It’s Leeds Indie Food fortnight! And what better way to celebrate than do something a little different at the Manor. Last year was our first involvement with this brilliant festival, you may recall we did a filthy supperclub with lots of naughty but tasty treats – like ox cheek doughnuts!
We love Leeds Indie Food as it’s a great opportunity to try something different and expose our little supperclub to a new clientele. We racked our brains on what to do, and then it hit me at 3am one morning – BRUNCH! We love brunch, it’s probably our favourite meal. There are no rules or boundaries, just tasty food, and preferably some spice to get the metabolism going, or to conquer those hangovers! We also thought that brunch would be a great way to make the supperclub a bit more accessible for people. Committing to a dinner over a whole evening can be too much for some people when there’s so much on at the festival. Plus when we’re pairing booze to our dinners the cost can be as much as £50pp which just isn’t affordable for everybody.
And so our brunch supperclub concept was born. But we couldn’t leave it there, as we love a challenge. The challenge came in the form of doing not one, not two, not three, but four sittings across two days. No small feat in a semi detached house in suburban West Leeds! And yes it nearly broke us. But we did it!!
We couldn’t host a brunch without starting with our favourite breakfast cocktail – the red snapper. Not to be confused with the fish, which would be gross, this is the original bloody mary, but made with gin. To keep it local we used Leeds Gin, which is made by the lovely Sara Birkenshaw in Hunslet, only a couple of miles away from the Manor. The gin itself is beautiful – very botanical and almost sweet. I could easily slurp it over ice but Sara recommends slices of fresh ginger and orange peel in a gin and tonic. Sara is often at the local farmers markets – we picked up our gin from Kirkstall deli market. I’m sure we completely obliterated the botanical qualities of the gin in our very spicy cocktails, but they were tasty nonetheless. We kept our snappers very classic – tomato juice, lemon juice, fino sherry, tobasco, Worcester sauce, white pepper and celery salt. However I like to lighten mine with a bit of orange juice (which is a trick I learnt from Pintura) which makes it a bit less of a glass of cold soup.
Now for this event we weren’t really using a specific cookbook as a theme, however at least 50% of the recipes were from Dan Doherty of Duck and Waffle fame – probably the best brunch restaurant outside of Leeds! Our first snack was a smoked haddock scotch egg paired with a curry mayo. Soft boiled eggs encased in rich, spiced smoked haddock, which is a play on Kedgeree, the spicy, smoky brunch dish from India.
For starters I really wanted to serve up a waffle with a difference. After much research I designed a very savoury batter of buttermilk, cornmeal, paprika, cheddar, jalapeno and spring onion. This created a very smoky and umami waffle that had hints of fried cheese from the cheddar. This came paired with little pans of spiced beef shin ragu topped with a four cheese mac n cheese (gruyere, parmesan, emmenthal and more cheddar). This was rich and comforting and full of spice (again!).
For main course Susie created yet another dish, this time in the form of a burger! A Mexican inspired burger consisting of a soft brioche bun filled with a home made pork chorizo patty (Susie used a River Cottage recipe), guacamole, pink pickled onions, Monterey Jack cheese, a corn fritter and chipotle mayo.
Finally, for dessert, I wanted to inject a bit more fun using some quite recognisable ingredients in a slightly surprising way. Mini banana bread loaves, with a salted caramel core, came doused in a naughty Nutella mousse and an even naughtier peanut, maple milkshake to wash it all down with! This was sweet and salty at its best.
Our guests were a fun bunch and it was great to see some new faces at the manor and some hardcore Leeds Indie food fans too! We managed our challenge of serving 48 guests 192 plates of food over 6 hours of service! But we probably won’t try it again!
Next up we have a much more sedate affair, which will be a French Lunch the day after Bastille day in July. This will be French classics with a bit of a twist. Whilst most events are now fully booked, we do have one spare space for our Veggie Fine Dining lunch on 11th August. To book on click here.