It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it, I think, reeling back to my office after an exhaustive food tasting for the new After Hours summer menu.
It is surprising how tiring trying out 20 dishes can be. I wouldn’t normally expect to be eating chocolate mousse or tabouleh, or indeed both, at 10.30 am, but it is surprising how quickly you can adjust.
A food tasting is like a sensory jigsaw, moving dish components around, adjusting flavours and colours and seasonings, until everything fits as well as it possibly can. For us, it also involves a huge amount of discussion, a mass of cutlery and quite a lot of mess.
The menu is a very summery one, and you will be able to enjoy it out on our soon-to-be opened Darwin Centre courtyard terrace over a glass of wine or a cocktail
Harry Housen, the General Manager for our benugo caterers, and I tested the menu under the inscrutable eyes of our excellent chefs Richard Carter and Olivier Dhainaut. A few months back I gave my outline brief for the kind of food that I would like to offer for the summer late openings of The Deep Sea exhibition. The chefs had come up with pretty much exactly what I had in mind. The tasting was to road test their suggestions, finesse as necessary and finalise the menu and pricings.
We'll have a whole picnic thing going on for summer After Hours - so do come along to one (or indeed all!) of the evenings and try out our new menu. My favourite was the flatbread with chicken, chorizo, crème fraiche, pepper confit and baby spinach, closely followed by the chocolate and orange mousse. It was difficult not to scoff the lot and had Harry and the chefs not been there I probably would have.
You can also enjoy a delicious peach or mango belline, a chilled beer, or just a glass of wine at summer After Hours. Why not while away a summer evening on our new Darwin Centre terrace after experiencing our amazing new exhibition, The Deep Sea. It is really not to be missed.
The first After Hours summer event will be on 25 June and give visitors the chance to enjoy The Deep Sea exhibition and the Darwin Centre in the evening, with more special events lined up. Visit the website for more details soon.