...Food & drink trends, tips & ideas.
“Tom Aiken tells us about the Summer trends that prevail at his restaurants and how we can use these ideas in our own Summer entertaining.”
Summer is my favourite season of the year. For food and entertaining there are so many more opportunities than in the cold and rainy other seasons. At Tom’s Terrace at Somerset House, for example, the space is covered with canopies but otherwise open, and it faces the Thames, so it’s a romantic and leisurely spot to enjoy cocktails and light food. We’ve got some great fruity drinks there – Berry Bubbly (fresh berries with Grand Marnier and Champagne), or a Basil and Mint Martini. The menu is geared to snacking and late evening sharing options, such as the Farm sharing board offering (Bayonne ham, chorizo, salami and chicken liver parfait), or the Sea option (mackerel pâté, salmon gravlax, potted shrimp and coronation crab salad). That’s the way our customers like to eat in the Summer, whether they are out and about, or at home. I recommend a great bottle of rosé wine, such as Canon des Anges (Vin de Pays, France) along with a salad, such as Avocado, grapefruit and quinoa salad with toasted sunflower seeds and a strawberry Eton Mess to finish. Simple, seasonal and healthy too. In hot weather you don’t want heavy meat dishes or long, complicated recipes to prepare.
I also noticed over the Royal Wedding weekend that our customers wanted lots of traditional British food – their patriotic spirits were in full force, and Summer is one of the best times to showcase phenomenal British produce. Asparagus, for example, is at its absolute best right now, and I eat it every day while I can enjoy its freshness. Have it simply steamed with butter, or chill the spears and add them to a big green salad, or dress them up a bit and add to main courses of poached salmon or cold roast beef. A perfect match.
Salads are the most versatile summery option for lunch or dinner – at Tom’s Kitchen in Chelsea we have just introduced a new salad menu, with five main options, but you can add chicken, crayfish or salmon as you wish. We’ve got great summery ingredients such as watermelon, papaya and lots of seeds and nuts. My advice is to keep it light and simple for Summer - that way you can't go wrong.
Tom's Kitchen Chelsea