Blo Deady cut his teeth in the chefing game at Kensington Place and Clarke’s before becoming a private chef. His cooking is heavily influenced by what the seasons have to offer. In his words, “Nothing restaurant-y or foamy. Just the highest possible quality produce, cooked simply”. Such is his following, he also runs monthly supper clubs, one of which we hosted in-store in May 2016. Guests were treated to a mouth-watering menu including leg of spring lamb followed by soft pistachio meringue with Champagne rhubarb, pistachios and Jersey cream. As if you need any more convincing, we hear from the chef himself, plus there’s an exclusive recipe for you to try at home.
An Interview with Blo Deady
Tell us a bit about yourself.
In essence I work as a freelance private chef, with clients both in the UK and abroad. My work is incredible varied, which I love… Anything from a dinner for 6 to canape parties for 400!
Why did you become a private chef?
I wanted to cook, on a full time basis but not in a traditional restaurant kitchen sense. It had to be varied in terms of clients and environment but the ethos regardless of where I am or who I am cooking for remains the same. Beautiful, seasonal produce, cooked simply but well.
I believe the one thing that really sets me apart from a lot my peers is my absolute insistence on produce that is not only seasonal but produced by suppliers with the utmost respect for the raw product. This, I feel is the only way one can truly achieve really delicious tasting dishes.
How long have you been up and running?
Just over two years, which surprises me.. it has completely flown past.
How did you get started?
Pretty organically really. Whilst working for Sally Clarke, our customers were constantly asking if I knew of anybody who could cook for a special dinner or party.. I jumped at the chance!
Tell us about your event at Habitat
The event was my 12th supper club, although the first at Habitat which I was really excited about. The emphasis was, as ever, on the food which was a delicious menu full of beautiful spring produce. But it was also social, big long tables full of fun, interesting people. Essentially, a big dinner party!
EXCLUSIVE RECIPE: Soft Meringue with Gariguette Strawberries, Vanilla Cream & Pistachios
Gariguette strawberries appear in late March and are a wonderful thing. Provencal in origin they are fragrant, sweet and deep scarlet in colour. Please don’t use out of season strawberries for this as the Gariguette is the star of the show here.
- 3 medium egg whites
- 175g caster sugar
- 2 punnets Gariguette strawberries
- 1 heaped teaspoon caster sugar
- Handful pistachios roughly chopped
- 250ml double cream
- 1 vanilla pod, seeds removed
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with unwaxed greaseproof paper.
- Place the eggs whites in a very clean bowl (this is important, any speck of grease or moisture will prevent the mixture from reaching the correct consistency). You can use a Kitchen Aid or an electric handheld mixer.
- Whisk on a medium speed for 3-4 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Add the 175g of sugar gradually and continue to whisk for a further 15 minutes until you have a thick and glossy mixture.
- Using a large spoon place shapes of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheets leaving a little room between each meringue.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes. When they are ready, they should lift easily from the baking sheet.
- Leave in the oven with the door ajar to dry out a little.
- To prepare the strawberries, rinse both punnets under running water, set one punnet aside. With the other, cut the tops off, just under the leaves where the strawberry is white. Set aside.
- Use the other punnet for the strawberry sauce. Again, remove the tops. Place the strawberries in a food processor (or you can use a handheld blitzer) with the teaspoon of sugar. Blitz until you have a smooth sauce. Pass through a sieve, add the prepared whole strawberries.
- Whisk the cream with the vanilla until it is thick but not solid.
- To assemble, place the meringues onto dessert plates or bowls, spoon the vanilla cream generously over the meringue, followed by the strawberries with their sauce. Sprinkle the pistachios on the top.
- Serve and enjoy!