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TREACLE BLOG

When The Cuzzies Came To Stay

Last weekend we had the NZ cuzzies to stay with us. We would love to say it involved more than eating and drinking, but that would be a lie...!

Here's to Aperol Spritz, roasts and the Brighton naked bike ride, oh, and this little supper that we put together - seasonal asparagus with pickles, Chinese spiced pork belly and cheek with plum and cucumber, and vanilla panna cotta with cheesecake mille-feuille. 

Janey's 60th Birthday

We're back(!) after a brief hiatus in New Zealand, and ready and raring to go from our new central Brighton apartment.

This weekend we tested the kitchen for Jane's 60th with a 4-course meal using her favourite ingredients, oh, and we may have bought her a kitten too...! 

We really wanted to make a pared down menu, so took inspiration from classic food combinations with a simplified yet modern twist. Delicious nibbles of crab toasts and crab beignets with homemade sweet chilli sauce began the meal. Our starter consisted of a fantastically green wild garlic mayonnaise, steamed white and green asparagus, with a hazelnut crumb and vinaigrette.

Our fish course was a combination of classic Scandinavian flavours and fish and chips, with a base of creme fraiche, pickled cucumber, pan-fried mackerel and curly fries, all seasoned with beetroot powder. The main course consisted of slow roasted pork belly, which we brined in fennel seeds and liquorice root, butternut squash puree, poached rhubarb, samphire, and dill oil.

Finally dessert of lemon posset, lemon and vanilla syllabub, white chocolate crumble and lavender meringue, garnished with lemon zest, edible silver leaf and elderflowers.

This was a delicious start to our new Brighton outpost, and we cannot wait to start hosting for the public again!

Hamilton Christmas 2

A few foodie snaps from the Hamilton family Christmas!

Hazelnut was the theme of the day, with our favourite nut featured in every dish - Beef carpaccio, followed by hazelnut crusted cod and samphire (no picture I'm afraid!), a little beetroot and horseradish sorbet palette cleanser, and finally a layered dessert of cherry jelly, dolce de leche mousse, dark chocolate and hazelnut crumb, and lemon thyme with edible flowers.

Nutty!

Sunday with OH! Taste

This Sunday we spent the morning plating up a storm at the Secret Herb Garden, with photographer Olivia Halvorsen of OH! Taste, and good pal Hilary Sturzaker of Mymonkfish acclaim, who now also runs public relations at SHG.

After our initial meeting with Olivia (way back in June!), we were keen to collaborate on a project that brought together our passion for food, a unified aesthetic, and the beauty of an interesting Edinburgh landmark - the Secret Herb Garden was undeniably our first choice. So, after talking with Hilary over the summer it was agreed that SHG would work tremendously, but when would our conflicting diaries permit such a collaboration?? Four months later of course!

Finally, on Sunday, we were there, and the scene was set on a beautiful soft-lit morning in the glass house. After a recce of the wonderful edible flowers and herbs that were on offer in this living larder, we got started on four simple dishes that can be assembled easily at home.

We began with a crab rarebit – brown and white crab meat combined with cornichons, and topped with a layer of mature cheddar sauce. This was followed with a bowl of ripe figs and soft burrata, covered with lashings of peppery rocket and pistachio pesto.

Smoked chicken is a firm favourite of ours, so we created a dish using roasted leek and courgette, blue cheese and sprigs of fresh rosemary. Finally, that much loved retro classic - trifle, which we made in individual portions and decorated with blue borage flowers from the garden. All recipes will be added to our recipes page.

Every dish brought together the simple and clean flavours that we love here at AT, as well as herbs and flowers direct from the SHG glass house – what a luxury!

As you can see, Olivia has done a beautiful job documenting each step of our dishes, and even worked her magic on yours truly! This project also has additional significance, as Hilary was the first person we met on our Edinburgh food journey, so it felt fantastic that she was involved in one of our last projects, providing assistance and support.

After months of date deliberation and procrastination we finally got there, with lots of scrumptious food and photographs – well done ladies!

A huge thank you to the Secret Herb Garden for allowing us to use their space; if you haven't been already, then you really must. Book a tour to see the bees (or better, sponsor them!), treat yourself to a slice of cake in the fragrant glass house, or speak to the team about using the space for something exciting.

Freeze Frame: The Wizard of Oz

Last night marked our last ever Freeze Frame at Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith, serving up a 3-course meal to one of our favourite classics - The Wizard of Oz.

To start, we served up "There's No Place Like Home" - Corn chowder with fresh herbs, crispy bacon and corn bread.

A main course inspired by the Scarecrow - Straw smoked venison/smokey aubergine with boulangere potatoes, parsnip puree, kale and berry gravy.

Finally, a colour spectacular "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" - Strawberries, orange cake, lemon tuille, lime and coconut panna cotta, blueberries, raspberry sorbet and rose petals.

It was a wonderful evening and I was chuffed to see so many familiar faces in the crowd. I would like to thank the Drill Hall team for being so supportive for the last year, Isabel, my fabulous sous chef, and everyone that has come to support Alright Treacle and Freeze Frame in the past, it has been a fantastic event to be a part of.

PrivateAnna HamiltonComment
Take One Action! Good Things Await

This weekend we were invited to cook for Take One Action! at Out of the Blue Drill Hall in Leith.

The film in question was Good Things Await, a wonderful and inspiring documentary that focuses on a Danish farmer's biodynamic approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition. Using ingredients mentioned within the film, as well as a variety of inventive cooking techniques, we chose lots of earthy and autumnal flavours to heighten the audiences senses whist watching the film.

We started the night with homemade seaweed breads and wild herb pesto, followed by smoked beetroot carpaccio (parsnip puree, fig, pickled shallots, goats cheese, hazelnuts and elderberry dressing).

Main course was a choice of either beef cheek or wild mushroom pithivier with celeriac and kale, and finally a dessert of walnut custard cake with poached pears and raspberry sorbet.

Next month is our last time cooking at OOTB Drill Hall for one of our favourite childhood films - The Wizard of Oz. 

Book now to experience the final Alright Treacle/Freeze Frame Film Club union - www.outoftheblue.org.uk/freeze-frame-film-club-presents-the-wizard-of-oz-1939

HoneyBirthday

A few ostentatious snaps from Lydia Treacle's bright'n'boozy birthday in the Meadows!

We started at AT HQ with an Asian inspired lunch of shredded vegetable and peanut salad, sticky chicken, ginger and garlic potatoes and satay sauce. Then a delicious gluten free boiled orange cake and berries on the Meadows in the sun - fantastic way to spend a Sunday!

California Dreamin'

It was a hen-spectacular at Alright Treacle last weekend, with a lively bunch of lassies celebrating their pal's upcoming nuptials at our wee HQ.

Our theme from Yvonne (the maid of honour) was 'California', with an emphasis on light, bright and seafood, as Cali is Jacq's (the bride's) favourite destination.

To start we made a deconstructed California roll - brown crab emulsion, herby white crab, avocado puree, grapefruit segments, cucumber jelly and seaweed tuile biscuits.

The main course was our take on U.S. favourite fish tacos - pan fried cod, sweetcorn set custard, charred corn, pea and tomato salsa, scallop tacos and coriander cress.

Finally, a set lemon cream with blueberry centre, white chocolate cookie dough base, blackcurrants, homemade lemon curd and caramel. 

Thank you to the gals for choosing Alright Treacle to kick off a raucous and fun-filled night! If you're keen to have a bespoke evening of celebrations then get in touch at info@alright-treacle.com.

Top 10

We love hosting private suppers at Alright Treacle. It's always an absolute pleasure seeing our HQ turned in to a bustling event space, with a rip-roaring atmosphere and (of course) our signature bespoke menu, and last Saturday was no exception.

After attending our Anti-Valentines supper back in February, we were asked to host a birthday party for the gorgeous Georgie and her pals, as she was keen on the idea of having her own one-off supper club.

Rather than providing a theme, we asked Georgie to collate her favourite 10 ingredients (harder than its sounds, as her original list was 35!), then we would try and include everything in to the menu.

Georgie's list - shellfish, courgette flowers, pistachios, berries, artichoke, saffron, cardamom, avocado, goats cheese, truffle oil - we couldn't have picked better ourselves - challenge accepted!

Starter - Scallops, artichoke puree, crispy onion and pistachio crumble, truffle oil

Main - Saffron baked hake, goats cheese stuffed courgette flower, avocado and red pepper puree, roasted vine tomatoes, sautéed potatoes

Dessert - Orange and almond cake, cardamom custard, berries, pistachio brittle, edible flowers

The menu seemed to go down a treat and the event itself was a joy to host. Lovely people, an elegant space and clever cooking - we'll consider that an AT hat-trick!

If you like the sound of your own bespoke supper, then get in touch at info@alright-treacle.com.

Sunday Luncheon

Last weekend we had an impromptu Sunday lunch at Alright Treacle HQ for some of our nearest and dearest in Edinburgh.

We served up that British classic, toad in the hole (with snazzy sausages from Peelham Farm), followed by a trifle extravaganza (pimms sponge, gooseberry jelly, cardamon custard and cream, decorated with golden raspberries, flaked almonds and wild strawbs), oh, and a hell of a lot of bubbles!

International Supper

Last week we had the lovely ladies from Girl Gone International over for a private networking supper. Our theme was international, so we dished up some of our favourite flavours from across the globe - 

ITALY - foccacia and Alright Treacle's signature pesto

FRANCE - chicken liver parfait, pickled mushrooms, baked apricot, charred shallot & bacon

VIETNAM - tofu, caramel broth, potato, tenderstem, cashews, quails eggs & herbs

USA - baked cheesecake, blueberries & apple sorbet

A big thank you to the lovely ladies at Girl Gone for choosing to host the event at Alright Treacle. If you're looking for an alternative venue for your private event, then get in touch at info@alright-treacle.com.

ECA 2015

The ECA degree show is now over, so here a few snaps taken from opening night, including work from our own Honeybone, who received a first class honours! Well done Lydia!

The Signature Supper
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This weekend it was all about The Signature Supper - a collaborative pop up at St. Stephen's Church, with The Fireside Collective, Sarah Jane Cooking and The Smoked Duck.

Since arriving in Edinburgh and meeting some of the wonderful women behind Edinburgh's alternative dining scene we have wanted to collaborate on a 3-way menu. Finally (after finding a date that meant we were all in the city at the same time!), this collaboration became a reality, with Louise (Fireside) taking the helm with logistics and design, Alright Treacle creating canapés and starters, a main course made by Sarah Jane, and Felicia (The Smoked Duck) working her magic with pastry for dessert and petit fours.

The scene was set with dusky pint hydrangeas, scented hyacinths and candlelit round tables in the lower ground floor of St. Stephen's church...

As per the theme of 'signature', we chose dishes that we were confident showed off our individual styles, so, of course, our canapés were leafy and fresh. Starting with our signature chipotle beef cups (with sour cream, coriander, avocado and fresh chilli), chicory cups (with whipped blue cheese, caramelised pear and hazelnuts), and cumin toasted pittas (with beetroot and horseradish houmous, roasted tomato and a basil leaf).

We chose to serve a starter tested at IN YA FACE! last month - lemon zest dill and white crab meat with mackerel ceviche, cucumber jelly, avocado ice cream, borage flowers lovingly donated by the Secret Herb Garden, and a brown crab tuile biscuit.

SJ opted for a sharing main course of tender crusted lamb, asparagus salad, Jersey royals, and a mint and elderflower sauce. Whilst Felicia made delicious cardamom custard tarts, served with a celebration of berries, including strawberry sorbet and sugared raspberries, all finished off with lemon curd meringue kisses and coffee.

It was a great opportunity for all of us to collaborate with fellow food lovers and makers on a project, so thank you for all of your support, a big thank you to Isabel McCabe for assisting with service and taking these wonderful photographs, and of course our fantastic waiter.

We are hosting a supper back at our Toll Cross HQ next weekend (13th June), celebrating our favourite bloom - the elderflower. Book here!

Secret Herb Garden

Secret Herb Garden celebrated their 1st birthday yesterday, and we were invited to celebrate with them, with a tour of the gardens from co-founder Hamish Martin, music from the Funk Wagen (a converted VW camper), a much anticipated walk to the beehives with third generation beekeeper Brian Pool, food made by charismatic chef Neil Forbes from Cafe St Honore, shelter from impending drizzle by Stretch Tents Scotland, as well as lots of other wee treats.

Our first visit to SHG was earlier in the week, for their May Full Moon Dinner, with food and wines chosen and created by the Timberyard Team. However, it was yesterday, in the light of day, that it became more apparent how successfully Hamish and Liberty have managed to turn, what was essentially a derelict greenhouse, in to something really magical - a peaceful enclave for all things herbs (or what we may refer to as weeds) - that's right people, it's time to love your dandelions! During Hamish's tour we were passed all sorts of leaves that, as well as being quite tasty in a salad, have fantastic medicinal properties, such as the iron rich and cleansing stinging nettle, or ground elder, which can be cooked in a similar way to spinach, tastes mildly of parsley and has diuretic properties, yum yum!

If you haven't been to the Secret Herb Garden already, then you really must. Book a tour to see the bees (or better, sponsor them!), treat yourself to a slice of cake in the warm and fragrant greenhouse, try and grab Hamish for an inspiring talk about eating the hedgerow, or speak to the team about using the space for something exciting - unsurprisingly, weddings seem to be very popular this year...!

Nicolas Party, Inverleith House

Yesterday marked the opening of a brilliant new exhibition at Inverleith House in the Royal Botanic Gardens.

'Nicolas Party's Boys and Pastel is the first major solo exhibition in a UK public gallery by the Swiss artist, who has transformed the formal Georgian interior of Inverleith House into a contemporary ‘gesamtkunstwerk’ with the most expansive installation of his decorative wall paintings to date, spanning every available inch of the seven gallery spaces. The patterned murals act as a framing device and wondrous stage set for a new series of pastel compositions and charcoal drawings, delivered in Party’s unique aesthetic language.'

In short, it's a colour sensation! 

www.rbge.org.uk/the-gardens/edinburgh/inverleith-house/current-exhibitions

IN YA FACE!

This weekend's supper was one of our most fun yet - savoury jelly & ice cream, porn scratchings, cocktail pistols... Oh and some good grub too!

After our wonderful guests arrived, we kicked off the night with our classic combination of welcome fizz and home-made bread and dips, but then we went slightly off piste...

'Jelly & Ice Cream' to start, came in the form of cucumber jelly, avocado ice cream, mackerel tartar, zesty white crab, micro herbs, and a 'driftwood' brown crab tuile biscuit.

Our main course was a little bit cheeky - sticky pig cheeks with fennel seeds, pork loin, artichoke, potato dauphinoise, apple sauce and wild garlic, served with an additional side of pork scratchings in a porn cone... No, seriously.

Finally, dessert of chocolate and pistachio marble cake, custard cream, dark choc popping candy popcorn, raspberry sauce, fresh raspberries and candy floss, all washed down with cocktail pistols, to be squirted, well, IN YA FACE!

Anna HamiltonComment
Precarities

Alright Treacle's very own Lydia Honeybone and her fabulous pal Abbé Webster have launched their first joint exhibition tonight, at the now defunct Bargain Spot on Lothian Road.

This incredible space has been opened up, painted, adorned and well and truly strobed for Precarities - a pre degree show, highlighting some of the gals newest pieces ahead of graduation.

The show runs from 9th - 17th April, so make sure you have a peep, and if you like what you see then this weekend's supper is a fantastic opportunity to view more examples of Lydia's artworks up-close (and translated to plate!), with our very own collaboration. Last few spaces available -  www.alright-treacle.com/upcoming-suppers/2015/4/11/goldntriangles