Firstly, what is Wigmore Cheese and where do you source it from?
Wigmore Cheese is a semi soft sheep’s milk cheese. Made by Ann and Andy Wigmore in Riseley south of Reading. They have a great cheese making story behind them and have been producing since 1986.
How do you make the cheese crispy?
We add the Wigmore to a choux bun recipe, the same thing eclairs are made from, however ours is savoury. We don’t add too much seasoning or spice as the cheese is the star. We then shape the choux pastry and fry to order giving a light Wigmore cheese puff with a crispy edge.
What’s this dish all about, how do the flavours work together?
The dish was born from wanting to move away from a pasta/rice/grain vegetarian dish. I really love Wigmore cheese and it started there. We then looked at natural garnishes to accompany the cheese and went for broad beans, as they are in season, and some lovely heritage tomatoes, again in season.
We make a basil puree for a light and punchy garnish and add some salty sea beet leaves to the broad beans when they are cooking. See beet is like salty sea spinach with slightly smaller leaves. We soak small courgettes in high quality olive oil and then chargrill and finish the whole thing with lemon and watercress (seasonal) oil
What do you enjoy most about creating vegetarian dishes?
Vegetarian dishes are an interesting challenge. However if you think about it, there is a lot more choice of fruit/veg/pulse/pasta/potato than there is meat so sometimes it needs real concentration not to get carried away with too many ingredients.
We are looking to cater to all our customers’ needs and I must say it is not just vegetarians that eat this. Our overall ethos when we began at The Miller was to create a menu offering two vegetarian starter options and two vegetarian main course offerings within our six options in each section. Sales unfortunately meant that we had to stop this and we now have two starter options and just the one main.
We do, however, offer a seasonal selection plate of veg and garnishes to anyone who is not keen or just doesn’t fancy our main course vegetarian option. Our front of house team are all aware of this and we sell two or three a week.
I enjoy creating all our dishes and follow the same guidelines by working the dishes from one central ingredient and then developing from there.