Recipe by: Dale McIntosh, Head Chef, Bustophers Bar Bistro.
When General Manager Tom Hancock and his wife Vicky approached Dale McIntosh to take over as Head Chef at Bustophers, he wasn’t to know how lucky an opportunity it would be. “Bustophers is about creating a whole dining experience. People like to be able to linger, dink at the bar and take time over dinner,” said Dale, adding, “It felt right. I can spend more time over the food, plus Tom and Vicky aim to win awards for their food and service as much I do.”
After two years as head chef at the Pandora Inn, he was able to set a very high standard for exceedingly high quality bistro food. The Pandora’s great reputation made it extremely popular but it also made the pace frenetic at times. In 2010, Dale’s team scooped both the ‘Cornish Challenge Competition’ prize and, at the Cornwall Tourism Awards, also won ‘Pub of the Year’. Three weeks after he left the Pandora was sadly devastated by fire.
“I absolutely love cooking with fish, but I know not everyone wants to eat it so we also have great meat dishes. My ethos is to cook food simply, not to smother in sauces and serve it in a stylish way. The Strawberry Mille Feuille is something we have on the dessert menu and is perfect for summertime. People are surprised about the balsamic vinegar with strawberries. The amazing thing is that it creates a balance in the flavours by cutting through some of the sharpness and sweetness.”
“It’s exciting times for food in Cornwall,” Dale is enthusiastic. “Everyone seems to be talking about it all the time creating a real buzz about our great local suppliers and the standard of produce we can source. I’m absolutely certain that Cornwall is the best region for food, outside London. It makes my job easy and I am proud to credit the suppliers on the menus.”
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
500g ready made puff pastry
300g Cornish strawberries
½ litre balsamic vinegar
300g caster sugar (200g for balsamic vinegar, 100g for spun sugar)
1 litre double cream
1 vanilla pod
100g icing sugar (save 1 tsp for dusting)
2 tsp of good quality strawberry jam
4 raspberries (for garnish)
1. Roll out pastry to rectangle shape (x 12)
2. Place the pastry on a baking tray and place another baking tray on top to stop pastry rising and put in oven at 180c for 15mins
3. Bring balsamic vinegar to boil and add 200g of caster sugar to sweeten
4. Take off boil and add strawberries for 5mins to absorb vinegar.
5. Remove strawberries and place on a tray to cool
6. Put balsamic vinegar back on heat and reduce
7. Whip cream to stiff peaks and add icing sugar and the split vanilla pod.
Assemble the ‘mille feuille’:
8. On one rectangle pastry brush with jam, slice strawberries and place evenly onto jam followed by another rectangle of pastry, top this with piped cream followed by another sheet of pastry, dust with icing sugar and garnish.
9. Once your vinegar has reduced by ¾, leave to cool. This will become a syrup for garnish.
To make the spun sugar:
10. Place 100g of sugar in a pan and onto heat. Do not stir. When the sugar starts to turn into a caramel, tilt the pan to mix sugar as it starts to turn so it blends together. When all the sugar is at a caramel colour and has dissolved, remove the pan from the heat and place in water to cool. As the sugar cools, it will become thicker and resemble golden syrup, take a tsp of sugar and quickly twirl the sugar around a ‘cook’s steel’ and carefully slide off the steel and serve on top of your ‘mille feuille’.
Bustophers Bar Bistro. 62, Lemon Street, Truro, Cornwall, TR1 2PN
Tel: 01872 279029
- Balsamic Strawberries with Arugula (markbittman.com)
- Roasted Balsamic Strawberries (twicecookedhalfbaked.wordpress.com)
- In Season Now: Strawberries (goodfoodrevolution.wordpress.com)