Paul’s Caul… Life’s Good

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For all those playing at home, I don’t have red hair and a beard and I’m not G-bags Mcfilthy mouth… no, I am not the father of this blog, I’m perhaps best described as this blogs estranged brother that likes to drop by unannounced and expects every thing that’s great about writing a blog whilst having no responsibility at all… yes that is me in a delicious nut shell, I’m simply a man called Paul who has a shit load to say about food and anything even slightly related to it, like travel, drinking and eating of said food.

I’m a chef that has been cooking for overs 20 years all over the place and I have been extremely fortunate to have known G-bags for all of that time. We share a love of food, swearing and most importantly telling the whole fucking world about it, so a blog seemed inevitable. I’m honoured he allows my scribbling’s to be part of foodisthebestshitever and I hope you enjoy them just as much as we love bacon, but lets face it that’s asking quite a lot. P

Life’s good

I’m not even going to bother to try and explain why I’ve been so shit at writing lately, I could try to spin some elaborate yarn about my fingers being temporarily paralysed or my eyes not functioning correctly… but lets face it, you haven’t even missed me at all, not one person has written to us saying “where the fuck is that charming man from Paul’s caul gone?” so as far as I’m concerned you are lucky I’ve come back full stop. I’m not going to lie I’m upset and a little disappointed that I seem to be like the rest of your disposable world. That’s it Paul slag everyone off, that will make them want you more, well it cant make you care any less you emotional vultures, you filthy bunch of love sponges.

Well its with teary eyes and a heavy heart that I dust off my pride and give you all one last chance, if I’d don’t get actual tangible love from at least three people worldwide for this post then that’s it, I’m done… ”What is this tangible love you speak of” I hear you ask… well quite frankly all I need is a like on Facebook or a comment on this blog and my easily inflated ego should be right for several hours at least before I turn to instagram or any other form of instant gratification I can get my filthy attention grabbing hands on.

It is at this point I realize that I have fuck all to actual say, I truly haven’t formulated what I’m about to write, but with my nonsensical style I feel I can wing it and just maybe just get you all up to date with what myself and the lovely Lauren have been up to (yes she is still with me. It’s a shock to me too).

Is that a dolphin between your legs or are you just happy to be on holiday?
Is that a dolphin between your legs or are you just happy to be on holiday?

For those with an incredible memory and the space to store useless information, you will recall that we have been living in the French alps, eating our body weight in fromage washed down with vin rouge and running a chalet in what ever time we have left after said eating and drinking occurs. And just in case you need my former sentence translated I shall try my best to translate it for those not so well travelled… when someone says “fromage and vin rouge” it translates to “I’m a complete wanker who has been in France for five minutes and speak fuck all French but like to big note myself on the internet”. Hopefully Google translate didn’t let me down.

The winter season has now come to a halt and I find myself in Spain eating tapas, drinking and spending time with some amazing friends we met in the mountains, for the purpose of this story we shall call them Rachel and Grant, as that is also by chance their given names. Grant is a seriously good chef, which is great for me to learn from and also eat all his tasty food. But with him around I have to lift my game, so boo to having to lift my game whilst on holiday.

Now I’m not going to sugar coat it, I’m just about as happy as I’ve ever been right now. Of course I’m writing this next to a pool, I’ve just played Dobble whilst drinking and frolicking in said pool after going for a spin on quad bikes around the Spanish desert, so of course I’m fucking content and happy… but I mean proper happy, with my life and all that deeper shit that’s essentially a lot harder to obtain.

Fishing off of Spain somewhere
Fishing off of Spain somewhere

I reckon it’s so unobtainable for most people because lets face it, most of us don’t have any idea what we really want… yes we all want money and shiny things but so do fucking magpies and as far as I can see they are some pretty fucking angry birds. But what I’ve always gauged my happiness on is my general content-ness in the everyday comings and goings of life. In this area presently I’m as rich as I’ve ever dreamed I’d be; beautiful partner, travel shit loads, incredible family and friends worldwide and get to cook my own delicious food (well I think so anyway) that pays my way through all of which I’ve just mentioned.

After just spending 5 months cooking in a very nice chalet in Meribel I have now been offered to be the private chef for a lord in England cooking at his decadent estate in the Peak district. This will entail a summer of living in a Downton Abbey like world of Grouse Shoots and hop knobbing with royalty, all whilst still getting to cook them what ever my heart desires. Amongst this we will also get to travel with the Family around their different properties as Lauren will be running front of house for them as well. So all in all not a bad summer about to occur.

I’m not just telling you all this to rub your noses in it, nor am I trying to say that all you need to do is work hard and love what you and all your dreams will come true… because what you don’t hear when I tell you what I’m up to, is that although I’m happy as a pig in shit doing what I’m doing, it is still extremely hard and very stressful work that doesn’t allow you to rest on your laurels at all. We as chefs are always judged with such harsh criticism as people either like what they taste or not, there isn’t much room for creativity and organization to win over a customer that thinks your food tastes like salty pigs balls. Now what I want you to take from my experience in life is that never stop trying things as your dreams and goals will change and if you are lucky enough you may be in the midst of something before you take a second to sit back and realise that you are living your dream already.

A shit place to stay
A shit place to stay

But I’m bloody close to sounding like a god damn preacher so I shall pull up before I start praise our lord the saviour Christ, instead I shall praise our hosts Paula and Derek of Casa Oasis for their hospitality and tolerance of our incisive laughter and consistent G & T ing (coining the phrase, definition- to drink plentiful amount of gin and tonic) they have also allowed us to take over their extremely clean kitchen for our cooking exploits.

Grant and I are each cooking a big dinner each this week with his dinner tonight and my dinner on Saturday night it will be sure to be getting fiery in the kitchen. His ingredients of choice were Razor clams, octopus, mackerel, little weird sausage balls, mangos and Plantains so I cant wait to see what he comes up with.

I have chosen morcilla, entrecote beef, squid, serrano jamon and watermelon for my menu du jour. I will be sure to document the entire battle royal, with photo’s and recipes. But when this is all occurring whilst on holiday with friends in a villa in the Spanish desert then everyone a winner… although we are both extremely competitive so tears may flow.

Paul’s Caul… Penchant de Fromage

cheese
Penchant de Fromage

We now live in the land of the cheese eating surrender monkeys, but regardless of their continual want for quitting anything they get into, you just cant go past their brilliance in the world of preserved milk, AKA cheese/fromage. This is made abundantly clear everywhere you go. Cheese is like currency in France, its sold everywhere, it’s what bacon is to the British and what beer is to the Australians, and quite possibly what sugar is to Americans.

You can’t find a menu that isn’t laden with cheesy goodness. We are living in the Alp’s so every second restaurant does fondue, not just the old pot of molten white love, they now have heat lamps that gently melt away layer by layer of semi hard cheeses like Raclette and they are perched on an ingenious rack that allows you to lower the half wheel to such an angle that you simply scrap of the top layer of gooey deliciousness… clever French bastards!

Then you walk outside thinking to yourself “I’ll go for a nice walk to burn off all of this effing cheese that seems to find its way into my ever increasing belly” so you casually stroll down the road only to be ambushed by these sneaky dairy producers, it’s a god damn rouse I tell you… they even have cheese sold and given away on the streets, yes the streets are literally paved with cheese (incorrect use of the word literally but I literally don’t give a shit) row after row of fromage and cured meats line the pavement, there is no shit cheese here, no orange shite that Americans claim to be cheese, no small triangles labelled with cows simply so that its been near a cow once in its factory raised life… NO it’s all the good stuff, the stuff that weird dreams are made of and quite frankly it’s overwhelming to say the least. And this is coming from a person who isn’t anti-cheese, quite the contrary, Lauren and I are cheeseaphiles, we are very close to being full blown cheese addicts also known as a addiction called ‘penchant de fromage’ and even for us this is border line too much.

But I’m not complaining, I’m just pointing out just how Omni-present this beautiful product is, and please do not get me wrong they treat this revered product with respect. They don’t serve cheese boards with 4 different cheeses served with pear and quince paste and feel their job is done, hell no, they treat every cheese with the kudos it deserves and bring all of its potential to the plate in which you eat it from. If it’s a cheese that needs to be left out of a fridge for a week before consumption then that’s what they do, if it needs to be baked and presented to the punter with shaved truffle on, then that’s just what this wimpy French fucks do, they may be an annoying breed of human, but by all that is holy in this world, they love their cheese.

I’m running a chalet with Lauren here in Meribel in the Rhone Alp’s and we offer some pretty decent cuisine, and for our cheese we offer a cheese course every night. This entails a fuck off piece of amazing cheese, one different cheese each night, this cheese comes with a story, in which I like to wrap up the truth in a beautifully packaged parcel of made up facts. You will recognise this process from this blog in which I use the same formula. I like to serve each cheese either by its self (if it’s that good) or in general I serve it with something that heightens its flavour.
beaufort cheese
We serve the local hard cheese called Beaufort which is known as the king of the hard cheeses (generally only by the producers) it is a great cheese and has such a subtle flavour that I like to serve it with candied walnuts as I feel it already has a certain nuttiness which works well together.
reblochon de savior
Another belting cheese we get from our storeman extraordinaire (Toby the ginger wonder boy) is the Reblochon de savoir, which is a small wheel of stinky gold, its got all the smoothness of a creamy brie but with the balls of a blue, and I like to serve it with crystalized honey, why? Just because it’s brilliant!
blue cheese with truffle honey
The blue we have been serving is good, but its no Roquefort and to be fair Toby has now sourced me some cave-aged goodness, but in the meantime this French blue called Bleu D’Auvergne with truffle honey is quite magnificent.
mont d'or
And without a shadow of the doubt the most incredible cheese I know and have the pleasure of calling my dear friend, the one, the only… Mont D’or, this is a cheese that was made to last the long hard winter, and meant to be served just after Christmas, it looks like a round wood wrapped blanket of mouldy clouds and once that lid is peeled back it is as if by some miracle nature has melted this cheese for you, yes that’s right it tastes like a melted cheese sandwich, its beyond belief and if left out of a fridge for many days before consumption then it transforms into an out of body experience. Holy fucking Cheese balls this shit is good…. I serve it with teaspoon and get people to simply hand it around scooping spoonfuls out as they go
cheese
So All in all, you can all see that we are in fromage heaven and it’s the gym or the slopes every day just to keep our cheese belly’s from taking over, but these are most definitely first world problems and problems I relish, thank god I’m a chef and get to play with such exquisite produce on a daily basis… cheeseisthebestshitever

Paul’s Caul… Tuna Tartare and a few words about sharing

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Sharing is caring, except rashes.

One of the biggest problems facing the world is that people just don’t share the right things, people love to share the things that annoy them or the things that cause nasty rashes in the never reaches, in fact basically we could replace the word ‘sharing’ with ‘off loading’ and then we could comfortably say that people love to off load their shit, but sharing good stuff seems to evade us as a society.

But imagine a world where you came across something you like and thought “I want to do that”, and instead of having to install security camera’s and peer through peoples windows to unlock the secrets of their success, you could ask them and they would happily share with you. Now this doesn’t have to be some weird fantasy world where people fly around on huge white dogs, or a place where David Bowie lords over muppets in a maze like world, NO it could be this place we call the real world and it could all begin with you!

Now I realize it sounds like the beginning of a self help book written by some shiny white toothed freak from USA, but my amazingly disguised point is that we all have knowledge of some sort and often we cling onto it like it was a hookers last shred of self respect, as we feel it was hard to come by so why the fuck should we just give it away? Well I’ll tell you why you insecure knowledge hoarder… because allowing someone else to have the knowledge you have gained does not by any means give them the wisdom you have, a wise man once told me “knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in fruit salad” so basically if some twat wants your recipe for crème brulee then give it to him, as a twat will still be a twat even if he possesses a damn fine baked custard dessert with a shiny caramel lid… FACT!

Many chefs will give recipes with missing ingredients or not give their treasured recipes out at all, well I say that’s rubbish and always think if someone else is willing to go to as much trouble as me to create delicious food then good on them, hopefully they enjoy spending fucking hours in the kitchen doing laborious shite that would be considered punishment in most peoples mind. But if they follow through and create something they are proud of, then they will have you to thank and that’s reward enough… obviously if they take said knowledge and become better than you then my entire concept is bollocks and you should sabotage those talented motherfuckers, destroy every single bit of them until no one remembers anything about them, never stop until all traces of their sickening talents is erased from this world… but other then with those people, you should always share.

Living in the French Alps looks shit
Living in the French Alps looks shit

I’m currently living and working in the French Alps and to be brutally honest, its fucking lovely here, hardly any French people, shit tonnes of cheese, foie gras as far as the eye can see and I get to create my own food every day for a chalet full of eagerly awaiting guests. So it is a fountain of creative juices, so I’ve been playing about with some new dishes and to I’m quite happy with what my juices have come up with. And in the spirit of this post I shall share one of my favourite recipes with you all… ‘Tuna tartare with a ginger oil & wasabi ice cream”

Now it’s far from a hard dish to create and I feel that in its restraint lays its beauty, but please give it go and let us know what you think.
tuna tartare with ginger oil and wasabi ice cream
TUNA TARTARE, GINGER OIL & WASABI ICE CREAM

Wasabi ice cream
Ice creams are easy as to make so go buy an ice cream machine and get amongst the creation of endless flavours.

The base for most ice creams are the same. Basically it’s a custard that you churn in a machine and freeze with flavouring.

My basic base is…
30 egg yolks
2lt cream
400g sugar

• Now all you need to do is heat the cream and add to whisked yolks and sugar then gently heat in bain maree or thermo mix (if you are a fancy prick like me) until it thickens and coated the back of a spoon, allow to cool then churn in machine, job done
• But for my savoury ice cream I only add 50g of sugar and add a tea spoon of of salt and for this wasabi ice cream I add 4 tubs of wasabi, now this recipe will make you more wasabi ice cream then you will ever need, so please divide recipe by 3 and continue. Best to always add flavouring to the cream during heating to really infuse the love
• Whack in freezer once done

Ginger oil
Chop up a massive knob of ginger (you can just grate it)
Chop up 2 eshallots
Chop up one red chilli (as hot as you like)

• Heat 500ml of veg oil with a dash of sesame oil in it, once almost smoking, add all ingredients and cook until items are brown and crispy
• Strain oil and place ingredients on paper towel to crisp up and drain, these crispy pieces of deliciousness can be used for something else, like a garnish for a salad or as a snack to chomp on whilst drinking beer
• The oil you have left is now infused with gingery goodness, we shall call it Ed Sheeran

Tuna Tartare
This is the easy bit, go buy the best looking tuna you can find, if its in a tin then go jump of a bridge you muppet… you want a nice purple piece of meat that doesn’t stink like a mermaids parts. You will only need about 50g per person so even if its expensive don’t stress.

• Chop said piece of tuna into small square dice and place in a bowl, just before you serve you add enough ginger oil to coat all tuna, then add enough good quality salt to season the mix
• Place a small handful of tuna mix in a nice bowl/jar/glass/whatever you want to serve in
• Just before you serve pour 1 teaspoon of lime juice on each serve, don’t do this too early as it will start to cook the tuna
• Finally whack a small scoop of wasabi ice cream on top of each bowl and serve
• Best to eat by mixing up and placing in your mouth