August 05, 2020

Victorian Kitchen now Open for Tastings!

Victorian Kitchen now Open for Tastings!
Eve Dunlop

As those lucky enough to have a wedding tasting coming up will know, our Victorian kitchens are open once more and ready for sampling some of our freshly picked ingredients from the garden!

If you have a wedding booked within the next 6 months your wedding co-ordinator will be looking to get you seated at this beautiful table to taste and decide wedding menus in the next couple of months...
We felt like those of you dealing with covid wedding planning really deserved a treat, and happily we've had such wonderful feedback from recent tasting couples, it seems to make a special date in the run up to your wedding days.

Victorian kitchens are now open for wedding tastings at Elmore Court. Beautiful date night for nearly weds!
Eve Dunlop
Fresh flowers and candles await you when you have a wedding tasting at elmore court in their newly opened victorian kitchens
Eve Dunlop

So what's cooking?

Our head chef Matt can't wait to get his hands on the walled garden produce, and is dreaming up new and exciting field to fork dishes.
Here's what he's cooking right now...

Recipe from the garden

Roast cod fillet, tomato, basil and borlotti bean stew


350gr borlotti beans
50 gr shallots, halved
50 gr carrots, halved
50 gr celery sticks, cleaned
2 cloves garlic, peeled


  • Add all to a large heavy based pan.
  • Cover with cold water and bring to the boil.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour until the beans are cooked

At the same time

300 grammes mixed heritage tomatoes, chopped
3 large banana shallots, peeled and diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced

  • Sweat the shallots and garlic in olive oil until soft but not coloured
  • Add the tomatoes and reduce the heat
  • Cover and cook slowly for 1 hour
  • Add a splash of water here and there if it looks dry
  • Season and add a glug of good extra virgin olive oil

Now the tomatoes and beans are cooked;

  • Drain the water from the beans discarding the vegetables
  • Combine the beans and tomatoes
  • Adjust seasoning as necessary
  • Keep warm

Too cook the fish;

4 x 180 gramme cod fillets, skinned and pin boned
100gr butter
Juice of 1 lemon

  • Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees
  • Heat a large non stick pan on the stove top
  • Add a dash of oil. The pan needs to be hot but not so much as to smoke or flame the oil
  • Season the cod fillets with sea salt and lay presentation side (not the side the skin was on) down in the pan
  • Allow the cod to colour then transfer the pan to the oven
  • Cook for around 4 minutes until the cod is warm in the centre
  • Remove from the oven and add a large knob of butter
  • Carefully turn the fillets over so they are presentation side up
  • Baste the cod fillets in the foaming butter to finish cooking the fish; Be careful! The pan handle is of course now very hot.
  • Add a squeeze of lemon juice
  • Transfer to paper towel and rest for 3 minutes

Now everything is ready!

  • Add a handful of torn basil leaves to the stew
  • Spoon into 4 bowls
  • Place the cod on top
  • Add a final drizzle of good oil

Serve with freshly baked bread (perhaps some of that lockdown sourdough?)
And a large glass of white wine ideally!

Freshly baked bread, french sticks and white loaf ready for post wedding breakfasts to soak up hangovers at Elmore Court
Eve Dunlop
Nye Timber champagne bottles on ice ready for a wedding tasting at Elmore court
Eve Dunlop
The green house and walled garden at Elmore Court is now growing masses of food for weddings
Rob Tarren
Lettuces in neat rows growing in the walled garden at Elmore Court ready for summer salads on the wedding menu
Eve Dunlop

Meet our head chef

Matt you've never been introduced on the journal before. Tell us a bit more about you... What's your background?

I started cooking almost 20 years ago in a gastro pub in the East Sussex countryside called The Jolly Sportsman. I stayed there for two years learning from its then owner Bruce Wass. He was willing to give me a job despite having absolutely no experience in the kitchen whatsoever. It was a fantastic foundation and I was able to graduate from peeling vegetables (a lot of vegetables) to working on the different sections.

From there I travelled around working in various restaurants and ended up in Australia.

I was only supposed to be there for a year, and 10 years on I think my family were wondering if I was ever going to reappear! I got to work for some brilliant chefs and after heading up a couple of venues became the Executive Chef at St Ali.
I met my now wife Laura there and we decided to move back here a couple of years ago.

Freshly picked fruit and vegetables for wedding menu from the walled garden at Elmore Court
Eve Dunlop

What's your favourite dish to cook?

Cooking anything using fresh produce from people who are passionate is a real privilege. A good example is some of the beef available these days. It can be unbelievably good and I love getting to use it.

Fresh food from the farms at Elmore, bread, butter, eggs and milk from wholly cow
Eve Dunlop
Farm fresh: we're so lucky to have such delicious food from our neighbouring farms

What's your favourite food to eat?

It's hard to beat the pappardelle ragu at Padella.

Victorian kitchens at Elmore court now open for wedding tastings full of fresh ingredients picked from the walled garden
Eve Dunlop

What have you most missed during lockdown?

The pub!!!

Walled garden at Elmore Court is stocked full of vegetables and ingredients for wedding menus
Rob Tarren
Our walled garden is growing fast!

What's been keeping you busy?

An increasingly competitive series of chess games with my wife. And making (and eating) sourdough.

Herbs and spices growing on the window sill in the wedding tasting room at elmore court
Eve Dunlop

Related reading

sustainable wedding venue with walled garden for organic home grown wedding food
June 24, 2020

Walled Garden revival

The new greenhouse at Elmore Court sitting proudly in the 700 year old walled garden surrounded by organic seedlings popping up fresh for sustainable wedding menus as soon as covid allows
July 08, 2020

New Greenhouse & Covid Weddings update

Food Glorious (New!) Food
June 05, 2019

Food Glorious (New!) Food