DINE WITH DOS HERMANOS: H. FORMAN AND SON
You have to hand it to the boy HS, even while whizzing around North America on a secret squirrel mission he still manages to put on a not-too-shabby DWDH. He needed help of course and right away, upfront and without further ado I’d like to say none of this would have been possible without assistance from Mathilde and also the good folk at H. Forman, in particular, Nicola who in addition to everything else packed all the goody bags.
This DWDH also comes just after the publication of HS’s new book Eating For Britain (the perfect gift for a loved one) which champions the great food that we produce around these islands and some of which we got to try at Forman’s.
Despite being a typically cold and grey Bank Holiday the sun came out and when I arrived people were already getting stuck into cocktails made with the new Beefeater Summer Edition Gin which was light and delicate – perfect for a summer G&T.
After an introduction to the evening by MD of Forman’s Lance, who is the 4th generation in the family to head the firm, we watched Darren Matson in a demonstration of Salmon carving. Now DH are always going on about jamón and the skill of the cortadores but Darren Matson showed that a good smoked salmon slicer is up there with the best. Indeed, Darren holds the world record for salmon slicing. In a bizarre twist his identical twin had also turned up to work on the door.
Then we got to taste what H.Forman are all about. Salmon. There was a selection of Vintage Russian Royal Fillet, Wild Salmon, Gravad Lax and London Cure served with a selection of the traditional accompaniments. All lovely stuff, although I always prefer the Wild stuff, served au naturel. Apparently many countries prefer the fattier farmed salmon but as Lance said it’s not really about one type being better than another but about the styles being different to one another. Obviously the drink to have with salmon is a sparkling white and Nyetimber Classic Cuvee 1995 did a perfect job.
Next up for the main course were huge Porchettas from Pugh’s Piglets. The skin had been removed and roasted separately in a large sheet. Very clever that. I was gabbing too much and didn’t notice we had some crackling left but another table did and weren’t slow in nabbing it. I must be getting slow in my old age that would never have happened ten years ago. A little shot of Kingston Black ciderrrrrr and several glasses of Ortega 2007 – a lovely wine I’d had at Eddie Gilbert’s in Ramsgate – helped it all down.
And still the food kept coming, I really liked my glazed Apple Tart but combining it with big spoonfuls of a crusted Roddas Clotted cream took it to another level. A little glass of Shipwreck from the Somerset Cider Brandy Company acted as a little tru normand before the next course.
In the English manner we had the cheese course last and luckily Srdja Mastilovic of Neal’s Yard Dairy was there to tell us all about the varieties on the Cheeseboard. I’m very old and my memory isn’t what it is (sad I know) so I’m not 100% certain about what the cheeses we had but I think they were Berk well, Stichelton, Tymsboro and Gorwydd Caerphilly. Feel free to post a comment to correct me and tell me about what a silly sod I am.
To go with the cheeses were the rather toothsome Peter’s Yard Crispbreads, some good homemade chutney and probably my favourite drink of the evening, a glass of the fabulous Worthington White Shield IPA, a beer that’s been around longer than me (no sniggering).
Last but not least a strange contraption dispensed coffee to go with our chocolates who were from, I believe, Paul Wayne Gregory.
All great stuff and well up there with previous DWDHs. And If anyone was wondering who the old guy who stood up at the end and mumbled a few things before shaking his head and shuffling off was, that was me, HP.
Anyway, big thanks for everybody who turned up and I hope you enjoyed yourselves. If you’ve got a blog or similar and you feel the love please write about it. Big boos for the no-shows who didn’t contact us. We know where you live.
Also lots of thanks go to the following, incredibly generous companies who contributed to the legendary Dos Hermanos goodie bags (apologies if I’ve missed anybody out):
Forman and Field
Georgie Porgie Puddings
Kelly’s of Cornwall
Paddy and Scotts
Simply Real Sausages
The pictures of Lance Forman and Nicola and the rather unfortunate pictures of me (it was a bad angle honestly…actually with me they’re all bad angles) were kindly donated by Magnus Hultberg
Happy Eating Folks!