Saturday, 8 October 2011

Saturday morning at Create, Leeds

Joe and I were out last night, rolling home at about midnight.  Imagine my pleasure when my alarm went off at 6.00am this morning to watch the rugby.  To make matters worse, Ireland lost!! (Although as a Scot, knocked out by England last week, I was a little bit pleased that France were on form this morning)

At 11, Joe and I were straight out to an event at Create on Eastgate/St Paul's Street (click here for the website).  Create opened in August and is a social enterprise restaurant, training disadvantaged people and getting them into work.  They are starting a fortnightly program of food and drink demonstrations and tastings on Saturday morning in partnership with Latitude Wines (click here for details), and this week some people were invited to attend the first one.

So after a few beers (and a sneaky margherita) last night, I'm not sure I was entirely prepared for an 11am vodka tasting!

The chap from Latitude Wines talked us through two Chase vodkas and one gin (website here).  Chase is an English company (also the people behind Tyrells crisps) which makes vodka and gin distilled from its own home grown potatoes.  Everything is done on site, from growing to mashing to distilling.  We tried the normal vodka, which was pretty tasty, a gin (48% proof!) and a marmalade vodka.  Although top end price wise, we could definitely taste the difference and were definitely good.

After that we had a food demonstration from the national executive chef and head chef at Create.  They showed us how to make potted shrimps, escabeche, bresaola and beetroot cured salmon (which strangely I had already decided to make this weekend).  Each demo was really easy to follow and you can tell how passionate these people are about their food.  We also got recipe packs and a chance to taste the potted shrimps, potted duck (new to the menu soon), escabeche and cured salmon, all of which were really tasty.  They also gave us goody bags of biscuits, including biscotti, flapjacks, brownie, merringues and honeycomb which were worth the early rise on their own.

There will be demos in 2 and 4 weeks, with the next two covering orchard fruits and cakes, and a Christmas demo is in the pipeline.  I would definitely recommend attending one (only £10.75) and if a demo is not your thing, then at least go for lunch or dinner as Create gets brill reviews.

As well as serving good, British food, this restaurant does a good thing for the wider community and deserves support from the West Yorkshire community.
The Create ethos.
Our first treat - coffee and this cake
Latitude - find their wines and spirits on the Calls, behind the Corn Exchange
Vodka, gin, and marmalade vodka.  Early doors!
The food tasting - potted shrimps, potted duck, escabeche and cured salmon
The potted shrimps - with the secret ingredient of saffron
Potted duck and pickled plums
Beetroot cured salmon (watch this space for my recipe tomorrow!)
The executive chef doing his fish slicing thing

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