Jimmy’s menu included a starter of pike-perch accompanied by pickled shellfish and smoked cod roe with lemon, dill and sea vegetables, followed by a main of Balcombe Estate venison loin and sausage with nasturtium gnocchi, lovage, hazelnut and broad beans. Dessert was lemongrass parfait, strawberry and lycée martini, kaffir lime sherbet and meringue, with a final course of five cheeses from High Weald Dairy.
Jimmy was joined in the kitchen by young Swedish chef Christofer Johansson, who will be returning to the UK to present a meal representing his home region of Läckö-Kinnekulle at Jeremy’s Restaurant on Thursday 25 September.
“I had an awesome time learning new techniques and working alongside talented chefs that I’d never met before”, said chef Jimmy Gray. “Not knowing each others languages wasn’t a barrier to having a fun day in the kitchen, and ultimately creating a showcase meal that we could all be proud of.”
Guests from across Sweden, including national press, enjoyed a Blackdown Sussex vodka and vermouth martini as a welcome drink, whilst Mardi Roberts of Ridgeview Wine Estate at Ditchling and their Swedish distributor Torbjörn Rundkvist of Triplus Vinhandel presented Ridgeview Grosvenor, Victoria and Bloomsbury sparkling wines.
“This was a fantastic opportunity to cement Ridgeview’s relationship in the Swedish market, as well as being able to celebrate with our friends from Brighton the fantastic produce and talent we have in Sussex”, said Mardi Roberts of Ridgeview. “It was a brilliant showcase for us all, in a amazing location.”
“With each ICEx project I am more and more excited about the opportunities we have created for young talented chefs to share their passion for food, and for us to highlight the massive opportunities that culinary culture and food producers offer in terms of gastronomic tourism”, added Andrew Kay of the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival.
Executive chef and proprietor of Jeremy’s Restaurant, Jeremy Ashpool, said: “Our Swedish hosts provided the most magical midsummer experience, and we look forward to reciprocating equivalent hospitality at Jeremy’s Restaurant and in Brighton in September”.
International Chef Exchange is an initiative created by the Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival to share best practice in the hospitality industry, promote food tourism and create opportunities for the export of quality food and drink.
The next International Chef Exchange event will see chef Tony Leck of The Pavilion in Guernsey prepare a six-course meal at the Ginger Pig in Hove on 14 July, (book here) a weekend of ‘Taste of Sicily’ events during the food festival on 4-7 September, whilst Swedish chef Christofer Johansson will be cooking at Jeremy’s Restaurant on Thursday 25 September. Advance tickets for Christofer’s meal are priced at £55 and available in advance from Jeremy’s Restaurant on 01444 44 11 02.