Time to discover what’s on in Gloucestershire (and sometimes a little further afield) this month. Cheltenham Food & Drink Week is coming up on the 18th September and there are some foodie treats to book in October at the Cheltenham Literary Festival and in November at the Stroud Book Festival. Head over to Evesham to experience Michelin level food in a rather unexpected venue and of course, treat yourself to an amazing gelato.
Mimo delivers Basque Country Food in a unique format
Have you experienced a Chef’s Table? We’ve thoroughly enjoyed sitting up close to chefs in our favourite restaurants whilst they create our meal and experiencing what’s happening in the kitchen. At Mimo in London it’s taken step further. Not only do you sit and watch but its interactive too. Who needs to go abroad when this is on our doorstep?
We first came across Mimo in San Sebastián. There we took a cookery class with them and went on a pinxtos tour – which we highly recommend. If you’ve not discovered them yet, pinxtos are small bites of the most delicious foods served on small plates.
In San Sebastián there is a tradition of dining clubs where local people get together and cook. The clubs are by invitation only and are made up groups of people who love to eat, generally family and friends. Food is brought along to cook and share follow Basque recipes and sharing costs at the end of the day. It is said that these clubs have had much to do with keeping Basque food traditions alive.
Mimo are bringing the essence of the Basque dining club with its the convivial atmosphere to Borough Market.
A VIP Experience
We are twelve people brought together for an evening of fun. The Mimo venue is very close to Borough Market but somehow we end up on London Bridge looking down to where we will eat. We retrace our steps then realise we’ve been to the venue before. Now it is kitted out with a huge cooking island rimmed with chairs with a bar to one side.
Not only will we eat many courses, but we try different wines with each course. These are a revelation not least due to the enthusiasm of our sommelier.
Throughout the evening, we are positively encouraged to ask questions as the food is prepared by our two Spanish chefs. As someone who loves to cook, I was in heaven. How rare it is to quiz a chef about his dish as he cooks it!
Plenty of preparation had been done in advance, of course, probably similar to what a restaurant chef would do. We watch as the dishes are finished for service as we might see on Masterchef. It is part demonstration, part tasting menu and part wine tasting and lots of fun.
My word what a menu! We taste a potato galette made of very thin slices of potato pressed, cubed and fried. We learn how to prepare octopus: pop it in and out of boiling water three times before cooking very slowly. We eat cured salmon with horseradish beetroot and yogurt and Togarachi a Japanese spice. There’s squash with hazelnut pesto with lightly pickled onion. Prawns are lightly cured in sugar and salt and steamed very briefly and served with a pink peppercorn sauce – my favourite dish of the night. We are shown belly pork pressed overnight before it is fried in cubes. The wines served beautifully complement each dish. Lest I forget I draw as I go.
Then something I hadn’t anticipated, we are invited to get involved. Some of us get up and help with the cooking. Me? I am invited to plate the dishes. Something I have never done before. Just look at concentration on my face, I was determined to get it right. I found it utterly absorbing something I would love to do again.
The Basque Country lies in the North of Spain and into South Western France a region that has around 40 Michelin starred restaurants. It is a way of cooking where an ingredient is chosen and and it is cooked simply, really emphasising the flavours. It is somehow hearty but not heavy. Comforting and yet refined. In London, Head Chef Joseba uses the elements of Basque cooking with local ingredients and adds his own occasional twist.
Find out more
Mimo’s Chef’s Table gives a unique insight into the cuisine of San Sebastián and the Basque Country paired with fabulous wines. It’s a foodies’ heaven whether you like to cook or just like to eat. It’s the ideal treat.
Chef’s Table takes place on Fridays and Saturdays. Booking is essential. It is well worth signing up to Mimo’s newsletter to get news of everything they do. I can’t wait to try the Pinxtos in Borough Market.