September has arrived announcing itself initially with torrential rain & flash flooding, but as the week progresses we have a final burst of summer to look forward to with temperatures set to climb to the mid 20’s. It’s my favourite time of year in the kitchen, with the summers bounty about to be realised, there is an abundance of top quality home grown produce on offer & the kitchen is hive of activity.
A quick stride up the road & into the Neath market hall, Mark Reynolds fruit & vegetable store is bursting at the seams, he sees me coming & never one to miss a sale he guides me towards the purple Romanesco, which are of top quality & are British new season, part Broccoli, part Cauliflower it is a delicious brassica. But I have my eye on the Cavalo Nero and the new season ornamental squash, the ugly tomatoes look fantastic too. Victoria Plums are in abundance perfectly ripe & ready to eat now, none of this ripen at home nonsense you get from supermarkets! I have a plum frangipane Dartois planned for them; layered up laminated puff pastry with almond sponge, served warm is delicious, simple & singing of the season. Damsons are ready now too but are not so easy to get hold of, Mark is on the case & should have them by the weekend. Yellow Chanterelle mushrooms are now available and feature in a couple of dishes on the menu now. My favourite dish at the moment is the Pan Seared Chicken Supreme with my home cured Coppa, fresh Chantrelle mushrooms, fresh egg Taggliatelle finished with Black Truffle & Parmigiano Reggiano it has all the earthy woodland flavours of Autumn.
A quick dart across the market to RG John fish mongers to see what’s available on the fax direct from the wholesale markets in the morning, so I can start to plan my daily specials, as I stride towards the stall Ricky is already smiling, pointing towards the counter Mark stops filleting & they say together in chorus “Just in”, a big gleaming pile of spankingly fresh shiny eyed Wild Local Sea Bass awaits. I walk behind the counter pick one up, they’re immaculate “How much?” I say as Ricky starts tapping the calculator, “For you” he says… The deal is done I take the lot, Mark gets to work gutting, scaling & filleting they’ll be on the menu within hours of being caught. They’ll go for my signature dish; Pan Seared Wild Sea Bass with King Scallops crushed new potatoes & Welsh Cider & Leek Sauce. There’s more good news to come with 6 local lobsters arriving the following morning I have first dibs & they’re on the menu the following evening.
Andy heads up the kitchen of Moruzzi & Co in Neath, with his team they create tasty wholesome dishes with a modern rustic flair, they pay homage to the Italian heritage of the owners. Andy having just returned from his second trip to Italy has come back with a wealth of knowledge & enthusiasm, and with the owner Paul Moruzzi having just returned from Italy with a boot load of Italian ingredients, including some stunning Porcini mushrooms, they have some great dishes planned for this new season….
At their best
Moruzzi & Co