Superbike champ Tommy Hill takes time off to make Michelin Star lunch at l'ortolanBy Karen Jordan
November 01, 2012
British Superbike champion Tommy Hill took time out from the track recently to prepare a Michelin-starred lunch.
With cooking a key part of his rigorous training regime, Tommy swapped his helmet and leathers for an apron and a paring knife to experience the atmosphere of one of the UK’s top kitchens.
Under the guidance of chef Alan Murchison, the 2012 Championship leader discovered what really happens behind the scenes at the l’ortolan restaurant in Church Lane, Shinfield.
A judge and mentor on the BBC’s Great British Menu in 2011, Alan was keen that Tommy should pick up more than a few tricks of the trade from the Michelin-starred kitchen. He started with the skill of removing bones from a quail in order to prepare the starter of stuffed ballotine of quail, with ras el hanout granola and pomegranate.
Tommy’s culinary preference for fish was more than satisfied with his main course of pan fried escalope of brill with crispy chicken wings, curried lentils, coconut puree and vegetable pickle. And he finished off in the pastry kitchen preparing a dessert of hot chocolate tart, caramelised banana and coconut wrapped ice-cream.
Impressed with the calm professionalism of Alan and his team, Tommy, from Kent, said: “These guys operate at quite a pace and yet they make it look so calm and easy.”
Alan said: “Tommy picked the techniques up very quickly. It just goes to show, if you bring the best ingredients together and use the right techniques properly, relative beginners can produce top quality food, even under the pressure of working for the first time during a lunch service in a top restaurant.”
For more information on chef experiences at L’ortolan visit www.lortolan.com.