FEATURED RECIPE

At the peril of cliché, the proof is most definitely in the pudding because without a glimmer of doubt, Anthony Demetre’s recipe for Vanilla Cheesecake with Scottish Raspberries is the best I have ever eaten. A dessert from Today’s Special, a new take on bistro food, the filling is sinfully rich and creamy, contrasting deliciously with the slightly salt, crisp, almond shortcake base which is all topped with sharp fresh fruit.

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Special is a collection of recipes from the award winning Arbutus and Wild Honey restaurants, located in London’s Soho and Mayfair, respectively. Arbutus, the brainchild of Michelin starred Chef Anthony Demetre and business partner Will Smith, opened in May 2006 to shining reviews after which the team opened their second restaurant, Wild Honey. The concept of both restaurants is simple: finest seasonal produce at sensible prices and served in relaxed surroundings but what is impressive is that wine is available by the carafe, allowing the opportunity to match different wines with different dishes or indeed to reasonably sample smaller quantities of expensive wines….and a step further: "wine will be replaced should a customer simply not like their choice, even if nothing is actually wrong with it."

 

 

 

 

Knowing that simplicity, generosity and hospitality were the key ingredients of great restaurants, Anthony and Will travelled to New York and France researching exactly what diners looked for in a restaurant, however much or little the bill; value for money alongside proficiently prepared seasonal food.

 

 

 

 

With adept skill, this philosophy has been transferred from restaurant to book thus enabling the keen cook to produce “exciting dishes using top-quality but comparatively inexpensive ingredients…. everyday eating at its very best.”

 

 

Today’s Special was born as a translation of plat du jour – the backbone of French bistro dining. Seasonal dishes prepared from economical ingredients which are then superbly cooked. Discover soups and broths for all seasons, drawing Mediterranean influences such as Chilled Plum Tomato Gazpacho, Andalusian style, Roast Tomato Soup with Mascarpone and a hearty Mutton Broth, guaranteed to keep the chills away and inspired vegetable dishes, many of which would be a perfectly adequate lunch or supper dish, whilst main courses are divided into complete chapters of fish, poultry and game, lamb and pork. Cheaper, less known and used cuts are prevalent, using ingredients such as gurnard, pollock, rabbit, veal shin and many cheaper cuts of beef which are so often passed by. Bavette of Beef with Gratin Dauphinoise with Red Wine and Shallot Sauce is a fine example – accompanied with a glass of full bodied red, close your eyes and be transported to the busy pavement cafés of Paris.

 

 

To conclude, a sweet finale of desserts, some traditional such as Tarte Tatin of Apples or wispy Floating Islands and some contemporaries such as Roast Yellow-Fleshed Peaches with Lemon Thyme and Vanilla or Warm Chocolate Soup.

 

 

Whatever your whim of fancy there is a delicious treat for every diner within the cover of Today’s Special by Anthony Demetre and illustrated by the mouthwatering photography of Simon Wheeler. Please enjoy the sample recipes below, they are truly delicious.

 

 
 

Bavette of Beef with Gratin Dauphinoise

Vanilla Cheesecake with

 

 

 

Published by Quadrille price GBP 20.

portrait of Anthony Demetre and his restaurants courtesy of Arbutus & Wild Honey.

 

 

 

 

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