Gemma Ellis’ restaurant Clifford’s will be hosting a series of collaborative dinners this summer, bringing flavours from all over the world to her quintessentially British menu. The first event (21 June) sees Ellis joined in the kitchen by SARAP‘s Ferdinand ‘Budgie’ Montoya. Together they’ll cook up a Filipino-inspired feast, using Montoya’s style of reinterpreting traditional recipes with a modern narrative. He’s big on open fire cooking, so guests will be treated to flavoursome dishes like charred aubergine with heritage tomatoes and salted duck egg, and slow roasted stuffed pork belly with Mang Tomas dipping sauce and atchara pickle. Can’t get enough? Fear not: SARAP’s first stand-alone site will be opening in Brixton Village this autumn after three previous residences have proved popular.
Next up is James Erasmus on 9 July. After growing up on his father’s farm in the Tsitsikamma, James studied culinary arts in Cape Town before moving to London, where he worked at a series of top culinary spots including The Ledbury and Harwood Arms. Nowadays he heads up the recently opened Harlequin in Fulham, where he cooks a monthly changing set menu inspired by his South African roots. He’ll be showcasing this at Clifford’s, with dishes including diced raw mackerel with cucumber, yoghurt and chutney; and a traditional South African milk custard tart. Ellis’ contributions, meanwhile, include braised rose veal with creamed Cornish sardine sauce; and confit duck leg with a duck fat potato cake and cherry brandy sauce.
Last but certainly not least is James Cochran, who last year opened the doors to new restaurant 12:51 in Islington. His cooking reflects his mixed heritage – from the Caribbean to Scotland to his birth town Whitstable. Diners at his Clifford’s collaboration will be tucking into things like cured Scottish salmon with chives and tarragon; spider crab meat; braised kid goat with goat’s curd, almonds and mint; and a Black Forest gateaux to finish.
‘We are so excited to be hosting these dinners, it’s been a long time in the making and can’t wait to be back on the stoves with my old colleagues and friends,’ says Ellis. ‘Whilst our menu at Clifford’s is predominantly British, we often look to other cuisines for inspiration – particularly for our evolving pickle wall with produce from friends and family back in Suffolk.’
Clifford’s, 140 Fetter Ln, Holborn, London EC4A 1BT
Dinners take place on 21 June (Ferdinand ‘Budgie’ Montoya), 9 July (James Erasmus), and 15 August (James Cochran)
Dinner is £55pp with an option of paired wines for £35