kitchen. It's rich in tropical and citrus flavours thanks to its high content of late and dry hops. The barman suggested I use it in venison pie, one of our favourite winter warmers, and it works brilliantly - it provides acidity, and unexpected flavour. We use venison from our own estate - we use the loins for carpaccio and dice the legs and shoulder for the pies, which we finish with the beer.
Old Winchester Cheese
We started using this pasteurised farmhouse cheese when we opened the first PIG, at Brockenhurst and we were looking for an English-style Parmesan. Lyburn is based in The New Forest, so were local. Old Winchester is a more mature version of Winchester, a sort of cross between a cheddar and a gouda, it's aged for over 18 months which creates a lovely nuttiness, a bit similar to that of an Old Amsterdam. It's less strong than Parmesan but works just as well and is equally good for grating, melting or shaving. We put shavings onto our smoked venison carpaccio, and into our Jerusalem artichoke salad. I also add it to risottos to finish them.
Chase English oak-smoked vodka
Apparently the idea for this vodka was born after Chase's Master Distiller tasted some particularly fine, smoked salmon at a food fair. It's made by smoking Chase Original Vodka with English oak for around seven days, which creates a fantastic taste with a smooth, soft finish. The smoked vodka works well to marinade meats such as brisket which we then smoked and chargrill. We use this smoked vodka, as well as the rhubarb and marmalade vodkas, in our desserts too. We also pop it into our foraging shots, combining it with our home-produced apple juice and nettle sorbet to give the shots a nice kick.
Bath Harvest extra virgin cold pressed rapseed oil
I used to always use olive oil and when someone suggested we use rapeseed oil at THE PIG I resisted. But then I tried this rapeseed oil and loved it, so now we use it for almost everything. It's a bit stronger than other rapeseed oils, nice and nutty, and it's grown and produced on a family farm at Wilmington near Bath so it's local too. We use it in dressings and in cakes, and to marinade meat. For the herb-infused oils we put on the table we mix olive and rapeseed oil half and half.