Outstanding to have Mike give his time, enthusiasm and expertise in sharing his recipes and tricks-of-the-trade with me. Together we made a glorious ice-cream and two different sauces to ripple through – perfect as there is some hope of sun this summer.
Cooking alongside a professional chef could have been daunting: would I be quick enough, accurate enough and clean enough? On the day, no fear as we happily cooked together: he realised what might be tricky and we found ways of working around blindness. Exactly what I’d like to achieve if my bid for the international Holman prize should succeed.
I’ve eaten his food for years when he was working at my favourite local brasserie and his ever-changing range of home-made ice-creams was always my favourite dessert choice. He even catered a big birthday party for me a couple of years ago. This is a chef on top of his form who has recently launched his own business: catering for that special private dinner party at home to big corporate functions extending over whole weekends.
You can watch us working together: we didn’t include the noisy churning in the ice-cream maker because not everyone has one but the recipe can still work with just a freezer and occasional stir to break up the ice crystals. The salted caramel sauce would work with lots of other puddings – especially the sticky toffee sort – while the strawberry compote is delicious by itself or with meringues, a crisp biscuit, and some sponge – endless variations! And absolutely none of this is difficult and every ingredient is easy to find. Desserts that are so wonderfully wicked that they need to be locked away in a freezer – preferably with guards and barbed wire!
Penny Melville-Brown OBE
Disability Dynamics ltd www.disabilitydynamics.co.uk
Helping disabled people to work since 2000