Feature – Winter Tasting Menu

Winter Tasting Menu at the Aviator Brasserie

Winter Tasting Menu

Drawing inspiration from the Autumn and Winter seasons, Executive Chef Luke Wheaton has created a new seven course Tasting Menu using carefully chosen ingredients to highlight the best of the season.

The Tasting Menu begins with a refreshing wild hibiscus flower canapé with Barkham Blue and candied walnuts. Sourced from local cheesery Too Hoots, the Barkham Blue is carefully layered inside the delicate wild hibiscus, a flower native to Australia, and presented in the shape of a crown. Toasted and gently folded in caramel, the walnuts provide a sweet contrast against the rich flavour of the cheese. The canapé is paired with a crisp glass of Veuve Clicquot to complement.

A confit of Hampshire chicken oysters with sweetcorn, Autumn truffle and shiso form the amuse bouche and first course of the Tasting Menu. Chicken oysters selected from local, free range Hampshire chickens are combined with crisp sweetcorn supplied by Watts Farm in Kent to create a flavourful confit. The Autumn truffle, sourced from the South of France, brings an indulgent twist to the palate cleanser, with a garnish of purple shiso cress adding colour and a fragrant citrus flavour.

The second course on the Tasting Menu is Secretts Farm heritage beetroot and red wine risotto with goat?s curd, crisps and pea shoots. Executive Chef Luke Wheaton has chosen to use what is arguably one of Italy?s greatest wines, the Barolo, instead of the traditional white in this dish. Chosen for its powerfully oaky taste, the Barolo helps to create a rich and flavourful risotto and matches the earthiness of the beetroot. Grown on Secretts Farm in Surrey, heritage beetroot provides an instant, vibrant, visual appeal through its mixture of white, candy, yellow and purple varieties. The beetroot is placed in a dehydrator for three days and then carefully sliced before being used to garnish the risotto. To complete the dish is a pea shoot salad and goat?s cheese ice cream, which is added to the risotto minutes before serving.

My favourite dish on the new Winter Tasting Menu is the Blackmoor Farm venison with parsnip purée, stewed cranberries and candied chestnuts.

Executive Chef Luke Wheaton

Confit of Hampshire chicken oysters - Winter Tasting Menu at Aviator

First course: Confit of Hampshire chicken oysters

Hampshire Tunworth cheese - Winter Tasting Menu at Aviator

Seventh course: Hampshire Tunworth cheese

Roast Brixham cod cheeks with fine herb pappardelle, curly kale and citrus dressing make up the third course of the Tasting Menu. Sourced from local supplier Chapmans, the cod cheeks are gently oven roasted to release their delicate flavours. The fish is accompanied by fine strips of pappardelle, made fresh in the kitchen, and infused with tarragon, chives and other fine herbs. Mildly dressed with citrus vinaigrette to keep it light and fresh tasting, the dish is served with curly kale, a versatile and rich vegetable packed with more nutrition and flavour than its cabbage cousin.

The fourth course of the Tasting Menu is Blackmoor Farm venison with parsnip purée, stewed cranberries and candied chestnuts. Sourced from a local, family-run Hampshire game farm, the 100% free-range venison has been chosen for its seasonality. The venison is accompanied by sous-vide cooked wild parsnip purée. Placed whole in a vacuum-sealed bag, the parsnips are combined with cream and seasoning and submerged in a water bath for approximately 48 hours. Once cooked, the parsnips are blended to form a smooth and silky purée. The dish is then garnished with locally foraged dandelion leaves, candied chestnuts and stewed cranberries.

Designed to refresh the palate before moving onto dessert is the fifth course of the Tasting Menu; rhubarb yoghurt with Champagne and elderflower. The rhubarb yoghurt is made with fromage blanc, a fat-free French yoghurt, and forced Yorkshire rhubarb. Light and refreshing, this dish is accompanied by crystalised elderflower and a Champagne gel and foam for added texture.

The sixth course on the Tasting Menu is the dessert; aerated dark chocolate, banana, liquorice and salted almonds. An intricate dish that requires technique and skill to create, the entire process also takes place in a freezer to ensure the aerated chocolate holds its position before it is filled with a rich banana parfait. The dish is finished with a chocolate mousse, liquorice gel, salted almond ice cream and salted almonds.

The seventh and final course of the Tasting Menu is Hampshire Tunworth with grapefruit, cardamom and nutmeg. The soft, local cheese is paired with two types of grapefruit, one caramelised and the other in chutney form. Cardamom compote, twirled biscuit and shavings of nutmeg, complete the final dish turning it into a delightful, modern twist on the traditional cheese course.

The Winter Tasting Menu is £95 per person and includes pairing wines with each course.

For more information or to book the Winter Tasting Menu, please email our reservations team.