A taste of the Mediterranean came to the Manor earlier this month, in the form of Ottolenghi’s (and Sammi Tamimi’s) Jerusalem book, which has just won best cookbook at the IACP cookbook awards. We ran events on both the Friday and Saturday nights, welcoming in 26 guests, some old, some new to our supperclub, keen to try some Israeli treats.
I think there is a perception that Ottolenghi’s cuisine is complicated, but I think what really puts people off is some of the hard to obtain ingredients – such as preserved lemons, sumac, z’ataar and pomegranate molasses. We got some ingredients online but we did find that supermarkets are getting much better at having diverse ranges for sale. Plus, I always think that cooking is all about making something with what’s locally available, so don’t feel afraid to substitute an ingredients if you need to. For example, maple syrup was used instead of date syrup in one of the recipes, simply because I knew that I probably wouldn’t use date syrup again. Just use what is accessible to you, you never know you might create a new taste sensation!
The Jerusalem book is a good introduction to Israeli food – from the melting pot of Jewish influenced cuisine to more traditional Palestinian fare. This is interspersed with accounts from Ottolenghi about his experiences of growing up in such a beautiful place, but one that is so plagued with political unsettle. It certainly makes it an intriguing place to visit one day.
We tried to pick a good range of morsels that people would expect to find on a middle eastern menu, but also those that may surprise and intrigue. The welcome drink was a vodka spiked pomegranate fizz with rose syrup. This was paired with canapés that included homemade falafel. These were filled with tons of lovely spices and, believe it or not, raw chickpeas. This ensured the texture was moist and light rather than dry and heavy. I love falafel and loved cooking these so may invest in a proper press. Also on offer were crostini with a vividly pink beetroot and zataar dip. This was full of complex flavours – sweetness from the beetroot and maple syrup; saltiness and intense savouriness from the z’ataar. The final canapé was a little lamb and pine nut koftas, seasoned with allspice and cinnamon (amongst other spices) and served it a smooth tahini and garlic sauce.
I had an impromptu trip to the North Wales coast this weekend. Without going into too much boring detail, I was all set for a holiday to the Basque country (I was packed and everything) when I realised my sodding passport had gone AWOL. I am now probably the leading expert in replacing passports in the whole of West Leeds. Needless to say travel to Spain had to be cancelled. Having said that I was all hyped up for a trip away and had no intention of returning to work, and so we picked a destination that was pleasant and close enough to the Liverpool passport office! The small saving grace was that the weather in Wales was actually far nicer than what was being forecast in our foreign destination, what a relief!
So, North Wales… land of castles, Anglesey salt, slate (for using as plates) and BLACK BOMBER CHEESE, mmmmmm. An unexpected foodie paradise I am sure you will agree. We kick started our weekend at the newly opened Welsh Farm Food Centre, housed in an old farm on the edge of Colwyn Bay. Beautifully renovated, it’s home to a massive farm shop, bee centre, tea room, restaurant, cookery school and overnight accommodation – lovely! I rinsed the farm shop buying local ales, mustard, honey, cheeses, biscuits, fudge and reasonably priced crockery. The meat counter also looked first class, but sadly we didn’t need any meat and so there seemed no point in browsing further if I couldn’t buy any.
Their Hayloft Restaurant is a bit of a destination dinner spot. It won’t get much footfall and so will rely on those who know that the farm shop exists. We decided to book for later in our trip after we’d visited the shop. As it’s all newly renovated the spaces are absolutely gorgeous and dripping in luxurious fabrics and furniture that reflect the colours and shapes of the natural world. We perused our menus whilst sat in the quiet bar area. I ordered a local Welsh white wine to slurp as I chose. Unfortunately this was sold out so I went for a French counterpart, which was a bit disappointing. In hindsight I guess it’s the wrong time of year to expect local wine – especially after last year’s summer.
Saturday 21st September 2013, from 7pm, £30pp Sorry this event is now sold out
One of the newest additions to the Manor’s library is Salma Hage’s ‘Lebanese Kitchen’ and what a welcome addition it is too. This is the ultimate encyclopedic homage to Lebanese cuisine and is one of the most beautiful and tactile cookbooks we’ve ever owned.
Our Ottolenghi events always seem to be popular, perhaps because the food is still not that mainstream. We hope that this Lebanese event will be equally popular. As a very fertile land, Lebanon lends itself well to very seasonal produce of the freshest quality.
Think spicy falafels, comforting dips and juicy slow cooked meats with hints of earthy and spicy zataar and sumac. These are all ingredients we love cooking with at the Manor and which we can’t wait to bring back into our West Leeds Kitchen. Book on now to avoid disappointment!
Saturday 17th August 2013, 7pm, £30pp Sorry this event is now sold out
Like many others we are huge fans of the cult American junk food show ‘Man Vs Food’. Its vulgar and gluttonous food challenges never fail to make us feel instantly hungry! Whilst we promise not to fill you to the point of explosion, nor burn your insides with chilli heat, what we do promise to do is to bring you classic Americana recipes from our favourite American cook books.
Manor vs Food, Manor vs Food!
For this event think juicy slow cooked BBQ meats, burgers & sliders, crunchy slaws, comforting mac ‘n’ cheese, and punchy sauces, mmmm it’s making us salivate now! As it’s our summer event we’ll be hoping to utilise the BBQ and make even get guests out in the garden, weather permitting. If you love big, bold food then this is the supperclub for you!
For your own slice of America in West Leeds, book now using the link below!
Saturday 6th July 2013, 3pm – 5pm, £20pp – now sold out
Having run a number of private afternoon tea events we’re now opening these up to other guests. We love any excuse for a good old baking session and we’ve recently put together a mismatched tea set and are keen to put it to further good use!
For the cheaper price of £20pp we’ll be offering 4 types of savoury, 4 types of sweet treat and a welcome cocktail on arrival. Think picnic sandwiches, fresh quiches, fruity cakes and creamy delicacies all served up in our shabby chic, Victoriana dining room. As always guests are encouraged to bring their own drinks, which we will embellish with a selection of fine teas and coffees. Use the link below to secure your space!
We’ve been having a great response to our supper clubs of late, from both guests old and new. We still love running our dining events, and whilst we still have this passion and people still want to dine with us, we’ll continue to put events on. As a result, we’re just putting the finishing touches to our next set of dates and will be releasing them for sale next week - keep your eyes peeled as they tend to sell out fast!
Our Booking System
We’re slightly changing the way in which people can book on to make it more simple and straightforward. Instead of paying a deposit at the time of booking, we’ll be asking guests to buy tickets up front for the dates that they want to come to. We hope that this will make the supperclub experience an easier one all round, as it means there’s no confusion over what balance needs to be paid prior to the event taking place.
What if I can no longer attend? We know that lives are busy and so If you find that you can’t come after you have booked on, then so long as you let us know at least 3 weeks prior to the event happening then we will be able to refund your ticket price in full (minus a small admin fee that Paypal charges us).
If you notify us 2 weeks before the event then we’ll be able to refund 50% of the ticket price, and if it’s 1 week before the event then we will be unable to refund the ticket as we tend to have made orders to our suppliers by then, and we’re a small operation.
We are sorry but tickets are not transferable to other events as we can’t guarantee availability – our events tend to get fully booked far in advance.
Our commitment to you is that we have frozen our prices for our extravagant 6-course meals at £30pp. We think that’s a bargain as you get a fun night out and a free welcome drink thrown in!
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