Ashford Update Pt 4
The latest from our MD, Stefano, as we gear up for opening, including a little glimpse of what to expect on the menu…
Last time I left you, we were pre-Christmas and Macknade at Elwick Place was a large, empty and somewhat chilly space!!
Fast forward to now and that space is quickly filling up and it looks amazing. It is no longer chilly (thank you Polar Cooling for the heating), the lights are nearly there and Dave from Tribune is working his magic on the counters and décor…
Back at base, the team have been cracking on with menu testing and tasting, and I am excited at the prospect of being able to ‘brunch’ my way through the week in Ashford, as well as getting stuck into our plancha menu when it is fired up in the evening!
We will have old favourites such as Serrano & Eggs and our famous Macknade Rarebit, as well as newbies including Roast Pepper Ajvar on Toast and our butcher’s own Molasses Cured Bacon Butties. Having recently travelled the East coast of the Adriatic, I fell in love with ajvar for its rich, creamy mouth feel and intense sweet pepper flavour…delicious by itself or served as a condiment alongside…well…anything.
Breakfast and brunch is a big deal for us in our Flagship and we look forward to bringing this to Elwick Place. What will be new is the excitement of the evening service and introducing you to our Plancha & everything we can cook on it. From beautiful cuts of meat sourced from fantastic farmers through to a selection of veggie dishes (I have recently fallen back in love with Cauliflower spiced & simply roasted – and with Thanet on our doorstep we are blessed for brassica!), there will be something for everyone.
As always, the focus is on the quality of ingredients and their provenance – simply cooked to bring out the very, very best in them.
This week our Ashford team will be coming on board, soaking up the Macknade way of life and learning how we deliver a place for everyone to enjoy, and yearn to come back.
There will of course be cheese to taste (there always is here at Macknade!) and I know our GM Pete (more about him here) has Luigi Guffanti’s amazing Gorgonzola Dolce lined up for the counter. Winterdale Shaw, the iconic Kent cheddar, will be another highlight, as well as a whole range of others that will fill our delicatessen counter and feature on our platters, which can be enjoyed at lunch & into the evening alongside chutneys and candied fruits from Mantova. I have been known to lose myself in the bottom of a jar or two of Paola’s orange mostarda before – it is dangerous stuff!!
There will be so much for our new Macknade team to absorb, but everyone has been bought into the fold for their personalities and because of their smiles. Whilst great food and drink is imperative to what we do, people are our heart & soul, and and we will do everything to create a space that makes them feel at home… our team, our customers and anybody else passing through.