What makes a forager this happy?
Nettles? No, they’re everywhere. Rock samphire? No, that tastes like diesel. Chicken of the Woods?
Chicken of the Woods is a delicious tree fungus, which often makes its first appearance at the damp end of May. That’s now. Ever walked past a mighty oak and seen a lurid yellow brain bubbling out of a nook in its trunk?
That’s when we jump for joy. Chicken of the Woods has an incredible flavour and texture – the tender tips of its folds are like hardboiled egg-yolk, while the firmer mid-fronds are like meaty roast chicken breast.
There’s nothing better than holding one of these bad-boys in your hand.
Our special main course this weekend (Friday 3rd and Saturday 4th June) is lamb served with water mint, potato gratin and, of course, Chicken of the Woods. Delicately fried, the mushroom browns alluringly. Its rich and complex aroma and buttery tender texture make a perfect compliment for the perfectly-cooked lamb.
Water mint is a wild mint that grows down our local rivers. Its aroma is powerful, not quite spearmint, not quite peppermint: distinctive, sweet and mouth-cooling.
It’s this kind of cooking that gets us most excited. Traditional flavours and dishes, cooked simply and to perfection, but with the added bonus of something completely wild and, to most people, completely new.