Category Archives: Events

Argentine Asado in Somerset, July 2016

 Argentine Asado in Somerset, July 2016

T’was from the edge of Exmoor Forest that I got the initial call from Dan – ‘I’m getting married in July, I have a herd of Aberdeen Angus, can you roast me a whole cow please?’

I happen to have cooked a fair few hog roasts, dug pit roasts and built various other Heath-Robinsonesque contraptions intended to re-create caveman style food but without any of the murderous dysentery that would have undoubtedly been a key feature of neanderthal social occasions.

As we were chatting about the pros & cons of trying to successfully roast a whole 300kg animal it became clear fairly early on that there weren’t actually any pros (except for the potential YouTube revenue to be gained from a napalmed cow with an hysteric bride in the background being comforted by 250 ravenous wedding guests). And an awful load of cons. So we talked ourselves into an asado. An asado basically being a whole animal, or at least a large portion of one, speared on a crucifix which is stuck in the ground in front of a fire and roasted. Allegedly this is what the gauchos of Argentina did to amuse themselves on those lonely evenings before Brokeback Mountain came out. So after whipping ourselves up into a meaty frenzy* (*see previous sentence) it was agreed that we’d do that & I’d see him on the day..

So after spending considerable time on the internet researching asado – I came up with a design. A 2.5m diameter steel ring upon which 6 8′ high crucifixes could be mounted – each of these could be angled and fixed at varying heights above the fire using either a handheld longhook or a mechanical winch (which looked way cooler). Each crucifix had 2 crossbars that could be slid up and down the length and then fixed to the main bar. So that was fine when the meat was resting on the metal over the fire but the trick was gonna be how to fix it when it came to spinning it around 180 and cooking the underside. For this I had 6 metal grids made and a bunch of vicious looking metal skewers – each about 3.5′ long with the idea being to thread the skewers through the grid, then the meat and back through the grid again, making sure the main bar was also affixed by the skewer.



Meat-Free evening at The Tap

Meat-Free evening at The Tap

Thursday 31st March 2016


Fancy an evening of lovely vegetarian food? This is one of our take-over nights. This will be the only menu running, the price is £25 per head. And it’s platter-style food – so each table gets each course sequentially, on a platter. A kind of mezze/tapas-y affair. There’s no choosing, just sit down, enjoy the company and wait for the food to arrive. It’s all 100% veggie (not necessarily vegan though – that’s for another date..). Starts from 730. Please book though – 01473 225501 or mail me on

Here’s the menu. It’s in my traditional not-loads-of-info style.

Stuffed olives & breadsticks

Crispy egg crostini, cured beetroot

Roasted jerusalem artichoke spudbomb, harissa mayonnaise

Baby leeks in Dijon vinaigrette, vegemite & hazelnut puff pastry, mascarpone

Aubergine bisteeya pie

Wild garlic, leek & prune zeppole

Turkish coffee muhallabeya

Muscat saffron tart, pomegranate & papaya curd


9 course tasting menu & Aspall cyder pairing

9 course tasting menu & Aspall cyder pairing

At The Brewery Tap on Thursday 27th November 2014. Mmmm.

Mersea oysters, sweet & sour fennel, tarragon oil

Snail stew with sweet pickled onions & oxtail sauce,
sourdough toast

Pig’s ear fritters, pickled walnuts, caper hollandaise

Roast monkfish, speck, cauliflower puree, potted shrimp

Wild seabass, lambs tongue, red haricot beans &
merlot reduction

Mallard breast, sticky rice, kimchee, soy

Goat loin wellington, guineafowl liver parfait, redcurrant jelly, fondant potato,
ruby port butter sauce.

Grilled calvados pineapple chop

Baron Bigod & Suffolk Blue Peronelle’s skewers

The Magnificent Turin Brakes

The Magnificent Turin Brakes

2010-07-28 13.37.52Bloody hell. (I like to get a good swear to start me off). Turin Brakes. They’ve provided a soundtrack to my working life since the turn of the century – they’ve played at me on cd’s & MP3s in tiny restaurant kitchens to tiny cruise ship cabins from Essex to the South China Sea. And now I’ve had them play at Cult Cafe, Ipswich. That’s a big one ticked off the list.

Since taking over Cult on the Waterfront in Ipswich we’ve put on music every Friday night, mostly free – picking up the not inconsiderable costs of techy stuff, soundy man & the costs of the bands ourselves. We’ve had a coupla bands who are not quite mainstream but expensive enough to have to ticket on the door, which didn’t work out. I will no doubt be bringing this subject up again. Unless they’re a recognized band with the longevity to have built up a considerable fan base there’s just not enough bods out there willing to drag themselves away from Strictly. And I think that with the sheer amount of platforms that bands can use now to showcase means it so much harder to get to that critical mass stage.
I’ve been trying to tempt big name bands in for a while with my Twittery fishing rod, using (crap) humour & audaciousness as my maggoty bait. And only went & hooked Turin Brakes. The expense involved was enough to warrant an £18 ticket price (working on our capacity of 250) which I filed away under ‘Optimist’. Got tickets printed, set up an account on Sat back & waited for them to fly off the shelves. That or a grim bugger-all. Thankfully we sold out by June. Got in the magical James Gillespie as the support & lovely local chap Charlie Law & his band in to open & waited trepidatiously for the 5th September.
Everything that could’ve gone wrong didn’t. They turned up. The equipment turned up and worked. The lorry turned up and we emptied most of the bar into it (furniture, sofas etc). There was no fire alarm halfway through. The ticket system worked. Wow.
No ‘sonic cathedrals of sound’ reviews here ‘cept to say that they were everything I’d expected and hoped for, right through to the opening of Underdog as their final song. Bloody bloody marvellous.