The changing of the weather greatly affects the food industry. Plants have adapted to grow in certain conditions, meaning their harvest times are best at certain times of the year. Our chefs have been busy preparing for autumn by creating new menus that reflect the season. This means warm, comforting dishes full of game, root vegetables, and tangy apples.
Preferring seasonal ingredients means that chefs can use local, fresh ingredients for their menus. Not only is this cheaper, and more environmentally sustainable, but seasonal foods have more flavour than preserved or shipped alternatives.
Autumn is gaming season! Game is never mass-produced because the term denotes animals that are only hunted for their meat or for sport. The word ‘game’ comes from Old English ‘gammen’ meaning ‘amusement’. The UK has shooting restrictions throughout the year to allow the animals to breed and migrate to their winter habitats; the ‘open season’ largely falls in the autumn months, meaning that fresh game is more readily available. Thus, autumnal menus may include meats such as venison, grouse, pheasant, and hare.
It’s Game Season, by Yann and Graham
Mise En Bouche
Foie Gras, Pain d’Épices & Roasted Fig
Slow Poached Organic Egg, Wild Mushrooms & Pecorino
Roasted Quail, Endive, Saffron, Mejool Date & Juniper Dressing
Roasted Venison Tenderloin, Braised Red Cabbage, Apple, Celery Root & Jus
Baked Vacherin served with Toasted artisan Bread and Homemade Chutney
Yuzu & Meringue Tart with Tahini Ice Cream
Cardamom & Orange Pate De Fruit
Autumnal vegetables are generally warmer and darker in colour than their summer counterparts. These veggies are in abundance and at their best from September to November. Root vegetables such as parsnips, beetroot, and carrots, as well as winter squash such as pumpkins, are harvested during this period. Kale also grows well in colder weather.
Autumn/Winter Warmer, by Dave Watts
Pressed free range chicken terrine with pickled turnips and turnip tops, prunes, cold pressed rapeseed oil mayonnaise
Roasted pumpkin and sage tortelloni, sauteed wild mushrooms, Barkham blue cheese and walnut pesto
Dark chocolate tart with eggnog and Wiltshire creme fraiche
Apples apples apples! The flowering time of an apple depends on the variety; the earliest apple varieties ready to mature in the UK are the Epicurie and the Discovery, which can be harvested in the last week of August. The majority of apple varieties are ready to pick in September and October, making them a great fruit to use in autumnal dishes. Blackberries and figs are also best to eat towards the end of September.
October, by Ian Cathcart
Salt baked heritage beets, new season sweet onions, candied walnuts, goats cheese espuma and cider vinegar pearls
Blowtorch Mackerel fillets, Crab and celeriac salad, apple crisps, dill and thyme
Guinea fowl with Jerusalem artichoke puree, charred chicory w/ orange and juniper Cavolo nero with chestnuts and barley malt crackling
Spiced apple and pear tart with pepper and fromage blanc sorbet
A selection of British cheese with home made biscuits and chutneys
Enjoy cooking this autumn by making the most of the season’s pickings, or feel free to design your own bespoke seasonal menu with a La Belle Assiette chef.