Chef Of The Month July 2015: Gareth Parker
Wagon & Horses Lancaster
Gareth trained at Lancaster & Morecambe College in 2000 and was lucky enough to be part of it when it was awarded the best Catering College in the country. After gaining level 3 NVQ Gareth travelled around the globe for two years which was an amazing experience. Following this Gareth spent six months working in London at Michelin Star restaurant Chapter One, before returning to the north to Lakeside Hotel and Sharrow Bay in the Lake District and the Midland Hotel in Morecambe.
In a move away from hotels Gareth ventured into the Pub/Gastro trade, working at The Ship in Caton, Thurnham Hall, Castle Inn in Hornby and Wallings Farm.
Gareth is now Head Chef at the Wagon & Horses situated on the Quay in Lancaster. Although the kitchen is small the majority of the food is fresh and made on site. Gareth has a great team of young chefs who are creative and passionate about food and always keen to learn new things, providing Gareth with what he describes as probably the best perk of his job in passing on his knowledge and experience to the next generation.
Pork, Tarragon & Garlic Wontons with Thai infused Consommé and Cider & Apple Jelly
(Makes 12 Wontons)
- 100g minced pork
- 2 tbsp of chopped tarragon
- 1tsp garlic puree
- 1 pack of Wonton paper
- Salt & Pepper
- 1 pint cider
- 6 gelatine leaves
- 2 apples
- Sprinkle of Sugar (to caramelise apples)
- 1 raw chicken breast skinned and trimmed
- 1 litre of cold water
- 2 lemongrass
- 2 green chilli
- Handful of coriander
- Small block of fresh ginger, about the size of your thumb
- Muslin cloth
For the Wontons
Mix the pork, tarragon, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Take one sheet of wonton paper, place a small amount of mix on half of the wonton and then with some water run your finger around the edge then fold into a triangle.
For the Jelly
Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water. Peel and dice the apple and sauté in a pan with some oil and butter. Once the apple has softened add the sugar then caramelise. Heat the cider, add the softened gelatine and mix until dissolved. Strain the cider into a lined tray and add the apples, then place in the fridge to set. Once set dice into small cubes.
For the Consommé
Put the chicken breast and water in a blender and blend until the chicken is smooth. Poor into a pan and simmer for 20 minutes. In the meantime, slice the chilli and lemongrass, peel and slice the ginger and place all in a 1 litre jug. Return to the pan and there should be a layer of chicken on top of the water. Make a small gap in the middle of this layer and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Take off the heat and strain the liquid through the muslin into the jug or with the ginger, etc. Cover with cling film and allow to infuse. Once the liquid is lukewarm add the coriander and leave to completely cool. Strain again through muslin to complete the consommé.
Assembling the dish
Cook the wontons in a pan of chicken stock for 6 to 8 minutes, take out and dry a little. Place 4 in the centre of each bowl and place 7 cubes of the jelly around the wontons. Warm up the consommé and serve in a separate jug. Garnish with micro herbs.