Meet The Chef: Anthony Fitt
The Head Chef at The Grinling Gibbons, a 2AA Rosette Restaurant within Stapleford Park shares a delicious venison recipe, perfect for winter
My training began at a college in Kings Lynn and later I went on to complete an NVQ. Straight out of college I began a placement at a hotel in Cornwall and was then offered my first permanent position there. This is where my love of cooking really began. I have had the pleasure of working all around the country and with people of all ages. This helped me to broaden my palette improving my skills as a chef, where we were always learning from each other and improving.
Throughout my career I have worked in various restaurants and hotels including The Bellhouse Hotel in Beaconsfield, The Grand Hotel in Brighton and The Grill Restaurant in Dorchester to name just a few. My cooking really flourished over that time and my next big move came when I was offered a position at Sheraton Grand in London where I stayed for 17 years. It was here that I met and worked with an incredibly well-respected chef; Andrew Bennett (MBE), who became my mentor. I had the pleasure of working with him for 15 years and he has helped to guide me to become the chef I am today.
“The response we receive from our guests after each meal is what strives us to continue to offer exceptional meals that everyone and anyone are able to enjoy”
Deciding to then move on to a new challenge I joined the team at Stapleford Park. We are located in the heart of the Leicestershire countryside and surrounded by 500 acres of stunning parkland. The elegant grandeur of the Main House and the tranquil landscaped gardens provide the perfect English country backdrop. All of our menus are created by what each season has to offer and contain well-balanced flavours suitable for even the most discerning palette. If you visited us during the summer and then again during the winter, you’d find dishes that complement each season. All of our dishes are created by our culinary team from locally sourced ingredients and produce is foraged from our very own countryside estate, as well as meadowsweet, elderflower, oakmoss and artisan produce from independent local suppliers. Our 2 AA Rosette restaurant The Grinling Gibbons offers exceptional dining in exceptional surroundings. We have a table for every taste here at Stapleford Park, whether it’s à la carte dining in the restaurant, afternoon tea in the Drawing Room, or lighter bites in The Library Bar. The response we receive from our guests after each meal is what strives us to continue to offer exceptional meals that everyone and anyone are able to enjoy.
Loin of venison, chanterelle mushrooms, fondant potato, parsnip, pickled blackberries
SERVES 2 PEOPLE:
300g Piece of venison loin
1⁄2 Garlic clove crushed
1 Sprig of thyme
1 Sprig of rosemary
2 dsp White wine vinegar
1 dsp Sugar
1 tsp Coriander seeds, fennel seeds and black peppercorns, 1 star anise
1 Large potato
10ml Olive oil
1 Clove of garlic
1 Sprig thyme
1 Sprig of rosemary
1 Large parsnip
60ml Double cream
1 tsp Honey
50g Chanterelle mushrooms
Red wine sauce
For the venison marinade, mix crushed garlic thyme and rosemary. Cover the venison in the marinade and place in a container and store in the fridge.
For the pickled blackberries, bring the white wine vinegar, sugar, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, star anise & black peppercorns to the boil, remove from the heat and add the blackberries and leave to infuse.
For the fondant potato, trim the sides of the potato, lay it flat and using a small round cutter, cut out the potato to the shape of the cutter, trim the top and the bottom. To cook the potato, place in a pan with a little oil, butter, rosemary, thyme and garlic. Colour on both sides and place in the oven and cook until soft.
For the parsnip, peel and then cut in half, remove the core and cut 6 batons. With the remainder cut into small dice, place in a pan with a little oil, sweat until soft but no colour, add the cream and a little water. When ready, place in a blender and blend until smooth. Store until ready to use.
For the chanterelle mushrooms, dip them in a little water to clean them, then leave to dry.
To cook the venison, remove from the fridge, season, then place in a hot non-stick pan and seal all the sides. Cook in a low oven set at 75 degrees and cook to a core temperature of 54 Degrees. When ready leave to rest.
Warm the parsnip puree, cook the batons in a pan with a little oil and honey, cook until golden brown and soft.
Place the chanterelle mushrooms in a pan with a small knob of butter and season to taste.
To plate the dish, place the puree on the left-hand side at the top and using the back of a spoon drag the puree towards you. Place the fondant potato at the top of the puree and 2 of the parsnips in the middle. Spoon the chanterelle mushroom over the top, then place the other parsnip on top, adding the pickled blackberries in between. Add the nasturtium leaves.
Trim the ends of the venison and cut in half and place on the right-hand side of the plate.
Heat the sauce, season to taste and pour over the venison.