hands on teaching - mobile kitchen

Every week i get the pleasure to cook with such unbelievably fresh produce and i also get to talk to the producers and find out how their gardens are growing, animals are rearing and cheese is maturing.  As a chef and a passionate foodie it is the most inspirational recipe to create menus.  Just by walking by the stalls and looking at the vast array of seasonal produce you can't help but be inspired.
Nuts are back as harvesting has been upon them - i highly recommend trying the walnuts, because if like me and you have had far to many rancid ones (which come in a packet) it can put you off, until you have a fresh one just shelled  which is creamy, a little caramel and not bitter -now that is what a walnut should taste like.
Quince are in and their season is short so it should be celebrated, i still have quince paste (membrillo) in my fridge from last season. In the next couple of weeks i will demonstrate how to prepare them and some tasty little dishes. Pumpkins, corn and marrow are on the menu today along with raspberries and rhubarb which i will be turning upside down into a cake.
See you all soon, have a wonderful day and enjoy all the fabulous ingredients we have to cook with.


Butler’s berries have saved us time and effort by cleverly bottling fresh raspberries, macerated in sugar syrup and sealed in a jar.  I thought this is not only great over ice cream but delicious folded through this glorious pudding known as Eton Mess.

Serves 4

2-3 cups fresh raspberries or strawberries or 1 jar of macerated berries and 1 -2 cups fresh berries
2 tsp caster or vanilla sugar
2 cups cream
4-6 meringues

If using the fresh berries which are already in syrup then you won’t need to add anything to your berries, however if using only fresh, you will need to cut the strawberries into chunks, sprinkle with a couple teaspoons sugar and a little fresh orange or pomegranate juice to add a little moisture. Whip the cream in a large bowl until thick but still soft. Roughly crumble in 4 of the meringues nests - you will need chunks for texture as well as a little fine dust.

Take out about half a cupful of the chopped berries, and fold the meringue cream and rest of the fruit mixture together.

Arrange on 4 serving plates or glasses or in a mound, and top each with some of the remaining macerated berries and any juice.


Serves 4-6

200g barley

400g marrow, peeled, seeds removed

2 cobs of fresh corn, kernels removed

1 red onion, cut into wedges

1 red chilli seeds removed and finely chopped (i used cherry-chillI)

generous handful wild rocket or any robust leaf

Generous handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 tsp sumac

Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

Extra virgin olive oil

Sherry or red wine vinegar


To make the dressing; 2 Tbsp sherry vinegar. 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, sea salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside

Cook the barley in lightly salted water until tender (15 minutes). Drain, drizzle over a little dressing, cool. Set aside.
Heat up a fry pan with a little olive oil, and add the marrow, cook until golden in colour, add the onion and corn, cook gently for 5 minutes.
Add to the barley and mix through, add the herbs, chilli and rocket, sprinkle over the sumac and add a little more dressing. Mix gently together and taste, adjust seasoning as needed.

This is yet another great recipe for the humble pumpkin. This recipe has a little spice to liven up the cold nights

Serves 4

1 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 Tbsp butter

1 clove garlic, chopped

4 shallots, or 1 small onion, chopped

2 small fresh red chili peppers, chopped

1 tablespoon chopped lemon grass

1.5 litres cups chicken or veg stock

4 cups peeled and diced pumpkin

1 ½  cups unsweetened coconut milk

1 handful fresh basil leaves, roughly torn

1 handful fresh coriander (stalks and all) roughly chopped

Fish sauce – a couple of splashes

Pinch of salt and crack of pepper


In a medium saucepan, heat oil and butter over low heat. Cook shallots, chilli, and lemongrass in oil until fragrant (be careful not to burn the garlic), add the pumpkin and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and coconut milk; bring to a boil. Cook until pumpkin is tender.

Add the basil and coriander and blend the soup in batches to either a smooth or slightly chunky consistency, whichever you prefer.



Rhubarb is back and this cake is not only magical in taste but also in appearance.

Serves 8

300g butter

200g soft brown sugar

350g rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 2cm pieces

200g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

¼ tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

200ml buttermilk

2 medium eggs

80mls vegetable oil

2 Tbsp finely chopped crystallised ginger


Preheat oven to 170C

Melt the butter in a 24cm ovenproof frypan over a medium heat.  Stir in half the soft sugar and cook for about 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved and a caramel has formed.  Remove from the heat.

Add the rhubarb neatly starting from the centre and working outwards in a spiral shape, ensuring that the rhubarb is standing upright and is placed close together.  Set aside whilst you make the topping.

Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Whisk the remaining sugar with the buttermilk, eggs, oil and ginger.  Add the flour mixture and mix well.  Pour over the rhubarb and smooth the surface.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when pressed in the centre.

Cool on a rack for 10 minutes then run a knife carefully around the edge to release the cake then invert on to a serving plate.  Serve warm with cream or ice cream.

Alison would like to thank the following vendors for their incredible produce

ROSEDALE ORCHARDS – pumpkin and corn


TE MAHENO – marrow

BUTLERS BERRIES – raspberries


LEVITIO BAKEERY – selection of bread