Monday, June 04, 2007

Vive la Différence at The Old Boot Inn

The mouth-watering menu at The Old Boot Inn has long been drawing the crowds to the village of Stanford Dingley, and recently the talented kitchen team celebrated a year with a French chef at its helm.

Morgan PR was there to write a feature for the forthcoming edition of Out & About and met with the charming landlord John Haley, before he handed me over to the affable French Chef Loïc Gautier.

The mouthwatering recipes adorning the blackboards at The Old Boot Inn almost had me salivating into my notepad and shorthand was tricky as Loïc described his refreshing approach to food.

He explained to me the recipe that has made the menu such a success at this delightful rural venue.

“Simplicity” he said with a shrug. “When I started here a year I knew I had a challenge to build the pub’s popularity. So I make simple food; simple things are often the best.

“So we have a diverse blackboard menu that makes the most of the freshest ingredients that we source from local suppliers – for example all our meat and game when in season comes from Vicars and asparagus, which has just come into season is grown just down the road – and is delicious.

“That is a typical food where simple cooking allows for the true flavour to come out; we also have John Dory on the blackboard today, a delicate fish that needs very little – we are using saffron – to make the most of its potential.

“Some of my flavours come from the South of France – the Cote d’Azur, the Mediterranean. They have really good food there and it was a nice place to work and learn about food and all those fresh Mediterranean flavours.

“When it is sunny there is nothing better than a glass of Rosé and some fresh Mediterranean prawns in garlic and parsley and a butter sauce – that is something I am very big on here, varying the menu to suit the weather.”

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