Chef Of The Month February 2018: David Ferguson

David Ferguson,
The Belmont Hotel, Leicester


David Ferguson studied at Southfield College.  David's culinary career began at Nairns, a busy 120 cover restaurant in Glasgow, where he worked alongside TV chef Nick Nairn.  David spent three years there and moved up the ranks from commis chef to pastry chef.  His subsequent chef jobs at rosette standard establishments provided the ideal training to prepare him for the role of Head Chef which he achieved in 2008 at the Queens Head in Belton.  Since then, he has worked alongside award winning chef Alex Howard and rosette winning chef Marc Billings.  Fifteen year's experience in establishments such as Leicester Opera House have certainly enabled him to perfect his trade. 

David was appointed Head Chef at The Belmont Hotel in July 2016 and gained his first rosette in January 2017, and the second in April.





Slow Cooked Pork Belly with Savoy Cabbage and Bacon Jam

AT Pork Belly, Whole, boneless, rind on

Take the belly and ensure trimmed nicely, removing any loose fat etc.
Brine for 12 hours in an equal solution of salt, sugar and water.
Remove from the brine and pat dry, vacuum seal the whole belly and water bath, 62.5c for 72 hours.
Take out of the water bath and press evenly.  Once completely chilled, remover form the bag and portion into approx. 4oz square.
To re-heat, salt the rind of the pork belly.  Place skin down into a hot pan with a teaspoon of oil for approx. 15 minutes.  This will crisp the skin into a great crackling and gently warm the belly meat through.

Bacon Jam
500g Pancetta
250g Coffee
250g White Wine Vinegar
250g Brown Sugar
3 onions,diced

Gently fry the diced onions without colouring, add the diced pancetta and cook through. 
On a high heat, add the white wine vinegar and reduce, followed by the coffee and sugar, leave to simmer until a sticky consistency.  

Savoy Cabbage, HIspie Cabbage, Calvonero Cabbage
Remove the outers leaves of each cabbage.  Cut the cabbages in half and separate the leaves, removing any thick stem.
Blanch the leaves in boiling, heavily salted water, remove and place into iced water.
Re-heat the leaves in foaming butter to order. 

To Plate
Simply spread a generous portion of the jam across the plate.  Sit two belly squares on top, and dress with the seasoned, mixed cabbage leaves.  Finish and bring together with jus.