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Gourmet Life: Herts’ best barbecue recipe and more

PUBLISHED: 20:00 08 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:03 09 August 2016

Chad Rahman (centre) receiving his award

Chad Rahman (centre) receiving his award

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Fine food and drink news from around the county

Weber winning stuffed flatbreadWeber winning stuffed flatbread

Chef’s Oscar winner

Chad Rahman, executive chef at French-Asian fusion restaurant Chez Mumtaj in St Albans, has added to his trophy cabinet after beating two other finalists to the title of Ethnic Chef of the Year at the Craft Guild of Chefs annual awards.

Guild vice-president Steve Munkley praised Rahman as ‘an outstanding chef - creative, innovative and passionate in his eclectic style of haute cuisine and constantly pushing the boundaries of modern French-Asian cooking’.

The awards recognise the crème de la crème of the UK industry and have become known as the Chefs’ Oscars.

Saira Hamilton's new cookbook range focuses on three key ingredients (Photo: Thinkstock)Saira Hamilton's new cookbook range focuses on three key ingredients (Photo: Thinkstock)

Alternative summer specials

Two top Herts restaurants are embracing summer (well what we’ve had of it so far) with special dining events.

The Cookery at Hoddesdon has launched a series of pop-up ‘boutique meals’ with the latest taking place on July 30. It features a seven-course taster menu with a wine expert on hand to guide guests on what to choose and costs £75 per person.

At the Auberge du Lac near Welwyn, the restaurant is now open for lunch every Sunday with a three-course ‘du jour’ menu at £39.

Dishes to vie with a traditional roast include asparagus and potato velouté among starters and heritage tomato risotto in mains.

Al fresco dining at Luton Hoo

Outdoor food is to the fore this month at Luton Hoo country house hotel and spa with al fresco dining in the form of luxury barbecues in the hotel’s Country Club courtyard.

Menus feature Asian-style marinated salmon kebabs with ginger and coriander, Mediterranean vegetable and halloumi skewers, and new potato and spring onion salad, followed by the traditional strawberries and cream.

New seasonal dishes are also on hand with summer menus now being served in Adam’s Brasserie and the Wernher Restaurant, while residential guests can explore the hotel grounds with picnic hampers from the kitchens.

Herts’ best bbq recipe

A contest to find Hertfordshire’s best barbecue recipe has been won by Hayley Smart of St Albans. Her stuffed Italian flatbread (pictured) took top marks in the event, organised by outdoor cooking equipment manufacturer Weber to mark the opening of Weber World at the Riverside Barbecue Centre just outside Hertford.

Hayley’s prize is a Genesis E-330 gas grill and her recipe will be published in Weber’s new online recipe book, available later this year, and put on the Riverside Weber World Grill Academy menu. Said Smart, ‘My children love Italian food and they were my inspiration because barbecue breads can be enjoyed by all the family.’

Kitchen favourites

Sawbridgeworth MasterChef finalist Saira Hamilton has moved from kitchen to keyboard with the publication of three cookbooks, Kitchen Favourites, each highlighting a favourite ingredient – chilli, garlic and ginger. The books showcase a variety of dishes to make, from cocktails to kitchen suppers and desserts, all based around one key ingredient.

Each book has 20 recipes created by Hamilton, who is self-taught as a chef, designed to give home cooks simple no-nonsense ideas to add to their repertoires.

Kitchen Favourites is out in paperback and available on Amazon and in bookshops at £9.95.

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