The Wellington Restaurant at Wynyard Hall Country House Hotel, in the Tees Valley near Durham, was recently awarded a third, sought-after AA rosette for the excellence of its food and service.
Now, executive head chef Alan O’Kane is paying a patriotic tribute to British cuisine with two menus which feature the finest ingredients from across the UK, prepared and cooked in the innovative style which has become his trademark.
Named after the Duke of Wellington, who was a frequent visitor to the Hall, the restaurant, along with a table d’hôte House Menu, also offers a Seasonal Menu of individually-priced starters, main courses and desserts.
Throughout both menus regional delicacies, including Whitby crab and Dexter beef, sit alongside traditional British ingredients, such as chervil root, smoked eel and even camomile tea.
The Seasonal Menu offers Alan O’Kane’s signature curry-scented sea bass alongside dishes featuring accompaniments unique to the Wellington Restaurant, such as lamb fat gnocchi, compressed and pickled watermelon and breakfast radish.
In addition, desserts include macerated strawberries with clotted cream, pannacotta and strawberry meringue, or lemon and olive oil cake with olive oil rocks, pickled fennel, bee pollen and lemon and yoghurt sorbet.
Alternatively, the House Menu offers starters such as salad of melon with heritage beetroot, baby bliss tomato and Tovey goats’ cheese and smoked haddock and broad bean risotto, while main courses feature stuffed lamb breast with petits pois, capers and mint, or goats’ cheese and thyme ravioli with piperade and green olive.
Wynyard Hall general manager Adam Dyke said: “Alan’s creativity and understanding of ingredients really is exceptional and these new menus reflect that. He and his team take the finest ingredients and present them in ways which are totally unexpected and unique and the results are truly memorable.”
Wynyard Hall plans to strengthen its commitment to fine food with the creation of a cookery school, which will offer a range of day and residential courses led by some of the country’s top chefs, including Alan O’Kane, when it opens in autumn 2014. The school will be part of a major £4m redevelopment of Wynyard Hall’s historic Walled Garden, which will also include a visitor centre, café, farm and gift shops and a delicatessen.
“We are passionate about food and ingredients,” said Adam, “and the cookery school will enable us to share that passion with professional and amateur chefs – to share skills and ideas and also learn new ones.”