High Tide reaches Chillesford!
A deliciously warm and balmy summer’s evening saw one of our county’s finest food collaborations take place on a June Saturday recently.
Tide – a unique seasonal seafood dining experience, founded by food writer and artisan fishmonger Mike Warner, flooded gently into the kitchen and dining room at the Froize at Chillesford and home to the inimitable and engaging David Grimwood, chef and patron of the beautiful, iconic old building, for the last 21 years.
Tide is the embodiment of seasonal British seafood and the celebration of our nation’s wild sea harvest. With the Summer Solstice just gone and the warmer weeks ahead, the choice to focus on prime shellfish was intentional with Mike providing David with a plethora of the freshest ingredients:
Local freshly shucked Butley Creek oysters set the scene, with a tantalisingly good Adnams prosecco and sea-buckthorn gin cocktail.
Next, Cromer crab – caught, cooked and dressed by the fisherman himself, made the base for an incredible silky-smooth bisque packed full of flavour, whilst sea-sweet potted King’s Lynn brown shrimps found favour, lavishly spread on a just-baked white and wholemeal plait straight from the Froize ovens.
Then, scallops, day boat caught and caramel-seared sat atop a rich and velvety hollandaise, surrounded by crisp lardons of Suffolk-cured local bacon, and succulent marsh samphire… each element complementing the other majestically.
The main course was another triumph. An eclectic and inspired, wild surf and turf combination, devised by David utilising fillet of wild red venison from the surrounding heath, matched with perfectly cooked locally landed Orford lobster tails and fresh seasonal vegetables straight from the kitchen garden of the Froize.
The wild harvest of the Froize garden’s ancient variety strawberry crop finished the experience, in the most delicious mess of light meringue, strawberry syrup and wonderfully flavoursome fruit and the most beautiful edible flowers, served with a suitably-in-keeping seaweed-flecked shortbread, again lovingly baked only hours before.
The entertaining narrative and backdrop was of course proved by Mike in between courses, setting the scene and enlivening the flavours of the evening through his own brand of ‘seafood with storytelling’.
An exceptional evening of happy, relaxed company, fine, honest food and of course served with the obligatory lashings of love and passion.