Last Friday it was with great pleasure that I was able to help two old friends cook their first pop-up venture in Clerkenwell in partnership with Mac & Wild, a Scottish game restaurant soon to open on Great Titchfield St...
I met Mikkel and Jon at Dinner by Heston shortly after I moved to London; and while we have all done our time there and moved on to various other things, it seems the pop-up restaurant scene has brought us back together to do a bit of cooking! Mikkel and Jon are Head and Sous chefs respectively at the current semi-permanent restaurant called 'The Wild Game Co' near Goodge Street. They are soon set to open Mac & Wild, a new venture by the same group and it is set to be a permanent restaurant showcasing great produce (especially Venison shot on the owners' family estate) that Scotland has to offer.
Preceding this opening, the guys wanted to showcase their cookery skills for owners, investors, friends and family alike. They put together a nine-course tasting menu and roped in current Wild Game Co. staff for one night of celebration. When I was approached by the guys to give a hand on the night, I jumped at the chance to not only get involved and cook some good food but it was also a perfect opportunity to scout out the opposition!!
It is always difficult coming into a new space that you have not worked in before and even more nerve-wracking you know that 50 hungry diners are due to show up in a matter of hours. The boys were cool calm and super-organised which made the evening a pleasure, not just for me but for the whole team. The menu consisted of 9 servings and we had 5 chefs in our team to crank out all the food. I, myself was in charge of both the starters, a simple but delicious Venison tartare and a light and harmonious cured Mackerel dish. Rob, with the affectionate title of 'Demi Commis' was in charge of Snacks and Desserts, Jon and 'Lekki' in charge of the hot plated courses and Mikkel himself controlling the service overall.
I got the sense that the night was an overwhelming success, as a chef you can always tell by the dining-room 'buzz' and it certainly was deafening at some points especially with the hand-picked wine-flight accompanying the menu. Take a look at some of the pictures from the night and if wild Scottish Venison combined with cooking of the highest degree takes your fancy keep an eye out for Mac & Wild soon to be open in Central London. Stay tuned later in the week when R will give a blow-by-blow rundown of the dishes served on the night! A.