Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Gastronomically yours,

Respect your Elders

 

The rich sweet scent of the delicate elderflower is synonymous with early summer. This small tree like shrub has branches that form an arch which makes it look a bit like an umbrella that is covered with snow when it comes into bloom with it’s white flowers.

 These flowers eventually yield berries that ripen at the end of summer when late August nights are getting chilly. Both the flowers and the berries are edible but they should never be eaten raw for they contain a mildly poisonous alkaloid which is only destroyed by cooking.  

 The white, lacy blossoms have aMuscatgrape fragrance which will pair with tart fruits such as rhubarb and gooseberries. German cuisine uses the flowers dipped into a light batter and fried until crisp. One can stir a few flowers into cake and muffin batters to give them a light, sweet summery scent.

The Swiss are known for their elderflower syrup, made from an extract of elderflower blossoms. This syrup is often used in making pancakes. Balkan countries will use a similar elderflower syrup which they will dilute with water and use as a beverage often referred to as a cordial.

 Fanta used to market a brand of soda called Shokata. It was available in 15 countries and its base was made from elderflower syrup.

Cordials are extremely sweet non-alcoholic fruit flavoured drink concentrates that need to be diluted with water or alcohol based beverages to one’s preferred taste. Elderflower cordial is easy to make and mixes well with vodka or gin.

 As elderflowers come into season over the next couple of weeks in our area please keep in mind that the best time to pick elderflowers is on a dry, warm day when the blooms are newly open. Pick flowers away from the side of the road as they often absorb high concentrations of automobile fumes. Remember to give the branches a gentle shake to dislodge any insects before picking them and be sure to rinse the flowers in cold water before using.

 

Elderflower Cordial

Ingredients

Twenty elderflower heads
One lemon sliced, seeds removed
Two tsp of citric acid (see your pharmacist)
Three pounds of sugar
Ten cups of water

In a medium sized stainless steel pot bring the water to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in all of the remaining ingredients. Stir the mixture until the sugar has dissolved. Skim the surface of the water to get rid of the scum that may rise. Cover the mixture with a cloth and stir it twice a day for five days. Then strain the cordial through a fine mesh sieve and decant into sterile bottles and refrigerate. It will last for two weeks refrigerated. If you choose use plastic bottles for storage and freeze the elderflower syrup for a longer shelf life.

To serve dilute the elderflower cordial with five parts water and serve over ice with your favourite spirit.

Gastronomically yours,

Chef Brian Henry

 

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