The Dairy x Refettorio Felix

Chefs Ben, Amber, Mark and Will from The Dairy joined the Refettorio family in the end of April to cook a Spring feast. They will be cooking their seasonal healthy and delicious cuisine for our guests each month going forward.

Dairy Plates

Last week we welcomed Ben, Amber, Mark and Will from The Dairy at the Refettorio Felix.

Can you tell us what you cooked today?

We got in a lot of hummus today, and a lot of really nice fresh spring vegetables, like carrots, turnips, radishes. We did a spiced hummus with crudités of spring vegetables. We made pesto out of small herbs, tops from all the rockets and turnips and made a chili oil. A very fresh, light starter.

I never seasoned up that much hummus before, collectively in my entire life I have never seen that much hummus. It is a side of food you never get to see but it is super exciting, a lot of fun to do.

For the main course we cooked down a lot of tomatoes, roasted some red peppers, cauliflower, courgettes, mushrooms and made a sauce to go with it. We also did a boulangère style potato.

Finally, the dessert! We had a lot of bananas, perfectly ripe for banana bread. So, we made a banana bread using chapati flour, because that’s all we had in – turned out really well actually. We did an ice cream with loads of stale brown bread left over from bakeries – we roasted it with demerara sugar, then folded it into a basic ice cream. With caramelised the rest of the bananas with honey, cooked it down then blitzed it with a little bit of peanut butter.

What it was like going through the Felix project truck?

The truck was a real pleasant surprise, there was ample food in there and the quality of the produce was good. The crudités that we served for the starter were more than okay for first grade. I have no idea why that is considered surplus food. There was a lot choice, there are several things we could have done, we didn’t have to go down one route because of limited choice, there was ample food in there. All really decent quality.

It seems mad that it would be considered waste food, that it can be considered second selection or anything that wasn’t first grade. We are very skilled chefs, we take anything we can get our hands on and make food out of it and that’s what we did today.

Can you talk a little bit about your use of sustainable practices at The Dairy.

We try to be very sustainable at the restaurant. We buy most of our protein whole or half (in terms of cows), and we utilise absolutely everything. We try to use everything of our vegetables and fruit too. We do it out of good practice, but it also makes good economic sense. It has to work together. We wouldn’t just be doing something because it is sustainable but cost us an arm and a leg; it’s good housekeeping.

Did you have any interactions with guests today?

We met Jean, had a good conversation with her, and learnt all about why she comes here.  Some of the staff first came here as guests because they had difficult times, but now they come back and support the charity and help other people. It’s amazing!

Jean has a book full of incredible art; she’s managed to get some of it into a book that’s going to be published soon with 11 other artists. She also knits scarves for homeless people who come. There’s an incredible sense of community.

 

 

It seems mad that it would be considered waste food, that it can be considered second selection or anything that wasn’t first grade. We are very skilled chefs, we take anything we can get our hands on and make food out of it and that’s what we did today.

Ben Rand